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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Arthur W. Spivey
MsC 150.05
Collection Dates: 1925-1926, 1977

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: Material donated by Marjorie Mitchell Kelt on behalf of Dr. Arthur Spivey in 1977. Finding aid mounted March 2008.

Photographs: None





      Redpath Chautauqua tent complex, including perimeter
canvas fence and canvas ticket booth.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes three cassette tapes of interviews with Arthur W. Spivey conducted by Marjorie Mitchell Kelt. In-depth accounts are given of the workings of the circuit personnel, descriptions of equipment, communities and their responsibilities, and talent who traveled on the Redpath Chautauqua Seven Day DeLuxe circuit during the 1925 and 1926 seasons, as well as personal information about Dr. Spivey. Also included is a typed outline of work during the week for a crew working on Chautauqua.

Biographical Note

Arthur Spivey of Thorntown, Indiana, served as crewman in 1925 and crew foreman in 1926 on the Seven Day DeLuxe Redpath Chautauqua circuit. He went on to become a dentist.

Related Materials

Records of the Redpath Lyceum Bureau, MsC 150  Please note the list of additional mini-collections of Chautauqua material at the end of the Redpath finding aid.

Box Contents List

Typed outline of work for crew during the week

Tape 1, Side 1, April 1977: Personal background of Dr. Spivey and how he came to work for the Redpath Circuit; what a "normal" week was like, including background preparation, contracts with communities, etc.

Tape 1, Side 2, April 1977: Crew chief and crew responsibilities; tent size, lots, and other equipment; setting up and tearing down.

Tape 2, Side 1, May 5, 1977: Revised figures regarding space under canvas; travel by train and experiences with the Kimball baby-grand piano that traveled with the talent; personnel from central office down through those traveling on the circuit; cities visited in 1925.

Tape 2, Side 2, May 5, 1977: Continuation of cities visited; 12 stops during the season in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, and Indiana; end-of-season duties. Beginning of 1926 as a crew chief; visits in South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and MIchigan.

Tape 3, Side 1, June 1977: Day-by-day account of the talent that appeared on this Seven Day DeLuxe circuit in 1925 and 1926. Children's entertainment in 1925 included Uncle Ed Reno, Middleton's Mannequins, and story telling. The 1926 children's entertainment was Mr. Frederick Trapane; Dr. Hivali; Abe Bewell and Baldy.

   Talent for 1925:

     Day 1: College Singing Girls; Honorable R.A. Nestos

     Day 2: Adanac Male Quartet; Dr. Wherahiko Rawei


     Day 3: Uncle Ed Reno; Lester M. Sterns; "Adam and Eva" (play)

     Day 4: Classical music concert; Frank Preston Johnson

     Day 5: Middleton's Mannequins; Geoffrey F. Morgan; "Robin Hood" (play)

     Day 6: Zedeler Symphonic Quintet; Harold R. Peat

     Day 7: Band Day with Bachman's "Million Dollar" Band

   Talent for 1926

     Day 1: Arcadia Novelty Company; Judge George D. Alden

     Day 2: Royal Hungarian Orchestra; Chester Sanford

     Day 3: Dr. Charles M. Newcomb; "So This is London" (play)

     Day 4: Dr. Bhaskar Hivali; Cathedral Choir

Tape 3, Side 2, June 1977:

     Day 5: Edward Tomlinson; Carveth Wells

     Day 6: Brayton Eddy(?); "Applesauce" (play)

     Day 7: Madame Tamaki Muira; Gladys Petch(?)

Addenda remarks: description of lacing sections of canvas together; portable canvas ticket booth; pledge cards; canvas fence; contracts with Thorntown, Indiana, Chautauqua.