Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Rumely mss., 1838-1965, are the papers of Edward Aloysius Rumely, 1882-1964, physician, educator, and public relations man, and papers relating to his ancestors.

In 1906 he founded the Interlaken School at Rolling Prairie, Indiana. It was a college preparatory boarding school for boys between the ages of nine and eighteen. The purpose of the school was "to train boys in worthy and self- reliant character; to make them Sound and vigorous of body and soul, practical and skilful in work, able to think clearly and express themselves cogently; to develop in them truth, helpfulness, courage of will--in short to train the sons of the directing classes of our civilization to become fit leaders of men in this industrial Republic." The methods employed were similar to those used in European schools. Chalk, blackboards, and books were not enough. Children needed the training of their muscles as well as of their minds and they needed the training of their minds through their muscles.

Rumely was also connected with the family agricultural implement business. He developed the Rumely Oil Pull Farm Tractor and assisted in raising the company sales considerably by 1913. At the age of thirty-two, he resigned as an officer of the firm and moved to New York City where he lived until his retirement in 1959.

In 1915, Rumely became editor-in-chief and publisher of the New York Evening Mail. Since he was a good friend of Theodore Roosevelt, he permitted him to use the newspaper as his mouthpiece. Two other outstanding critics wrote articles for Rumely's paper, Samuel Sidney McClure, 1857-1949, from 1915 to 1918, and Henry Louis Mencken, 1880-1956, from 1917 to 1918. From 1923 to 1928 he was involved in the introduction of vitamins to the retail market. In 1925, he organized the Super Diesel Company, and from 1926 to 1930 he assisted farmers in obtaining loans through the Agricultural Bond and Credit Company. From 1932 to 1959 Rumely's interest centered around national political questions. During the New Deal he served as executive secretary to both the Committee for the Nation and the National Committee to Uphold Constitutional Government. Early in 1941 he helped establish the Committee for Constitutional Government. After returning to LaPorte in 1959, he devoted his time and energy disseminating information on cancer.

The papers consist of correspondence with prominent people both in Europe and the United States; an autobiography; documents dealing with his arrest for perjury in July, 1918, and the pardon by President Calvin Coolidge on January 19, 1925; material on his many fields of interest; pictures, and printed matter.

The first box in the collection contains biographical information.

See also "The Autobiography of Dr. Edward A. Rumely" edited by Philip Morehouse McGarr, Indiana Magazine of History, LXVI, March, 1970, pp. 1-39; September, 1970, pp. 197-237; and LXVII, March, 1971, pp. 1-44.

Also see the Rumely, FS manuscript collections.

Collection size: 95,355 items

NOTE: Access to this collection requires advance notice. Please contact the Curator of Manuscripts for additional information.

Related manuscripts: Rumely mss. II

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.