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Introduction

Scope & Content Note

Subject Terms

Processing Information

Copyright

Restrictions on Access

Preferred Citation

Container List

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Guide to the John & Mildred Frizzell Collection

Mildred Frizzell teaching docents, 1965. Photo by Joe Miller.John & Mildred Frizzell Collection, 1957-1983
2 folders
Location: 0622
Accession #: 2005.059

Introduction
Stagecoaches have been an emblem throughout the history and literature of the West, the ultimate symbol of traveling across the rugged frontier to new land and adventures. John D. and Mildred Va. Frizzell owned the Frizzell Coach and Wheel Works, a company that rediscovered the historic stagecoaches and brought them back to life through restoration efforts. This collection includes some of the Museum ephemera Mildred Frizzell collected, in addition to her correspondence and research about the Abbot-Downing #415 Stagecoach.

Biography

John and Mildred Frizzell
John D. and Mildred Va. Frizzell were interested in the history and preservation of historic stagecoaches and sought out one they found in Oklahoma, the Deadwood Coach. This stagecoach traveled the Wyoming stageline route to Deadwood, South Dakota. Buffalo Bill was known for riding this coach back to Fort Laramie. The family-owned Frizzell Coach and Wheel Works took this historic stagecoach and restored it. Several other stagecoaches have been restored and set on display throughout the Oklahoma City area. Stagecoaches and wagons restored by the Frizzell Coach and Wheel Works have been included in Museum events such as the annual Chuck Wagon Gathering and the celebration of the reburial of Midnight and Five Minutes to Midnight in the Plaza Gardens at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

The Research Center does not have any further biographical information about John and Mildred Frizzell.

Sources:
Smith, Helen Reagan. "Here Comes the Stagecoach." Oklahoma Today, Winter 1967-69, Vol. 18, No. 1. (link)

Abbot-Downing Stagecoaches
Wheelwright Lewis Downing joined his skills with coachbuilder J. Stephens Abbot from Maine to create some of the most handsome and durable coaches by Abbot-Downing Company. They utilized shock-absorbing "thorough braces" which allowed the coach to rock back and forth providing forward momentum for the horse teams and coach. Author Mark Twain, after traveling with his brother by stagecoach in 1861, described in his book Roughing It, the experience: "Our coach was a greate [sic] swinging and swaying stage of the most sumptuous description—an imposing cradle on wheels." The original stagecoaches are rare and hard to find.

Sources:
Helmich, Mary A. "Stage Styles – Not All Were Coaches!" Interpretation & Education Division, California State Parks, 2008. (link)

Adams, Peter Anthony. "Abbot-Downing Concord Coach." Educational website. (link)

"History of the Abbot Downing Stagecoach." S&R Stageworks, Inc., Authentic Reproduction Stagecoaches, Cochise, Arizona. (link)

Scope & Content Note  

This collection consists of two series of documents. Series 1 contains ephemera, correspondence, photocopied newspaper clippings, and programs from National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum events between 1957 and 1981. Series 2 provides an account of correspondence and research conducted by Mildred Va. Frizzell, dated 1965-1983, pertaining to the Abbot-Downing Stagecoach #415.

Subject Terms  

Personal Names:
Frizzell, John D.
Frizzell, Mildred Va.

Subject Headings:
Stagecoach lines
Stagecoaches

Processing Information  

This collection was gifted to the Museum by Mildred Va. Armor Frizzell on February 18, 2005. The finding aid was written and updated online by archivist/librarian Laura Anne Heller on March 5, 2010.

Ownership & Literary Rights  

The John & Mildred Frizzell Collection is the property of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Literary right, including copyright, belongs to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, with the exception of copyrighted artwork images and published literary works, which are the property of the respective copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher, and his/her publisher, to obtain publishing permission from individuals pictured, relevant copyright holders, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Restrictions on Access  

The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.

