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Fort St. Joseph Museum

Niles, Michigan

Holdings and Notes

Updated 19 January 2006

Introduction | Folders | Contact the museum




The Lardner collection at the Fort St. Joseph Museum in Lardner's home town, Niles, Michigan, contains an assortment of clippings, photos, and family-related items not easily accessible anywhere else. The collection consists of five folders and some loose items. There are folders for Ring Lardner (2), Lena Lardner, Ring's mother, the Lardner family, and for the Lardner centennial celebration in Albion, Michigan (1986).

There is no guide to the holdings, nor are they arranged in any particular order within the folders. Many of the clippings have no date or source information. In addition, it is possible that items have been moved from one folder to the next since my last visit. What follows, then, is a rough accounting of the holdings at the museum rather than a definitive listing. My numbering of the folders and the items within them is arbitrary.



Folder 1:
Ring Lardner

1. Clipping. "Ring Lardner Marker in Place on Bond Street Location" by Bob Calvert (Niles Daily Star 22 November 1971)

2. Clipping. "Ring Lardner Tells of His College Career at Dear Old Armour" (19 June 1926)

3. Article. (Chronicle: The Magazine of the Historical Society of Michigan (Spring 198x); pictures of the Lardner family home in Niles, Michigan

4. Postcard. Lardner family (Bond Street) home in Niles, Michigan

5. Clipping. Penny Saver (10 January 1984)

6. Clipping. "You Know Me, Al" comic strip from the Niles Daily Star-Sun (1 August 1923)

7. Clipping. "A Niles Hall of Fame" (Niles Daily Star no date); an advertisement for the First National Bank of Niles, describing Lardner's life and career.

8. Clipping. "Ring Lardner, Always a Favorite Son" by James C. Miller (no date, no source, probably from the South Bend Tribune)

9. Clipping. "Q & A" (no date, no source other than "Tribune" (probably Chicago or South Bend), answers a general question about Lardner from someone in Germany, quotes Donald Elder's biography, Ring.

10. Clipping. "Lardner's Accomplishments Still Hailed" (Niles Daily Star Niles Sesquicentennial Edition)

11. Clipping. "Ring Lardner: One-of-a-kind Sports Chronicler" by Hurry Kane (pseudonym) (Niles Daily Star 29 March 1984); laments Niles losing sight of Lardner's accomplishments.

12. Clipping. "Obituary: Donald Elder" (South Bend Tribune)

13. Photostat. Copy of item number one.

14. Clipping. Advertisement for the book Ring Lardner by Donald Elder.

15. Clipping. "Yesterday: Doors of Famed Lardner Home were Always Open to Niles" by Helen Logan Walton (The Niles Free Lance 7 January 1951); mostly discusses Ring's parents and their hospitality.

16. Clipping. "Obituary: George Lardner" (1968); Ring's nephew, who died at the age of 67.

17. Picture. Lardner family Bond Street house (Niles, Michigan)

18. Photostat. "Ring Lardner" (Columbia Encyclopedia)

19. Clipping. (28 September 1984) article about the current residents of Bond Street Lardner home (Niles, Michigan)

20. Clipping. "Obituary: Ring Lardner" (Niles Daily Star September 1933)

21. Clipping. "Ring Lardner to Wed" (Niles Daily Sun 24 October 1910)

22. Clipping. "Ring Lardner" by John Wheeler (Reader's Digest)

23. Clipping. "Ring Lardner's Ambition" by Ralph McInerny (possibly a South Bend Tribune article from 1977-78)

24. Clipping. "Initials in Wood Recall Real-Life Stories of the Late Ring Lardner in Niles" by Denise Belcher (South Bend Tribune); relates the stories of Lardner carving his initials on the wall behind the organ at Trinity Church, in the back of a choir seat, and on the drawer of a family table.

