Frank L. and Edith Cadwallader Howley papers

Collection 3720

1879-1986, undated (Bulk 1912-1962)
(2.8 Linear feet ; 8 boxes, 6 volumes)

Summary Information

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Howley, Edith Cadwallader.
Howley, Frank L., 1903-1993.
Frank L. and Edith Cadwallader Howley papers
1879-1986, undated (Bulk 1912-1962)
2.8 Linear feet ; 8 boxes, 6 volumes
Finding aid prepared by Susan Kearney.

Preferred citation

Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], Frank L. and Edith Cadwallader Howley papers (Collection 3720), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Scope and content note

Frank L. Howley, born in Hampton, New Jersey in 1903, attended New York University where he played football, baseball and track, formed his own Philadelphia- based advertising company in the 1930s, completed a distinguished military career during and after World War II, worked at New York University, and wrote several books. Howley actively served in the U.S. Army from 1940 to 1949 and worked his way to the rank of brigadier general. Overseas, he fought in the Battle of Normandy and helped re-establish the governments in the French cities of Cherbourg and Paris. He served as deputy commandant (1945-1947) and then commandant (1947-1949) of the U.S.-occupied sector of Berlin, Germany. He played an instrumental role re-instituting that city’s government while dealing with delegations from France, the USSR, and Britain. After discharge from the army in 1949, he and his wife, Edith (nee Cadwallader) and family moved to West Grove, Pennsylvania. He took the position of vice chancellor of New York University and went on to author several books including Berlin Command (1950). His wife Edith died in 1985; he died in Virginia in 1993.

This collection documents the history of the Howley and Cadwallader families, dating from the late 1870s to mid 1980s. There is a substantial collection of correspondence, photographs, photo albums, scrapbooks, and a smattering of legal and genealogical records. These materials are arranged into three series: early family memorabilia, Edith and Frank Howley, and family photographs.

The first series, early family memorabilia, focuses on Edith Cadwallader’s life and family history prior to her marriage to Frank Howley. Edith and her sister Marian were the daughters of Elwood Cadwallader (1880-) and Florence S. Donecker (1879-1916). Elwood and Florence had a contentious relationship resulting in a separation in 1911 and divorce in 1913. Much of the correspondence relates to these family matters and later to Marian’s work as a foreign-service nurse. A small amount of genealogical material develops the Cadwallader line back several generations. Materials related to family reunions of the descendants of Benjamin and Hannah Cadwallader together with a clipping about a John Cadwallader who came to Philadelphia from Wales in 1682 and his son, Thomas Cadwallader, a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrate the family’s early American roots. Florence Cadwallader (nee Donecker) wrote a family history entitled “The Man Who Married a Dumb Wife.” An autograph book entitled “Mother’s Autographs” contains some literary signatures including one by George Washington Cable. The letters of Elwood and Edith, together with two official divorce decrees (Elwood and Florence D. Cadwallader in 1913, and Marie Helen Shriver and John Jay Shriver in 1915) are interesting windows into their personal lives and the issue of divorce and child custody in the early 20th century. Elwood Cadwallader remarried Marie Helen Young (probably Marie Helen Shriver) on 14 June 1916, the same day his first wife Florence died.

The second series, Edith and Frank Howley, comprises materials almost entirely focused on Frank Howley. Articles, scrapbooks and yearbooks from New York University (1925, 1926) document the collegiate athletic successes of Frank Howley in football and baseball. Later in life, some materials indicate he participated in equine competitions. Certificates, plagues, articles and other memorabilia center on Brigadier General Frank Howley’s military life, activities and writings. In addition to his book about his time in Berlin, Germany post World War II ( Berlin Command, 1950), he wrote a series of articles produced for Collier’s magazine, and an article entitled “Characteristics of Russian Leaders.” His son Peter H. Howley wrote an academic thesis entitled “An Inquiry into the Role of Telepurchasing in the Home Consumer Market,” (1970).

The third series, family photographs, comprises a large collection of images from the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries. There is a daguerreotype of Grandmother Jefferies and a few tintypes, but most of the pictures are 20th century and are housed in several photo albums. There are several formal portraits of Brigadier General Howley. Edith Howley (nee Cadwallader) is noticeable underrepresented beyond her youth and early marriage. One letter dated 1979 suggests the couple separated.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Historical Society of Pennsylvania ; 2017.

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107


The collection is open for research.


Gift of Jeanine Alexander Howley and Peter A. Howley.

Accession number 2013.087.

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Controlled Access Headings

Family Name(s)

  • Cawallader.
  • Howley.


