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Albert T. Reid papers

Call Number: RH MS 551


This collection of papers and photographs from cartoonist and artist Albert T. Reid includes personal and professional correspondence, manuscripts, drawings and notes, newspaper clippings, and reference materials used as sources for Reid's work, as well as photographs and reproductions of Reid's work.


  • Creation: 1900s-1959 (bulk 1920s-1950s)


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Albert T. Reid (1873-1955)

Albert T. Reid was a native Kansas artist, though he spent most of his life living in New York City. He is perhaps best known for his editorial cartoons, which he began producing around the turn of the 20th century and continued for several decades. Later in his life, he found renown as a painter and muralist with subject matter often including horses. He painted several large canvasses that would be displayed in well-known hotels and government buildings, including two Kansas post offices.

Albert Turner Reid was born August 12, 1873 in Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas to William E. Reid (circa 1842-1887) and Jean (Turner) Reid (1854-1930). After William Reid's death in 1887, the family relocated to Clyde, Kansas. After graduating from the University of Kansas, Reid studied at the New York School of Art and the Art Student League in New York City.

Reid began his career as an artist for the Kansas City Star in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1905, he founded the Leavenworth Post, a daily newspaper for which he was publisher until 1923. During that period, he was also president and publisher of The Kansas Farmer in Topeka and president of the Standard Farm Papers Association.

Reid established his own political cartoon syndicate, the Albert T. Reid Syndicate of New York City. During his career as an artist, Reid worked for the Chicago Record, New York Herald, Judge, McClure's, and the Saturday Evening Post. He illustrated numerous books, advertisements, and political cartoons, and he was commissioned to paint murals for the post offices at Olathe and Sabetha, Kansas and Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Reid was a member of the Freelance Artists; Society of Illustrators; Artists Guild of Authors League of America; Cartoonist Club; Authors', Artists', & Dramatists' League; and served as vice president of the American Artists Professional League (AAPL). He was an active advocate for artists and their intellectual property rights. At the time of his death in 1955, Reid had earned numerous awards, prizes, and medals in recognition of his cartoons and paintings.

Reid was also active in Republican Party politics. He was director of national pictorial publicity for the Republican National Committee in 1919-1920. He also composed music, patented designs for tools and toys, and an art school he started in Topeka with George M. Stone became the nucleus of Washburn University's art department.

Albert T. Reid married Vera Low in October 1902, daughter of Marcus Aurelius or M.A. Low (1842-1921) and Diantha Lorinda (Hovey) Low (1842-1924). She served as a model for many of his pen and ink drawings. The marriage did not last, but they had one daughter, Marianne (1903-1991), who later married Robert Scott Wild (1897-1974). Marianne Reid Wild had one son, Leonard Low Wild (1928-1949).


18.75 Linear Feet (38 document boxes + 11 oversize boxes, 4 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of typed and handwritten incoming and some copies of outgoing correspondence, telegrams, notes, news and cartoon clipppings, sketches and preliminary drawings, and reference material and research for paintings and other artwork done by Reid. There is no apparent organization to the collection, and folder titles do not necessarily always encompass everything within that folder. There are materials related to various post office murals Reid was hired to create, as well as other paintings and larger artworks, as well as materials related to Reid's political cartoons. The collection also includes some financial materials related to Reid's work, as well as appointment books and calendars and some personal items, including personal correspondence and materials related to Reid's grandson Leonard.

The collection includes materials related to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial; the recreation of Elihu Stout's newspaper offices in Vincennes, Indiana (the first printing press in territorial Indiana); Reid's paintings and work involving horses, stagecoaches, and a romantic vision of white Euro-American settlers in the West; Reid's paintings and work involving the Spanish conquistadors, particularly Francisco Vazquez de Coronado and his search for Quivira that led him into Kansas; Reid's paintings and work involving Abraham Lincoln; communism and anti-communism; materials related to the Jimmie Jumper, a device for holding and keeping babies entertained, designed and patented by Reid; and other topics. Notably, a rough draft of Reid's first published cartoon is available at RH MS Q485 box 8, folder 5.

Oversize materials have been physically separated from the main collection and are available at RH MS Q485, RH MS R492, RH MS R495, and RH MS S14. Photographs are described at the end of the main RH MS 551 call number. Albert T. Reid is sometimes shortened to "ATR" in the finding aid, as Reid himself sometimes signed his own papers and files.


The collection arrived in two trunks. No attempt was made at arrangement after the collection's arrival at Spencer.

Physical Location

RH MS 551

Physical Location

RH MS Q485

Physical Location

RH MS R492

Physical Location

RH MS R495

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Tom Stanford, 1997.

Related Materials

Related materials available at the Spencer Research Library include

  1. Albert Reid miscellanea, RH MS P717, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
  2. Albert Reid papers, RH MS 1029, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
  3. Illustrated Detective Magazine "50 Famous Crimes" series, Kansas Collection, RH MS 1009, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
  4. Albert T. Reid papers, RH MS 1162, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
  5. Albert T. Reid - Illustrated Letters to Grandgoy Leonard, RH MS 1358, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
  6. Albert T. Reid Cartoon Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS D171, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas
  7. Selections of the current cartoons drawn by Albert T. Reid bearing upon issues of the day, 1919, RH D8737, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
  8. Albert T. Reid's sketchbook; fads, foibles & politics: 1896-1908. Compiled by John W. Ripley and Robert W. Richmond, NC1429.R433 R5 1971, Art & Architecture Library, University of Kansas.
  9. Reid, Albert Turner. Cartoons. Shelved at RH E217, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
  10. Miscellaneous cartoons and greeting cards drawn by Albert T. Reid, RH P1700, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
  11. Distinguished American artist Albert T. Reid (1873-1955) and his frontier-era 'stage coach art': in-and not uncommonly of - his native Kansas: a preliminary resource guide/researched and compiled by Marna Hart Hawkins, RH C8933, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.
  12. Albert T. Reid, cartoonist; news items, including his article "Boston Corbett; the man of mystery of the Lincoln drama," RH E363, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Processing Information

Photographs formerly located at RH MS-P 551. Oversize materials previously did not have their own call numbers. When reprocessing the collection in 2021, some boxes were consolidated so those box numbers are no longer represented in the collection--these are noted throughout the finding aid.

Guide to the Albert T. Reid Collection
Albert T. Reid papers
Finding aid prepared by mb, 1998. Finding aid encoded by gem, mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Albert T. Reid papers, RH MS 551, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States