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Charles H. Dennis papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Dennis

Notice of Culturally Sensitive Indigenous Materials

This collection contains content identified by the library as Culturally Sensitive to Indigenous People(s): descriptions of human remains. For more information please see the Newberry Library’s policy on Access to Culturally Sensitive Indigenous Materials.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection consists of correspondence and miscellaneous items primarily related to Dennis's professional life.

Outgoing letters are from the mid-to-late 1920s, and incoming letters are primarily from the early-to-mid 1920s. The topics are mostly related to the Chicago Daily News, the activities of the journalists and foreign correspondents, and the administration of the paper (relations with newspaper syndicates and other papers, for example). Notable correspondents include George Ade, Ray Stannard Baker, Eugene Field, Henry Blake Fuller, Victor Lawson, John T. McCutcheon, Hiram K. Moderwell, Edgar Mowrer, Paul Scott Mowrer, Hal O'Flaherty, Wallace Rice, Walter Robb, Graham Taylor, LeRoy T. Vernon, and Junius B. Wood. Foreign correspondents during this time reported back on major world events, such as the Spanish-American War (in both the Caribbean and in the Philippines), and various political campaigns in Europe, India, and Japan.

The subject files consist of items relating to the Chicago Daily News, including its sale in 1925, works by Dennis, and material relating to Eugene Field, including checklists of books by and about him. There are a few photographs in the final series of the collection.


  • Creation: 1868-1942
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1885 - 1929



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Charles H. Dennis papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Charles H. Dennis papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Charles H. Dennis

Chicago newspaper editor.

Born in Decatur, Illinois, in 1860, Charles Henry Dennis was a newspaperman all his life. After graduation from the University of Illinois, he began his career as a reporter and in 1882 joined the staff of the Chicago Daily News which was owned by Melville Stone and Victor F. Lawson. When Lawson became sole owner of the News in 1891, he made Dennis the managing editor of the morning edition known as the Chicago Record. When that newspaper was sold in 1901, Dennis became associate editor and chief editorial writer of the Daily News, where he continued to be Lawson's chief editorial assistant until Lawson's death in 1925. After the Daily News was bought by Walter A. Strong in 1925, Dennis continued as editor until he retired in 1934.

For forty years Dennis wrote and/or edited important editorials for the Daily News, and he was particularly influential in organizing and managing American commentators and correspondents in major foreign news areas, such as Edward Price Bell, John T. McCutcheon, Edgar Mowrer, Paul Scott Mowrer, LeRoy T. Vernon, and Junius B. Wood. Dennis was the author of two books, Eugene Field's Creative Years (1924) and Victor Lawson, His Time and Work (1935). He belonged to many clubs, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the National Press Club of Washington, D.C., received two honorary degrees, and was greatly esteemed by his associates. Married twice, Dennis had four children. He died in Evanston, Illinois, in 1943.


7.2 Linear Feet (14 boxes, 1 oversize box)


Correspondence and miscellaneous items relating to Charles H. Dennis, managing editor of the Chicago Daily News.


Papers are organized in the following series

Series 1: Correspondence-Outgoing, 1923-1929
Boxes 1-6
Series 2: Correspondence-Incoming, 1888-1942
Boxes 7-13
Series 3: Subject Files, 1880-1939
Box 14
Series 4: Photographs, 1868-1925
Box 14

Collection Stack Location

1 14 3; 1 16 5


Gift of Mr. And Mrs. William A. Dennis, 1947, with subsequent additions.

Processed by

Virginia H. Smith, 2004; Alison Hinderliter, 2008.

Processing Information

This collection contains language or imagery that is offensive because of content relating to: ability, gender, race, religion, culture, sexuality/sexual orientation, or other categories. Library staff have retained the original material in order to present the collection in the context in which it was created and to facilitate historical research.

Inventory of the Charles H. Dennis papers, 1868-1942, bulk 1885-1929
Virginia H. Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 08/17/2011: Revised again and additions incorporated by Alison Hinderliter, 2015.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States