Preferred Citation  

John & Mildred Frizzell Collection, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Container List  

Series 1: Clippings, Newsletters, Invitation, Brochures all related to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, 1957-1981.
Box/Folder # Folder Title/Description
1/19 Clippings, Newsletters, Invitation, Brochures all related to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, 1957-1981. [42 items]
Letter from Mildred and Fred Kays to Ted and Hazel. Dated August 20, 1981. [1]
Invitation. Preview Showing of Art Work, Robert Lougheed and Gordon Snidow. Saturday, March 7, 1970, at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. [1]
Invitation. Dinner celebration for the Charles P. Schreyvogel Memorial Studio Collection of Great Western Art, on Saturday, December 6, 1969. National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Also includes RSVP card and envelope. [3]
Program. National Cowboy Hall of Fame presents ’95 Cowboy Chuck Wagon Gathering, May 27-29. 1995. [1]
Brochures. National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, Oklahoma City, Dedicated June 26, 1965. [2]
Letter from Roy J. Turner, President, Oklahoma Association for National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Letter written to Active Members of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma. Dated December 26, 1957. [1]
Newspaper clipping. "Letter for John Wayne." The Oklahoma Journal, Monday, May 8, 1967. [1]
Letter from Dean Krakel written to John D. Frizzell, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. April 20, 1966. [1]
Press release. Reburial of "Midnight" and "Five Minutes to Midnight." Saturday, April 30 [no year]. National Cowboy Hall of Fame. [1]
Letter from Dean Krakel to John D. Frizzell, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. October 5, 1965. [1]
Schedule of Events for reburial of "Midnight" and "Five Minutes to Midnight." Notecard from Dean Krakel to John Frizzell. [1]
Invitation. Preview Showing of the Collection of Art She Is Presenting the Center in O.M. “Red” Mosier’s Memory. National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. Dated December 9, 1967. [1]
Small envelope with Dean Krakel’s address at the Museum. [1]
Invitation. Preview showing of the First Annual Exhibit of the Cowboy Artists of America, to be held at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, September 9, 1966. [1]
Program. Cowboy Artists of America. First Annual Showing. September 9 – October 16, 1966. [1]
Brochure. National Finals Rodeo, Rodeo’s World Series. December 4-11, 1965. Oklahoma City Fairgrounds Arena. [1]
Program. Inaugural Exhibition, National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, June 25, 1965. [1]
Booklet. National Cowboy Hall of Fame Development Fund. Circa 1960s. [1]
Newspaper clipping. "Students Tour Cowboy 'Hall'". No date. Photocopy. [1]
Several newspaper clippings from The Sunday Oklahoman, June 27, 1965. "Old West Re-Lived in Massive Parade." "Maybe He’s a City-Slicker, But He Knows the West" by Jim Kendall. "'Jet-Set' Old-Timer Knows How Old West Really Was." "Pioneers Set New Journey" by Bill George. "Former Resident Recalls Old Times" by R.T. Jones." Back to the Woods – On Bridle Paths" by Roy P. Stewart. Photocopy. [6]
Newspaper clipping from The Sunday Oklahoman, November 21, 1965. "It’s Westward Ho for Women! Volunteers Form Guide Group." Photocopy. [2]
Newspaper clipping from The Daily Oklahoman, July 6, 1965. "Soup's On at Cowboy Hall of Fame!" Photocopy. [2]
The Wrangler, Fall 1961, Vol. 1, No. 1. [1]
The Wrangler, Spring 1965, Vol. 4, No. 1. [1]
The Wrangler, Summer 1965, Vol. 4, No. 2. [1]
The Wrangler, November 1965, Vol. 4, No. 4. [1]
The Wrangler, October 1966, Vol. 5, No. 2. [1]
Oklahoma Real Estate Commission Comment, Official Publication of Oklahoma real Estate Commission, June 1965, Vol. 1, No. 2. [1]
Oklahoma, Official Publication of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, June 17, 1965, Vol. 49, No. 24. [1]
Oklahoma, Official Publication of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, June 24, 1965, Vol. 49, No. 25. [1]
Oklahoma, Official Publication of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, July 15, 1965, Vol. 49, No. 28. [1]
Oklahoma, Official Publication of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Thursday, July 22, 1965, Vol. 49, No. 29. [1]

