University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Blanche Espy Chenoweth Papers

Overview of the Collection

Creator Chenoweth, Blanche Espy
Collection Title Blanche Espy Chenoweth Papers
Dates 1875-1960
Identification 02/2005-003
Physical Description 6.00 linear feet
Repository University of Houston Libraries M.D. Anderson Library 4333 University Drive Houston, TX, 77204-2000 URL: Email: Phone: 713-743-9229

Biographical Information:

Born in Scotch Grove, Iowa in 1875, Blanche Espy Chenoweth was a well respected lecturer and writer in her time. She was a student of Mary Baldwin College and the University of Chicago. She lived in places such as Chicago; Chautauqua, New York; and Tulsa, Oklahoma, but called Houston her home for the last 25 years of her life.

Mrs. Chenoweth gave countless lectures on women’s dress and grooming and their importance in a successful, happy life. In the late 1920s, she was a prominent lecturer and writer regarding the problems of women at the Chautauqua Institution. In 1930 she published a compilation of her lectures in a booklet entitled Clothes and Happiness. Throughout the 1930's she had a "personal problems" radio program in Chicago first called the Homemaking Hour which later became known as Little Dramas from Life. During her time in Chicago, she also wrote an advice-giving newspaper column.

In addition to lecturing, Mrs. Chenoweth was active in organizations such as the League of American Pen Women, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Association of University Women and was a life member of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina. She was also active in affairs of the Presbyterian Church.

Mrs. Chenoweth died in March of 1960 at the age of 85 after battling a long illness. She was survived by her one son Robert Carey Chenoweth and four grandchildren.

Scope and Contents

Containing 13 series and housed in 6 boxes, this collection documents Mrs. Chenoweth's life's work as a lecturer and writer. Most notably, her lecture and radio show program materials are extensively represented in such formats as article clippings, correspondence, typescript, periodicals and photographic material. Mrs. Chenoweth's papers also document her social interactions with prominent individuals such as Queen Marie of Romania and President Herbert Hoover. Additionally, this collection contains important memorabilia Mrs. Chenoweth collected throughout her life and materials that document important family history information.


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research

Conditions Governing Use:

Even though the material in this collection is in the public domain, the University of Houston Libraries owns the physical items. Copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs, and the researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of University of Houston Libraries’ material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate curator.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Genre/Form of Material:
Clippings (information artifacts)
Scripts (documents)
Personal Name:
Chenoweth, Blanche Espy
Topical Term:

Separated Material


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Blanche Espy Chenoweth Papers, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Detailed List of Contents

Personal Correspondence

Box Folder
1 1 Mary Jane Carey Espy (mother)
2 Daniel Austin Chenoweth (husband)
3 Robert Carey Chenoweth (son)
4 Acquaintances
5 Regarding Employment Opportunities 1915, 1932, 1933, 1935
6 Regarding an Honorary Bachelor's Degree from The Teachers' College 1926

Social Interactions

Box Folder
1 7 Invitation and Program to Dinner Honoring Queen Marie 1926
8 Invitation from President Hoover to the Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership 1931
9 Queen Marie's Obituary 1938
OVS_Box Folder
3 1 Tribute to the Late Founder and President of The Teacher's College 1926
2 Articles regarding Roumanian Queen Marie's visit to Indianapolis 1926


Box Folder
1 10 National League of American Pen Women Official Bulletins 1941-1942
11 Huguenot Society of South Carolina - Correspondence 1956
OVS_Box Folder
3 3 Huguenot Society of South Carolina - Certificate
OVS_Box Item
4 1 Pin Collection - Huguenot Society of South Carolina pin
2 Pin Collection - College Sorority pin
3 Pin Collection - Daughters of American Revolution pin
4 Pin Collection - National League of American Pen Women pin
5 Pin Collection - Robert C. Chenoweth's Navy pin

Educational Experience

Box Folder
1 12 Materials regarding her attendance at Mary Baldwin Seminary, the University of Chicago, Purdue University and Indiana University
OVS_Box Folder
3 4 1927 Chautauqua Institution Program Assembly Photographs
5 The Chautauquan Daily 1926-1927

Chicago World's Fair

Box Folder
1 13 Correspondence regarding being the hostess of the Indiana Building at the Chicago World's Fair 1931
14 Book of Comments from Chicago World's Fair Listeners 1933