  • Correspondence.
  • Photographs.

Personal Name(s)

  • Howley, Jeanine Alexander.
  • Howley, Peter A.


  • Divorce--20th century.
  • Family life--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
  • Manners and customs--Pennsylvania--20th century.
  • Photograph albums.

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Collection Inventory

 Series 1:  Early Family Memorabilia 

Box Folder

Genealogical note undated 

1 1

Genealogical correspondence 1944, 1948 

1 2

Irwin-Donecker family history as recalled by Florence D. Cadwallader Undated 

1 3

Relating to descendants of Benjamin and Hannah (nee Bradfield) Cadwallader 1933, 1948 

1 4

Masonic documents signed by John Cadwallader 1799, 1802 

1 5

Florence Donecker's baby autograph book 1889 

1 6

Early correspondence from Grandparents Irwin to Florence Cadwallader (nee Donecker) 1890-1905 

1 7

Ida J. Donecker: Teacher certificates 1895 

1 8

Florence (Donecker) Cadwallader's Cookbook undated 

1 9

Labelled "Mother's Autograph Book" 1897-1910 

1 10

Papers removed from "Mother's Autograph Book" 1912-1936, undated 

1 11

Common place book undated 

1 12

Letters from Dr. J. Chalmers DaCosta to F. D. Cadwallader 1924-1933 

1 13

Estate papers for Elwood Cadwallader 1970 

1 14

Letters from Marian and Edith to their parents 1911-1919, undated 

2 1-2

Marriage and divorce certificates 1879, 1897, 1913, 1915-16, 1934 

2 3

Letters discussing divorce and family matters 1912 

2 4

Letters to Elwood Cadwallader from Florence, his former wife 1914 

2 5

Correspondence on divorce matters (Elwood Cadwallader and Florence Donecker) 1914-1917 

2 6

Letters to Elwood Cadwallader 1921 

2 7

Articles of Agreement: Elwood and Florence Cadwallader 6 February 1911 

2 8

Municipal Court domestic relations document 5 August 1914 

2 9

Correspondence addressed to Elwood Cadwallader from Taylor National Detective Agency September 1913 

2 10

Receipt for interest on mortgage received from Florence Cadwallader 25 February 1909 

2 11

Academic material relating to Marian Cadwallader 1921-1957 

2 12

Medical letter to Marian Cadwallader 14 January 1969 

2 13

Marian Cadwallader: US Army records and miscellaneous papers 1914-1974 

2 14

Nurse cap: Property of Marian Cadwallader undated 

2 15

Letters from Marian Cadwallader to Elwood Cadwallader 1945-1947 

2 16

Frontier nursing service letters from Marian Cadwallader to Elwood Cadwallader 1935-1944 

3 1-2

Letters: Marian Cadwallader and Edith Cadwallader Howley 1935, 1937 

3 3

Letters: Marian Cadwallader and Edith Cadwallader Howley 1938-1939 

3 4

Letters: Marian Cadwallader and Edith Cadwallader Howley 1940-1941 

3 5

Letters: Marian Cadwallader and Edith Cadwallader Howley 1942 

3 6

Letters: Marian Cadwallader and Edith Cadwallader Howley 1943-1946 

3 7

Postcards from Marian Cadwallader to Edith Howley (nee Cadwallader) 1942-1943 

3 8

Envelopes and letters undated 

3 9

Medallions undated 


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 Series 2:  Frank and Edith (née Calwallader) Howley 

Box Folder

Frank Howley and Edith Cadwallader's scrapbook: honeymoon to Paris 1935 

5 1

Pamphlet: "The All-Time Football Teams of Nineteen Eastern Colleges" undated 

5 2

Pamphlet: "The Fort Riley Hunt" undated 

5 3

Pamphlet: "Blockade, Airlift and Airlift Gratitude Foundation" by Anderhub and Bennett (Concerning the History of Berlin Crisis 1948-49) undated 

5 4

Relating to the Red Bragon of Cadwallader and Family Reunion 1947-1952 

5 5

Second annual Jeanes Hospital Fair program 17 September 1955 

5 6

Two achievement certificates: Frank L. Howley 1957, 1961 

Box Folder

Frank Howley: Fraternity certificates and memorabilia 1955-1986 

5 7

Frank Howley: Citation-Madden Memorial Award undated 

5 8

Frank Howley: Certificates and citations, including an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from New York University 1949-1968 