25. Clipping. "Ring Lardner's Michigan" by James Diedrick (Michigan History April 1985)

26. Clipping. "Lardner's Legacy to his Niles" by Art Sills (Niles Daily Star 16 December 1967); recounts story of Lardner's final trip to Niles in August of 1933

27. Clipping. "Obituary: Ring Lardner" (South Bend Tribune 26 September 1933)

28. Clipping. "His Name was Ring" (Niles Daily Star 22 February 1964); overview of Lardner's life with many photos.

29. Clipping. "Most Famous Son was Newspaperman" (Niles Daily Star 25 March 1961)

30. Clipping. "Ring Lardner--distinctly American" by Lisa Barczak (The Pleiad 8 March 1985); Albion College's weekly newspaper.

31. Photo Clipping. Photo of Ring Lardner clipped from Esquire magazine (March 1972)

32. Clipping: "Lardner Memories Recalled by Nephew" (South Bend Tribune); Lardner's nephew Richard Tobin speaks at Ring Lardner Junior High School; Tobin's sisters donate photo of Ring to school.

33. Typescript. "Ring Lardner: Twentieth Century Author from Niles, Michigan" by Ruth Palenchar; a college paper dated 19 April 1972

34. Clipping. "Tribute to Ring Lardner, the Man who Made '20s Roar with Laughter" by Clifford Terry (Chicago Tribune 1986); report of the Lardner Centennial at Albion College.

35. Article. "Ring Lardner: The Ashes of Idealism" by Louis Hasley (Arizona Quarterly)

36. Clipping. "Small Town Setting Gave Lardner Story 'Atmosphere'" by Bob Calvert (Niles Daily Star); the second part in a series which advocates placing an historical marker on the Lardner home in Niles.

37. Clipping. "Larry Wolter's Gag Bag" (Chicago Tribune 29 October 1967)

38. Clipping. "On the Sandy Shores of Mich." (In the Wake of the News, Chicago Tribune)

39. Article. "Ring Lardner, the Man with the Perfect Pitch" by Richard L. Tobin (Chronicle Spring 1978)

40. Note.

41. Clipping. "Three Famous Nilesites Died Since Centennial Celebration" (Niles Daily Star); Lardner is first listed.

42. Article. Review of Shut Up, He Explained (Time 11 May 1962)

43. Clipping. "Ring Lardner Dies" (Niles Daily Star 26 September 1933); many memories, articles, and tributes.

44. Clipping. You Know Me, Al comic strip (1 August 1923)

45. Typescript. "The Man with Perfect Pitch" speech by Richard Tobin (29 September 1956)

46. Clipping. "Lardner Family Visits City on 100th Anniversary" by Terry Covington (Niles Daily Star 28 March 1985)

47. Clipping. "Getting Into Spirit of Ring Lardner" ("Tempo" Chicago Tribune March 1985); covers the Centennial celebration at Albion College.

48. Clipping. "Symposium marks Ring Lardner's 100th Birthday" by Louis Mumford (South Bend Tribune March 1985, pp. 17-18)

49. Clipping. "Lardner: 'Nice to Know People Still Remember" (Niles Daily Star March 1985, pp.1,10); account of Ring Lardner, Junior's visit to Niles.

50. Clipping. Review of Zanzibar (Niles Daily Star 1903)

51. Letter. To museum from Linda Wilson of Denver, 1982; asks about a Lardner monument or other Lardner-related sites one may see in Niles.

52. Letter. To museum from D. M. Clark of Hickery Corners, Michigan, 1974; request for general information about Lardner.

53. Picture. Historical marker in front of the Lardner Bond Street home in Niles.




Folder 2:
Ring Lardner

1. Photostat: Two copies of the program (which includes entire play) for Zanzibar, the minstrel show Lardner helped write in 1903.

2. Gift Tag: A Christmas gift tag "Ella from Ring"

3. Wrapping: Makeshift envelope used to send a book from Ring (Riverside, Illinois) to Miss Helen Woodruff of Niles

4. Letter. From Ring Lardner to "Ella" (Tuesday, January 19th); Lardner says he is grateful for the introduction to Mr. Woodeax in Millersburg, Indiana; refers to sons John and Jim; says John wrote the following verse:

Naughty Boy went to Day
In a shower of Hay
Mrs. Grews (a neighbor)
Wears new shoes.
John Lardner went to Garner
In a shower of Harner.