Lecture Materials

Notes, Correspondence, Invoices, and Other Lecture Materials
Box Folder
1 15 Correspondence regarding Lectures 1926-1932, 1934, 1936, undated
16 Programs from Lecture Events 1926-1932
17 Invoices to and from L.S. Ayres and Company for Lectures Given 1929
18 Lecture Notes and Charts
19 Lecture Notebooks
OVS_Box Folder
3 6 Articles regarding Lectures 1924-1930, 1932, undated
Box Folder
1 20 Pamphlets 1925, 1926, undated
OVS_Box Folder
3 7 Articles 1925-1928, 1930-1931, 1949, undated
Materials related to Published Works
Box Folder
1 23 Copyright Papers and Correspondence 1930
24 Clothes and Happiness Booklet: A Collection of Chenoweth's Lectures 1930
25 Clothes and Happiness Brochures and Printed Promotional Material
OVS_Box Folder
3 8 Sketches for Booklet Cover Page

Radio Broadcast: Homemakers' Hour/Little Dramas from Life

Box Folder
1 26 Correspondence regarding Radio Broadcast 1928-1936
27 Radio Broadcast Notes 1930
28 Photograph of Chenoweth's First Broadcast
29 Broadcast Scripts and Correspondence - Homemakers' Hour 1930-1931
30 Broadcast Scripts and Correspondence - Little Dramas from Life 1932
31 Broadcast Scripts and Correspondence - Little Dramas from Life 1933
32 Broadcast Scripts and Correspondence - Little Dramas from Life January–July 1934
33 Broadcast Scripts and Correspondence - Little Dramas from Life August–December 1934
34 Broadcast Scripts and Correspondence - Little Dramas from Life 1935, undated
OVS_Box Folder
3 9 Articles regarding Radio Broadcast 1930-1931, 1933
OVS_Box Item
4 6 Little Dramas From Life Glass Record and Script 1940

Column Written by Blanche E. Chenoweth

OVS_Box Folder
3 10 As Mother Sees It 1931

Personal Milestones

Box Folder
1 35 Blanche E. Chenoweth’s Wedding Invitation (1898) and Funeral Register (1960) 1898, 1960

Family History

Box Folder
1 36 Correspondence and Articles regarding Ancestry
37 Scotch Grove Cemetery Materials and Burial Information
38 Mary A. Espy (paternal grandmother) Obituary
39 Nancy Agnes Carey (maternal grandmother) Obituary
40 Other Carey Family Obituaries
41 Robert Johnston Espy (father) Service Discharge/Pension Papers, Marriage Certificate, and Burial Plot Purchase
42 Robert Johnston Espy (father) Obituaries
43 Mary Jane Carey Espy (mother) Correspondence with cousin George McKinstry
44 Mary Jane Carey Espy (mother) Teaching Certificate and Letters from Old Students
45 Mary Jane Carey Espy (mother) Death Certificate and Obituary
46 Robert Carey Chenoweth (son) Birth Certificate and U.S. Navy Papers
47 Robert Carey Chenoweth (son) Family History Essay and College Thesis
48 "The Espy Family in America" by Florence Mercy Espy (aunt)
49 Portion of Family History by Mary Jane Carey Espy (mother)
50 Miscellaneous Writings and Notes regarding Family History
OVS_Box Folder
3 11 Robert Johnston Espy (father) American and European Secret Service Certificate

