Chester Olsen Collection
This collection contains personal correspondence and memorabilia particularly related to Bernard DeVoto. The correspondence is between Chester "Chet" Olsen and DeVoto's widow Avis. Most is concerned with the death of DeVoto and requesting that Olsen scatter his ash among a National Forest in Idaho. It includes items from the cremation including the body tag.
- Agent Relation: 1953 - 1969
1 Boxes (1 box, 57 folders, .3 linear feet)
Language of Materials
Fd 1 Unlined note card with notes about Operation Lochsa, author or writer unknown
Original letter dated March 19, 1969, Avis DeVoto to a Mr. Allred. Concerns Allred’s interest in doing an article on DeVoto and Mrs. DeVoto’s comment that Olsen had her burn his letters to DeVoto after DeVoto’s death.
Envelope to March 19, 1969 letter.
Fd 2 Elers Koch’s monograph Lewis and Clark Across the Bitterroot Range, 1962. Published by United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Missoula, Montana.
Fd 3 The Stanford University Register on the DeVoto papers they have. Copyright 1960.
Includes a Tribute by Wallace Stegner, 21 pages.
Fd 4 Original letter dated December 16, 1959, Avis DeVoto to Olsen. Personal except that she gives Olsen permission to write about his part in the scattering of DeVoto’s ashes.
Original letter dated May 14, 1957 Avis DeVoto to Olsen. Personal.
Envelope to May 14, 1957 letter, Avis DeVoto to Olsen.
5 Reprint copy of “Living in Harmony with Nature” by Reed Bailey in Utah Educational Review, May Issue, 1958.
Fd 6 Ogden Standard clipping July 21, 1957 describing the scattering of DeVoto’s ashes and the role Olsen played as a friend, not as a Forest Service official.
Fd 7 Original letter December 30, 1956 Avis DeVoto to Olsen. Personal.
Fd 8 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to Bob Fogg August 1, 1956 enclosing copy of the pictures of Operation Lochsa, the scattering of the ashes.
Memorandum, original, from Maureen McKenna, secretary to Sen. Neuberger, asking if the DeVoto ashes have been scattered. July 31, 1956 memo.
Carbon copy. Letter to Mrs. DeVoto dated July 26, 1956. Letter speaks of an August issue of Holiday which ran an article by the deceased DeVoto. Olsen enclosed a set of photo prints of Operation Lochsa.
Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to Mrs. DeVoto dated April 13, 1956. Olsen describes the scattering of the ashes.
Map of Lolo National Forest with red coloring where ashes were scattered. Map was enclosed in April 13, 1956 letter above.
Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to Miss McKenna confirming the ashes were scattered on April 6, 1956.
Fd 9 Original letter Scheinberg to Olsen, not dated. Olsen’s July 6, 1956 reply. Personal
Scheinberg’s original letters (Jan. 19, 1956 and Feb. 2, 1956) concerning personal films made of a trip Olsen, Scheinberg, and DeVoto made in the Summer, 1954. Carbon copies Olsen’s replies to Scheinberg (Jan. 24 and Feb. 20, 1956) also, postal receipt for the films.
Original letter Scheinberg to Olsen dated September 23, 1954. A magazine clipping on a steam engine was enclosed. Personal.
Original letter. Dr. I. Herbert Scheinberg, M. D. to Olsen. Personal. August 23, 1954, answer wherein Olsen encourages Scheinberg to become a conservationist.
Fd 10 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to Mrs. DeVoto dated June 27, 1956. Personal and discusses the change in the Snow Basin area.
Fd 11 Original letter dated April 20, 1956 Avis DeVoto to Olsen. Thanks Olsen for scattering the ashes of DeVoto
Fd 12 Carbon copy. Letter Lynn Crandall to Senator Richard Neuberger March 2, 1956, stating there is no citizen interest in naming an Idaho forest after DeVoto
Fd 13 Handwritten letter received February 20, 1956 by Olsen’s office. The writer has some pictures and slides of DeVoto and wants to know what to do with them.