Series 2: Correspondence and Items related to the Abbot-Downing Stagecoach #415, 1965-1983. [45 items]
Box/Folder # Folder Title/Description
1/20 Correspondence and Items related to the Abbot-Downing Stagecoach #415, 1965-1983. [45 items]
Letter from Sidney Strong to Bernice P. Ordway, June 19, 1965. Attached is letter from Bernice P. Ordway to Sidney Strong, October 24, 1965. Photocopy. [2]
Letter from James Laird to Mary. May 26, 1980. Photocopy. [1]
Letter from Mrs. John D. Frizzell to Librarian at Vermont Historical Society, October 29, 1980. Signed by Mildred Frizzell. [1]
Letter from Marilyn Blackwell, Library Staff at the Vermont Historical Society, Montpelier, VT. November 6, 1980, concerning information about William Tinkham. [1]
Letter from Mrs. John D. Frizzell to Marilyn Blackwell. Dated November 18, 1980. [1]
Letter from Mrs. John D. Frizzell to Mr. and Mrs. Bart Evans, December 4, 1980. [1]
Letter from Mrs. John D. Frizzell to Mr. and Mrs. Bart Evans, December 4, 1980 (second letter on same day). [1]
Information on William Tinkham from the Abbot-Downing Surviving Records. December 4, 1980. [1]
Letter from Mildred Va. Frizzell to Mrs. Pauline C. Manning. Dated January 5, 1982. [1]
Letter from Mrs. Shirley Morgan, Secretary of Martin Auctioneers, Inc., Blue Ball, Pennsylvania, to Mary O. Davis. June 17, 1982. [1]
Information about a parsonage they want to preserve. Sent by Mary O. Davis. n.d. [1]
Handwritten notes. Mary O. Davis. July 31, 1982. [2]
Letter from Mildred Va. Frizzell to Mary O. Davis, August 4, 1982. [1]
Letter from Mildred Va. Frizzell to Librarian, August 16, 1982. [1]
Letter from Mildred Va. Frizzell to Mrs. Bart Evans, August 17, 1982. [1]
Letter from Mildred Va. Frizzell to Mary O. Davis, September 1, 1982. [1]
Letter from Mildred Va. Frizzell to Mary O. Davis, November 8, 1982. [1]
Letter from Mildred Va. Frizzell to Mr. L.L. Smith, May 7, 1983. [1]
Information about Wm. Tinkham. February 20, 1874. [1]
Stagecoach evaluation form. Handwritten note at the top. Not signed. [1]
Stagecoach evaluation form. [1]
Stagecoach evaluation form. Filled out. Handwritten note at top of page. [1]
Stagecoach evaluation form. [2]
"Built by Abbot-Downing, 1865-1890." Typed log page. [1]
"Built by Abbot-Downing, 1848-1865." Typed log page. [6]
Frizzell Wheel and Coach Works Check List for the American Stagecoach. July 18, 1973. [3]
American Stagecoaches (Numbered chronologically) [2]
Photocopy of page from Bethel – Early Year, Published 1974. Pictures of stagecoaches The Yellow Hornet and Bethel-Rochester Stagecoach. [1]
Press release from National Cowboy Hall of Fame, “The ‘Bethel, Stockbridge, Rochester, & Hancock’ Stagecoach.” [3]
"A Story, as Told By a Stagecoach." Written by Mary Loraine Holes Richardson Putnam, wife of Frank A. Putnam, mother of Bernice Putnam Ordway, and grandmother of Mary Ordway Davis. Mary wrote on the back that the story was written for the Pomona Grange, December 13, 1919. [1]
Book. Rochester Remembers, 1781-1981, Rochester, Vermont. A Collection of Photographs, Some Old – Some New. Edited by Earl N. Davis, Jr. and Mary O. Davis. Printed by Herald Printery, Randolph, Vermont. 159 pages. [1]
Brochure. Rochester Valley Chamber of Commerce. Rochester – Hancock – Granville, Vermont. Prepared by Rochester Valley Chamber of Commerce. Drawings and maps by Joanne M. Goding. [1]

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