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Howard R. Garis Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MFA
Date: Mar 1969

Biographical History

Howard R. Garis (1873-1962) was an American author of children's books, best known for his Uncle Wiggily stories.

Born April 25, 1873, in Binghamton, New York, the son of Simeon H. and Ellen A. Kimball Garis, he graduated from Binghamton High School and attended Stevens Institute of Technology at Hoboken, New Jersey. From 1896 to 1947, Mr. Garis was a reporter and special writer for the Newark, New Jersey Evening News. His Uncle Wiggily stories first appeared in the News in 1910, were syndicated in 1915, and continued to be published for more than forty years, at one time appearing in one hundred newspapers.

In addition to 35 volumes of Uncle Wiggily stories, Mr. Garis wrote numerous other children's books under his own name as well as under several "house pseudonyms" used by the Stratemeyer Syndicate for its children's series. Among the series Garis contributed to are Tom Swift (as Victor Appleton), the Bobbsey Twins (as Laura Lee Hope), the Motor Boys (as Clarence Young), the Great Marvel series and books featuring Baseball Joe (as Lester Chadwick), and the Camp Fire Girls (as Marion Davidson). He also wrote With Force of Arms (1902), four volumes of the Rocket Riders series, and seven volumes of the Teddy series. His wife, Lilian McNamara Garis, whom he married in 1900, collaborated on several of his books including the Bobbsey Twins volumes.

In addition to his writing, Mr. Garis invented a number of board games, including the Uncle Wiggily Game, Mr. Doodle's Dog Game, Witch Magic Game, Get Well Game, and (with his son Roger) the 100 Red Convertibles Game.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Howard R. Garis papers are divided into four groups: Correspondence, Memorabilia, Writings and Illustrations.

Correspondence, 1929-1961, concerns business and personal matters. Subjects discussed include publication rights, royalties, and Uncle Wiggily books, stories and television programs. Fan letters also are included. Significant correspondents include the Bell Syndicate, Inc., 1929-1960; John J. Clancy, 1952-1953; Winthrop Dakin, 1957-1959; William C. Erskine, 1947-1957; Groban and Rava, 1957; John P. Marquand, 1940; Milton Bradley Co., 1956-1962; Selchow & Righter Co., 1952-1962; Western Printing and Lithographing Co., 1947-1957; and WNJR radio station in Newark, New Jersey, 1948-1950.

Memorabilia, 1910-1964, consists of biographical material, contracts and agreements, income tax returns, earnings statements and photographs. Photo-graphs are of Mr. Garis, his family and friends, and Uncle Wiggily displays.

Writings, 1930-1964, include books, stories, news-paper articles, letters to the editor, autobiographical writings and poems. The Uncle Wiggily manuscripts include a description of the various Uncle Wiggily enterprises, a book, the daily newspaper stories, marionette plays, radio stories and television scripts. Untitled material including fragments of autobiographical material, letters to the editor, news-paper articles, a story and poems is filed at the end of the collection. Most of this material is in typescript and typescript carbon form.

Illustrations, which are oversize, are for unidentified Uncle Wiggily enterprises. Ten pieces, including original drawings, a cutout and photostats of illustrations are included. The artists are unidentified.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. Memorabilia is arranged alphabetically by type. Within Writings, titled material is arranged alphabetically by title, followed by untitled material in no particular order. Illustrations are in no particular order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Garis, Howard Roger, 1873-1962 -- Archives.

Associated Titles

Uncle Wiggily series.


Authors, American -- Juvenile literature.
Children's literature, American.
Children's literature, Authorship.
Wiggily, Uncle (Fictitious character)

Genres and Forms

Manuscripts for publication.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Howard R. Garis Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Roger Garis, July 1968; 7/12/62 letter gift of Jill Forman.

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