Envelope to Olsen from Mrs. DeVoto postmarked November 16, 1955.
Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated October 27, 1955. Personal and concerning publications the two were exchanging.
Carbon copy of letter Olsen to Mr. Wright of the Ogden Standard Examiner. Olsen is lending a picture of DeVoto to the paper.
One piece of letterhead stationary for the Bernard DeVoto Memorial, Missoula, Montana.
Unidentified memo or notes with dates and some themes.
Fd 14 Ogden Standard clipping February 17, 1956 describing Idaho Senator’s protest of naming a forest for DeVoto.
Fd 15 Original letter dated February 6, 1956, from Avis DeVoto to Olsen. Mentions some conservation issues of the day, Wes D’ Ewart, Floyd Olsen ( a mistake for Chester Olsen) and Congressman Neuberger and Morse.
Fd 16 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to Mrs. DeVoto dated February 6, 1956. Olsen describes how he will handle the scattering of the ashes of Bernard DeVoto. Also personal information.
Fd 17 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to Mrs. DeVoto dated January 24, 1956. Personal.
Fd 18 Two copies of Ogden Standard of December 25, 1955 news clipping of DeVoto’s death.
Fd 19 Envelope to December 13 letter.
Original letter dated December 13 from Mrs. DeVoto to Olsen. Personal.
Fd 20 Envelope, December 5 letter, Mrs. DeVoto to Olsen. (1955)
Original letter dated December 5 from Mrs. DeVoto to Olsen. Personal and comments about DeVoto’s activities in conservation just prior to his death.
Fd 21 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to Mrs. DeVoto dated November 23, 1955. Personal, condolence over DeVoto’s death. Olsen agrees to scatter DeVoto’s ashes as per the DeVoto wishes.
Fd 22 Boston Herald clipping November 13, 1955 describing DeVoto’s funeral in great detail.
Fd 23 Envelope, November 12, 1955 letter Mrs. DeVoto to Olsen.
Original letter Bernard DeVoto to Olsen November 12 from Mrs. DeVoto to Olsen. She mentions much about her gardening as well as saying DeVoto has just left for New York. (He died on that trip). She is writing not knowing this.
Fd 24 Original letter Bernard DeVoto to Olsen November 1, 1955. Concerns comments he has to make about his new book he is writing and he wants Olsen to read it for him and answer questions or fill in areas. Also concerns some political talk.
Fd 25 Two postcards postmarked June 1954 and November 1955 from DeVoto to Olsen asking for information on black beetles and on Wasatch National Forest.
Fd 26 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated May 17, 1955. Contains descriptions of conservation – related publications and happenings.
Fd 27 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated March 14, 1955. Concerns personal matters and some talk of Wyoming seceding from the Union.
Memorandum original copy. Lester Moncrief to Olsen. Olsen asks for some information on tariffs for DeVoto. Dated December 2, 1954.
Carbon copy of before mentioned memorandum.
Fd 28 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto family dated January 5, 1955. Personal.
Fd 29 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated September 21, 1954. Olsen thanks DeVoto for sending books to him and Reed Bailey.
Fd 30 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated September 1 1954. Concerns a historical description of the Salmon River country and a comment on that same country in 1954.
Fd 31 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated August 31, 1954. Concerns an editorial from the Salt Lake Tribune.
Fd 32 Original letter dated August 21, 1954 DeVoto to Olsen. Personal, but also discussed a trip DeVoto and other conservationists had recently made to the west.
Envelope to the August 21, 1954 DeVoto letter.
Fd 33 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated July 19, 1954. Gives information copied from news and other sources concerning the Davis County flood history.
Rough draft of the July 19, 1954 letter Olsen to DeVoto.
Postcard DeVoto to Olsen postmarked June 3, 1954. Concerns DeVoto’s interest in Davis County mud slides.
