Summary Information

Repository
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Title
Brewster Family Collection, 1900-1983, undated
ID
M201
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1923-1962
Date [inclusive]
1900-1983
Extent
5.25 linear feet.
Language

Preferred Citation note

Brewster Family Collection, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.


Biographical/Historical note

Ralph Owen Brewster (1888-1961) was born in Dexter, Maine, to William E. and Carrie Bridges Brewster on February 22, 1888. He was graduated from Bowdoin College in 1909 (summa cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa Society). He worked as the principal of Castine High School before attending Harvard University. There he earned an L.L.B. in 1913. From 1914-1925 Brewster was a partner in the Portland, Maine, law firm of Chapman and Brewster. His political career began in 1916 when he was elected to the lower house of the Maine legislature. After resigning this position in order to enlist in the U.S. Army, Brewster was re-elected after his return at the end of World War I. In 1922 he was elected to the Maine State Senate, where he served until being elected governor of Maine in 1924. He served as governor from 1924-1928, was elected as the 3rd District U.S. congressman from 1934-1940, then won a seat in the U.S. Senate, serving from 1941-1952. Brewster lost the election for a third term in the U.S. Senate in 1952 and retired in 1953. Brewster married Dorothy Foss in 1913. They had two sons: Charles Brewster, born in 1916, and Owen Brewster, who was born in 1917 but died young in 1932. Brewster died in Brookline, Massachusetts, on December 25, 1961.


Scope and Contents note

The collection (1900-1983, bulk 1923-1962) contains scrapbooks, letters, clippings, assorted ephemera and images compiled and saved by Ralph Owen Brewster's mother, Carrie Bridges Brewster, and his wife, Dorothy Foss Brewster. The materials primarily reflect the political career of Ralph Owen Brewster but also provide information through family letters and memorabilia about other Brewster family members. The photographs include Brewster family portraits and images of Ralph Owen Brewster's political activities. Also included are home movies featuring Brewster family and friends.

More extensive documentation of Brewster's political career is available in the Ralph Owen Brewster Papers.


Administrative Information

Publication Information

 George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011

3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine, 04011
(207) 725-3288
scaref@bowdoin.edu

Collection Inventory

M201.1: Correspondence, 1900-1983, n.d.   1.0 linear feet.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains letters, mostly of an unofficial nature, that were written either by or to various members of Ralph Owen Brewster's family. Correspondents include Brewster himself; Carrie Bridges Brewster, his mother; Sadie Bridges, his aunt; Dorothy Foss Brewster, his wife; and his sons Charles and Owen Brewster. The bulk of the correspondence consists of condolence letters to Mrs. Brewster upon her husband's death in December, 1961. These letters are arranged according to Mrs. Brewster's own filing system. Among the condolences are a telegram from Herbert Hoover and a letter from Douglas MacArthur.

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically, then chronologically

Box Folder
1 1

Bowdoin College, 1961-1965 

1 2

Brewster, Carrie Bridges, 1900-1922 

1 3

Brewster, R.O., letters to Dorothy Foss Brewster, 1958-1960 

1 4

Brewster, R.O., miscellaneous correspondence, 1948-1957 

1 5

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: Bowdoin College, A-Z, 1961-1962 

1 5

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: card file 

1 6

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: Christian Scientists, A-K, 1961-1962 

1 7

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: Christian Scientists, L-Z, 1961-1962 

1 8

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: Cong., A-Z, 1961-1962 

1 9

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: miscellaneous, A-Z, 1961-1962 

1 10

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: money, A-Z, 1961-1962 

1 11

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: organizations, A-Z, 1961-1962 

1 12

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: special letters, A-H, 1961-1962 

1 13

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: special letters, J-M, 1961-1962 

1 14

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: telegrams A-Z, 1961-1962 

1 15

Condolences on death of R.O.B.: V.I.P., A-Z, 1962 

1 16

Dexter Historical Society, 1983 

1 17

Family history letters, 1956-1957 

1 18

Family letters, 1930-n.d. 

1 19

Miscellaneous, 1942-1983 


M201.2: Biographical Materials, 1902-1983, n.d.   0.75 linear feet.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains two scrapbooks compiled by Ralph Owen Brewster's mother on Brewster's years as Maine governor (1924-1928), as well as newspaper and magazine clippings and other miscellaneous materials, including speeches, documenting Brewster's political career. Also included are an interview with Mrs. Brewster about her years in the Blaine House, copies of Brewster's memorial service at Bowdoin College in January, 1962, and other miscellany.

