Discussion Forum

TOPIC: Looking for descendents of WPA Writers

Subject: Original New Deal WPA Writers
Posted: March 17, 2008 6:51 PM MDT
Comments: The Office of the State Historian has initiated a project to recognize New Mexico's WPA Writers contribution to the nation and state. In this effort, we are looking for descendants of those original writers. The names of those individuals can be found below.

In the face of the nation’s economic depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs were established to implement work relief programs and effect a monumental government intervention which integrated a vast cultural infrastructure. One of several federal WPA programs, the Federal Writers Project (FWP) employed writers, teachers, photographers, reporters, editors, journalists, librarians and research workers.

Unfortunately little biographical information of the writers of the Federal Writers Project exists. Ina Sizer Cassidy became the first state director, followed by Aileen Nusbaum and Charles Ethrige Minton. While these efforts largely gave credit to the management, in reality the work accomplished in the field is equally noteworthy. Many workers were hired from the relief rolls throughout the State and faculty from the University of New Mexico also provided some research and editorial help. In keeping with a policy of relative anonymity, Minton’s preface to the New Mexico Guide concludes with an acknowledgement that “all of this would not have produced the book without the labors of the anonymous works on this project who did the research and gathered the material, typed it and prepared it for publication.” While we would like to honor the writers, the process of collecting oral histories is also a two sided affair; those individuals interviewed are also part of this process and in many accounts remain nameless.

While no fully comprehensive list has been gathered to date, many of the writer’s names follow.

Hartley Alexander; Myrtle Andrews; Aureliano Armendáriz; Mary Helen Armijo; Malaquías Baca; Elliot Barker; Lou Sage Batchen; Manuel Berg; Charles Bergmann; T.F. Bledsoe; Carlota Brent; Dora Johnson Brauning; Lorin W. Brown; James A. Burns; Allen A. Carter; Marie Carter; F. M. Casey; Elliot Cassidy; Ina Sizer Cassidy; Beaudien Chapin; Genevieve Chapin; I.L. Chavez; J.B. Cisneros; Anna Nolan Clark; Charls F. Coan; Frank B. Coe; H.P. Collier; Lula Mae Collier; Mrs. John J. Cowman; Edith L. Crawford; Alice M. Crook; William Dean; Eleanor De Long; Thelma James Dohrer; Frederic H. Douglas; E. L. Drake; William M. Emery; Paul Farron; Erna Fergusson; Louis W. Fisher; Mary Fulganzi; Vicente Gallegos; Eustaquio García; José Gonzáles; Alice Bell Gordon; Blanche C. Grant; Helmut Gusdorf; Muriel Haskell; Sanford W. Hassell; Alice Corbin Henderson; Rosario O. Hinojos; W. F. Hodge; Carrie L. Hodges; Joyce Hunter; Russell Vernon Hunter; Mildred Jordan; Belle Kilgore; Tom Kromer; Margaret Lane; John Looney; Elisa Lucero; Philip Lucero; Aurora Lucero-White; Bright Lynn; Louisa Martínez; Luis Martínez; Reyes N. Martínez; John E. McClue; Harold Mehrins; Grace Meredith; Samuel Montoya; May Price Moseley; Aileen Nusbaum; Charles C. Onion; Nina Otero Warren; Raymond Otis; William Leigh Patterson; Robert Pfanner; William Pillin; Lolita Huning Pooler; Henry Purmort; Moisés Rael; Katherine Ragsdale; Lester F. Raines; Bill Rawles; Georgia B. Redfield; Betty Reich; B.A. Reuter; Olive Rush; Frances Ruth Russell; Henry Schmeltzer; Mela Sedillo; José D. Sena; Brice Sewall; D.D. Sharp; Jacques Simons; Mrs. R.T.F. Simpson; Ann Smith; Janet Smith; J. Vernon Smithson; Helen S. Speaker; Lova Stovall; Simeón Tejada; Annette Hesch Thorp; N. Howard Thorp; Frances E. Totty: Don Antonio de Trueba; José and Rafaelita Trujillo; Eulogio F. Ulibarrí; Clay W. Vaden; Claribel Fischer Walker; W.E. Wheeler; G.N. White; Goldie Wright; and others.
Posted By:

Subject: Looking for descendents of WPA Writers
Posted: September 7, 2008 11:08 PM MDT
Comments: Wondering about the non-response to my reference concerning Uncle Bernard W. Kenney's involvement in the project. I thought this was the kind of information sought. Perhaps I do not comprehend the correct method of response.
Posted By:

Subject: Looking for descendents of WPA Writers
Posted: September 10, 2008 11:56 PM MDT
Comments: Repeating original submittal lost in transmission: My uncle B. (Bernard) W. Kenney is referenced page xvi. Wondering why his name is missing in the above llisting.
Posted By: Gene Kenney

Subject: Looking for decentents of WPA Writers
Posted: September 12, 2008 5:54 PM MDT
Comments: Thank you for adding your uncle Bernard W. Kenney to the list of writers. The list on this discussion page was taken from the book Hispano Folklife of New Mexico by Lorin W. Brown with Charles Briggs and Marta Weigle. It is an incomplete list. What book are you referencing when you say that your uncle is listed on page xvi?
Posted By:

Subject: Looking for descendents of WPA Writers
Posted: September 15, 2008 1:57 AM MDT
Comments: The book is entitled "New Mexico","American Guide Series","New Mexico Writers' Project", "Hastings House Publishers MCMXL", "First Published in August 1940".
Posted By: genepk

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