Fd 34 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated June 12, 1954. Concerns a trip DeVoto was making to the Idaho area and some personal comments.
Fd 35 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated June 4, 1954. Concerns Utah flood history and watershed information.
Fd 36 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated May 14, 1954. Concerns flood problems and an unidentified mortgage.
Fd 37 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated April 28, 1954 concerning permit to use Snyder Basin Guard Station dwelling.
Special Use Permit for use of Snyder Basin Guard Station dwelling by Bernard DeVoto.
A yellow scratch sheet with numerical figuring on it.
Fd 38 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated April 23, 1954. Concerns personal matters and Olsen sends DeVoto the population stats DeVoto requested on Willard, Farmington, and Centerville, Utah.
Fd 39 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto’s family dated April 21, 1954. Personal nature.
Fd 40 p. 18 of Collier’s magazine, February 19, 1954 with red circle around a letter to the Editor that responds to the article.
Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to Collier’s magazine, letter dated December 18, 1953. Olsen praises DeVoto’s article “Our Great West – Boom or Bust.”
Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated December 18, 1953. Olsen is sending DeVoto an editorial from The Deseret News and Telegram concerning the Collier’s article.
Fd 41 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated December 30, 1953. Personal and mentions some articles DeVoto is publishing.
Original letter DeVoto to Olsen dated December 22, 1953. Personal matters and Alfred A. Knopf is mentioned as an influential member of the Advisory Board on National Parks. DeVoto has received two copies of Olsen speeches and is using them.
Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated December 15, 1953. Discusses a DeVoto article from Collier’s and Olsen enclosed two of his own speeches.
Label from the box of apples DeVoto sent to Olsen.
Fd 42 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated December 14, 1953. Concerns the Cour d’ Alene forest fire of 1910.
Fd 43 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated November 30, 1953. Discusses Salt Lake Tribune editorial that seems favorable to DeVoto’s interests.
Fd 44 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto concerning the drought in the Southwest. Dated September 30, 1953.
Fd 45 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated September 18, 1953. Concerns personal matters as well as state and national water issues.
Fd 46 New clipping Ogden Standard-Examiner dated July 10, 1953. Describes DeVoto visit to Ogden and interview with DeVoto.
Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated February 18, 1953. Concerns a Feb. 5 Salt Lake Tribune editorial and personal matters.
Fd 47 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto concerning editorials which appeared in March and April, 1953.
Fd 48 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto dated January 7, 1953. Discusses the publication entitled “Rain Follows the Plough.”
Carbon copy. “Rain Follows the Plough: The Notation of Increased Rainfall for the Great Plains, 1844-1880” by Henry Nash Smith.
Fd 49 Newspaper clipping, unidentified source and date. Describes DeVoto’s death and gives biographical information, including a picture of DeVoto.
Fd 50 Map, Clearwater National Forest, Northern Region. Red circle on it indicates where DeVoto’s ashes were scattered.
Fd 51 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto concerning DeVoto family trip out west and Olsen’s receiving two copies of DeVoto’s books from the publisher.
Fd 52 Seven pages of receipts related to the services involved in the cremation of Bernard DeVoto.
Fd 53 Original letter (undated) from Avis DeVoto to Olsen. Mentions the fact that the newspapers managed to get some facts wrong about DeVoto’s ashes and their scattering. Mentions many personal details about DeVoto’s death and the disposition of his ashes.
Fd 54 Carbon copy. Letter Olsen to DeVoto’s son Mark. Personal.
Fd 55 News clippings, unidentified source, that is an article on DeVoto’s opinion of the Upper Colorado River Storage Project.
Fd 56 Allistaire Cooke eulogy of DeVoto.
Fd 57 Memorabilia from DeVoto’s cremation and the scattering of his ashes.
- Chester Olsen Collection
- Sarah Singh
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