5 9

Letter to New York University from Frank L. Howley 22 December 1964 

5 10

Frank Howley: newpaper clippings 1955-1964, undated 

5 11

Drawing of Pomona Hill, home of Frank and Edith Cadwallader circa 1950 

5 12

Frank Howley: miscellaneous papers 1953, 1971, undated 

5 13

Letter from Edith Cadwallader to Frank Howley 15 May 1979 

5 14

Frank Leo Howley: Biographical write-up 1980 

5 15

"Soliloquy on General Howley's Birthday" February 1983 

5 16

Florence Cadwallader: Burial papers 1936-1940 

5 17

Writings of Frank Howley: "Berlin Sector: A Report by the Office of Military Government" July 1, 1945 to September 1, 1949 

6 1

Writings of Frank Howley: "Characteristics of Russian Leaders" 1 June 1954 

6 2

Writings of Frank Howley: McNaught Syndicate, Inc., drafts of 22 articles 1967 

6 3-6

Writings of Peter Howley: "Thesis: An Inquiry into the Role of Telepurchasing in the Home Consumer Market" (enclosed essay on American education by Frank Howley) 1970 

6 7

Writings of Frank Howley: Outline and material for book (2 copies) 1971 

6 8

Story by Frank Howley on the history and art of the chateaux on the Loire undated 

6 9

Five Collier's with "My 4-Year War with the Reds" by Brigadier General Frank Howley (serialized) November-December 1949 

6 10

Berlin Command by Brigadier General Frank Howley 1950 


1925 Violet, New York University yearbook 1924 


1926 Violet, New York University yearbook 1926 

Box Folder

Diplomas and certificates: Edith J. Cadwallader 1922-1934 

9 1

Diploma: Edith J. Cadwallader 25 June 1926 

9 2

Diplomas: Frank L. Howley 1925, 1949 

9 3

Diploma: Frank L. Howley 1963 

9 4

Certificates: Frank L. Howley 1949, 1963 

9 5

Cartoon Sketch 7 July 1937 

9 6

Military group photographs 1951-1957 

9 11

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 Series 3:  Family Photographs and Images 

Box Folder

Daguerrotype of "Grandmother Jeffries" at six months undated 

7 1

Photographs: Donecker, Jeffries, Irwin Circa 1894-1904, undated 

7 2

Photographs from an envelope labelled "Probably Grandmother and First Husband, Frank Donecker" undated 

7 3

Photographs: Tintypes undated 

7 4

Photographs: miscellaneous 1889-1894, 1974, undated 

7 5

Older family photos 1900-1950, undated 

7 6

Photo album undated 

7 7

Photographs in an envelope marked "Marian and Edith school days and time with mother Florence" 1935, undated 

7 8-9

Photographs of Marian Cadwallader undated 

7 10

Photographs from Marian Cadwallader's nursing labelled "Mostly Frankford" and "Philadelphia" undated 

7 11

Envelope marked "Mt. Gretna Camp Photos" July 1919 

7 12

Miscellaneous photographs 1950-1966, undated 

7 13

Negatives undated 

7 14

Masonic Temple, Philadelphia: postcards and photographs undated 

7 15

Loose images from "F. L. Howley" scrapbook 1919, 1924 

8 1

Envelope marked "Frank Howley's photos" undated 

8 2-5

Photographs removed from wedding scrapbook for Frank and Edith Howley 1935 

8 6

Photographs of Frank Howley: Portraits 1959, 1961, undated 

8 7

Photographs of Frank Howley and military scenes 1952-1960, undated 

8 8

Photographs of Frank Howley: horse events 1935-1959, undated 

8 9

Photographs of Frank Howley: social and academic events 1949-1968, undated 

8 10-11

Photographs of Frank Howley and associates 1954-1962, undated 

8 12

Photographs of Frank Howley and associates 1924-1985, undated 

8 13

Two photograph albums undated 


Photograph Album undated 

Box Folder

Photograph: Northeastern Retail Lumbermen's Association Annual Convention 25 January 1950 

9 7

Four Photographs: Three of Edith J. Calwallader and one of an autopsy undated 

9 8

Three photographs of Frank L. Howley undated 

9 9

Photograph of Elwood Cadwallader circa 1885 

9 10

Two photographs: "The Howley brothers (Dennis, Peter, William), and Peter (age 2) Undated 

9 12

Two photographs: Harriet Jenkins Miller and James K. Miller undated 

9 13

Sketch, unidentified undated 

9 14

Sketch of Sally Jenkins Miller Cadwallader undated 

9 15

Photograph, unidentified undated 

9 16

Photograph of family home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania undated 

9 17

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