Says John Abbott (Ring's brother-in-law) taught John this verse:

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard
To get his poor daughter a dress,
But when she came there, the cupboard was bare
And so was her daughter, I guess.

5. Lyrics. Copies of "Sixth Avenue" and other songs written in collaboration with Paul Lannin for All at Sea (see also Bently collection)

6. Book. The Linebook, compiled by Shelby Little (Chicago Tribune 1926)

7. Clipping. You Know Me, Al comic strip (Niles Daily Star-Sun 17 August 1923)



Folder 3:
Lardner Centennial at Albion

1. Photostat. Zanzibar Program.

2. Program. Centennial Banquet at Albion (6 March 1985) with Jonathan Yardley and Ring Lardner, Junior; reprints "New York and Niles" from In the Wake of the News (14 July 1916).

3. Program. Ring Lardner's America: A Play in Two Acts by Russell Aiuto and Charles Crupi (5 March 1985)

4. Notes. Some information about item number three.

5. Journal. The Albion Review Spring 1985; includes reprints of In the Wake of the News by Lardner from 20 and 24 April 1917 (pp. 24-26)

6. Clipping. Advertisement for the symposium for the Centennial at Albion College.

7. Program. Lardner Symposium, Lardner Centennial at Albion College.



Folder 4: Lardner Family

1. Clipping. (Niles Daily Star 25 March 1961) article discussing Henry Lardner's land holdings.

2. Article. (The Michigan Assessor October 1983) cover and article about the Lardner family home on Bond Street, Niles.

3. Legal Papers. Titles and abstracts to Lardner property.

4. Notes. Lardner genealogy notes.

5. Clipping. Short article about Henry and Lena Lardner, by Helen Walton.

6. Clipping. News photo of "old Lardner artesian well"

7. Photostat. Copies of a journal from 29 January 1893, probably written by Ella Champion; discusses Ring's exploits with another girl.

8. Clipping. News photo of "Mary Lardner's Steamer, a Picturesque Rivergoing Vessel."

9. Clipping. "Henry Lardner Drills for Oil"

10. Note. A quote from Mrs. Lardner (Ring's mother or sister): "It's not possible to be a successful school teacher and a perfect lady."

11. Letter. From Ellis Lardner to "Mr. Coolidge" at the museum.

12. Note. From Ellis Lardner to museum; after Ring's death Ellis writes the museum and says she has sent items to the historical society in Ann Arbor (Bentley Historical Museum) but says she has forwarded "some songs he had written for a musical comedy which was never finished. Paul Lannin had written some very beautiful music for these."

13. Picture. The Bond Street Lardner home before the Lardner's lived in it.

14. Verse. A short verse about the St. Joseph River written by Lena Lardner.

15. Clipping. Obituary for George Lardner, 1968.

16. Photostat. Copies of letters from Henry Lardner and his brother written in the 1850s.

17. Clippings. "Yesterday" by Helen Logan Walton (17 December 1950, 24 December 1950, 31 December 1950, 7 January 1951); a series of columns about the early Lardner family, from their arrival in the area to their Bond Street home.

18. Picture. Ring Lardner Junior, March 1985 in Niles, Michigan.

19. Clipping. "Susan Elizabeth Lardner Wed to Fred Hellerman" (New York Times 9 August 1970); she is the daughter John Lardner; he is a song writer and musician who co-founded the Weavers.

20. Article. "Richard L. Tobin" by William T. Nobel.



Folder 5: Lena Lardner

1. Clipping. Article about Lena's house at the corner of Fourth and Oak Streets in Niles.

2. Clipping. (Niles Free Lance) Article about Lena Lardner, Ring's sister, that also mentions Ring's brother Henry.

3. Photostat. "My Christmas Gift" by Lena Lardner, (Christmas 1912); addressed to Helen R. Woodruft.

4. Letter. From John Sutclift of San Diego to museum (1958) requesting copies of Lena's books.



For information contact
Carol Bainbridge
at the Fort St. Joseph Museum
(616) 683-4702

Or visit their website




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