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically, then chronologically

Box Folder
2 1

Blaine House, 1970 

2 1a

Bowdoin College: Glee, Mandolin, and Guitar Clubs certificate, 1906 

2 2

Bowdoin College: memorial for R.O.B, 1962 

2 3

Bowdoin College: personal data form for R.O.B., n.d. 

2 4

Brewster, Carrie Bridges: ephemera, n.d. 

2 5-6

Brewster, Dorothy Foss: ephemera, n.d. 

2 7

Brewster, Ralph Owen: political materials, 1923-1952 

2 8

Bridges, Sadie: writings, n.d. 

2 9

Clippings (newspaper), c.a. 1902-1983 

2 10

Clippings (newspaper), 1949 

2 11

Clippings (magazine), 1940-1967 

2 12

Miscellaneous periodicals, 1949-1983 

2 13-15

Scrapbook, 1923-1925 

2 16-18

Scrapbook, 1925-1927 


M201.3: Images, 1905-1960, n.d.   1.25 linear feet.

Scope and Contents note

Images in this series include portraits of Ralph Owen Brewster, his wife and children, his parents, his wife's family (the Fosses), as well as portraits of unidentified individuals. Bachrach, Harris & Ewing, and Underwood & Underwood are among the photographic studios represented by the portraits. There are a number of images of Brewster in an official capacity as well as snapshots of Brewster family members and friends in casual settings. Also included are photographs and negatives of the Brewster family home in Dexter, Maine, and a Fourth-of-July celebration in that town in July, 1951. The bulk of the images are unidentified and undated.

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Map-case
B-12

Civil War Veterans with Maine Congressional Delegation with Calvin Coolidge and R.O. Brewster, 1927 

Box Folder
3 1

Dexter, Maine: Brewster Residence 

3 2

Dexter, Maine (July 4, 1951) 

3 3

Dexter, Maine (Labor Day, 1946) 

Volume
1

Family photograph album, n.d. 

Box Folder
3 4

Foss family 

Map-case
B-12

International Christian Leadership at Prayer Breakfast, 1960 

Box Folder
3 5

Marathon, Florida (New Years, 1950) 

3 6

Photographs, miscellaneous saved by Carrie Bridges Brewster 

3 7

Portraits: [Brewster, Carrie Bridges] 

3 8-9

Portraits: Brewster, Charles and Owen 

Ovsz-Box
M201

Portraits: Brewster, Charles and Owen 

Box Folder
3 10

Portraits: Brewster, Dorothy Foss 

Ovsz-Box
M201

Portraits: Brewster, Dorothy Foss 

Box Folder
4 1

Portraits: Brewster, Ralph Owen 

Ovsz-Box
M201

Portraits: Brewster, Ralph Owen 

M201

Portraits: Brewster, Ralph Owen with 1905 graduating class, Dexter High School 

Box Folder
4 2

Portraits: Brewster, William E. and children 

4 3

Portraits: unknown 

4 4-7

Professional life, R.O.B. 

Box Envelope
5 1

Snapshots: Bowdoin College, ca. 1937 

5 2

Snapshots: Brewster, Charles F., 1938-1939, n.d. 

5 3

Snapshots: Brewster, Ralph Owen, n.d. 

5 4

Snapshots: Buildings, n.d. 

5 5

Snapshots: Dogs (family pets), 1929, 1939, n.d. 

5 6

Snapshots: Family and friends, 1907, 1913-1915, 1925-1937 

5 7

Snapshots: Family and friends, 1938 

5 8

Snapshots: Family and friends, 1939 

5 9

Snapshots: Family and friends, 1940-1950 

5 10-19

Snapshots: Family and friends, n.d. 

5 20

Snapshots: France and Germany, 1945 

5 21

Snapshots: Military, 1945-1946, n.d. 

5 22

Snapshots: Miscellaneous, 1926, 1938-1939 

5 23-24

Snapshots: Miscellaneous, n.d. 

5 25

Snapshots: Smith, Margaret Chase, n.d. 


M201.4: Home Movies, 1930-1969, n.d.   2.25 linear feet.

Scope and Contents note

Motion pictures featuring the family of Ralph Owen Brewster. There are 105 reels of home movies, the bulk black and white, 16 mm. (use copies available on DVD). View movie content summaries online.

Arrangement note

Arranged chronologically.

Box
6

Home movies, original 16mm reels, numbers 1-105 

7

Home movies, DVDs (use copies). View content summaries online 

7

Home movies, Blue Ray discs (master digital files)