Photographic Material

Box Folder
2 51 Photographs of Blanche E. Chenoweth
Blanche Espy holding flowers
Blanche E. Chenoweth in a dark dress
Blanche E. Chenoweth
Blanche E. Chenoweth
Blanche Espy holding flowers
Blanche E. Chenoweth first graduation photograph
Blanche Espy in evening dress
Blanche E. Chenoweth graduation photograph
Blanche Espy in her first young lady dress
52 Photographs of Robert J. Espy (father), Daniel A. Chenoweth (husband), and Grandmother Chenoweth
Elizabeth McIntosh
Daniel Chenoweth
53 Individual Photographs of Robert C. Chenoweth (son) and Photographs of Blanche and Son
Robert C. Chenoweth at six months
Blanche E. Chenoweth holding Robert C. Chenoweth
Blanche E. Chenoweth posing with five-month-old Robert C. Chenoweth
Robert C. Chenoweth.
Robert C. Chenoweth
Robert C. Chenoweth at two years old
Blanche E. Chenoweth and Robert C. Chenoweth at top of Pikes Peak
54 Chenoweth and Espy Family Houses
Chenoweth home
Blanche E. Chenoweth and two men by a bridge
Indianapolis home of Blanche and Daniel Chenoweth
Chenoweth Hillcroft Hall summer house
55 Additional Family Photographs
Blanche E. Chenoweth and another woman
Blanche E. Chenoweth with mother Mary Jane Carey
Blanche E. Chenoweth and others
Robert C. Chenoweth with Grandparents Espy
Blanche E. Chenoweth and two other women in decorative hats
Blanche E. Chenoweth and cousin Minnie Carey Stine
56 Shelbyville, Tennessee undated
Portrait of two men and two women
Christine Cooper, Claud Houston, and Blanche Espy
Blanche Espy and friends
Espy family photograph
Blanche E. Chenoweth's bridesmaids
Miss Nellie Louise Bradford (Mrs. John Britton), Miss Jessie Lydia Reynolds, Miss Bessie White, and Blanche E. Espy
Tennis club
57 Colorado Trip 1914
Several men at the base of a mountain
Mountains around Manitou, Colorado
Train tracks in Pikes Peak, Colorado
Car driving over the Rockies
Family car trip on a dirt road in Kansas
Family picture by Boone's Lick Road
Car driving down a dirt road
Family picture on a car trip
Family traveling in car
People playing on a dirt road
Man riding horse
Horse riding on a ranch
Cowboy celebration
58 Miami, Florida 1923
Blanche E. Chenoweth, Julia Harris, and another woman in Miami
Blanche E. Chenoweth and another woman
Blanche E. Chenoweth and another woman under parasol
59 Deland, Florida 1923
Wilham Stark family
Blanche E. Chenoweth with the Stark family
60 North Carolina 1923
Two women in the hills
People eating watermelon
61 Chautauqua Institution and the University of Chicago
Blanche E. Chenowth and two other women by a water fountain
Faculty of Teacher's College
Blanche E. Chenoweth
Summer faculty
Blanche E. Chenowth and two other women standing by a shoreline
Blanche E. Chenoweth and two other women by cabins
Blanche E. Chenoweth and two other women on a rocky shore
Home Economics Department
Blanche E. Chenoweth and Clara Baucroft
Three women sitting on the steps of a porch
Blanche E. Chenoweth with Miss Haelanin and Miss Parker
Blanche E. Chenoweth with Mrs. Parker and Miss Farrell
62 Photo Album
63-64 Negatives
OVS_Box Folder
4 7 Large Portraits of Blanche E. Chenoweth
8 Framed Portrait of Blanche E. Chenoweth
9 Framed Portraits of Blanche E. Chenoweth and Robert C. Chenoweth
10 Framed Portrait of Cecilius Calvert (ancestor)

Collected Poetry

Box Folder
2 65 Writings and Article Clippings
66 The Ideal Scrapbook: Poem Collection


Religious Books and Pamphlets
Box Folder
2 70 Attractive Fruitbearing by Henry Durbanville
78 Unfailing Promises from His Word by Presbyterian Church 1957
Historical Magazine Issues and Newspaper Sections
OVS_Box Item
3 12 Indianapolis Daily Journal (1864) and the Washington Herald (1931) 1864, 1931
OVS_Box Item
5 1 The Woman's World Service Library: The Garden Book 1932
2 The Woman's World Service Library: The Patchwork Book 1932
3 LIFE December 1, 1947
4 LIFE (cover page only) February 18, 1952
5 LIFE February 2, 1953
6 LIFE April 27, 1953
7 LIFE (cover page only) November 16, 1953
8 The Illustrated London News February 23, 1952
9 The Illustrated London News April 4, 1953
10 The Illustrated London News May 30, 1953
11 The Illustrated London News May 22, 1954
12 The Saturday Evening POST October 11, 1952
13 Town and Country August 1951
Box Folder
2 79 Market Account Receipts 1909
83 Black Metal Strong Box
84 Imperial King Edward the Seventh Empty Tobacco Box
85 Empty Leather Document Portfolio
OVS_Box Item
6 1 China Tea Set Hand Painted by Blanche E. Chenoweth 1893
2 Copper Printing Plate
3 Silver Calling Card Holder
4 1888 Quarter
5 Late 19th Century Evening Bags
OVS_Box Item
7 1 Dress Sewn by Blanche E. Chenoweth 1897