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Truman A. Warner Papers

Identifier: MS 026

Scope and Content Note

The Warner Collection consists of writings and research notes and papers reflecting Warner's career as an author, historian and historical researcher. The bulk of the collection contains an extensive series of newspaper clippings and printed materials relating to local and state history, and several boxes that contain information on Western's faculty, administration, and events concerning the school's history beginning in the 1940s and continuing through to the late 1990s. Warner's subject headings and filing system were retained wherever possible during processing the collection.

Warner's personal research notes and papers relate directly to his search for source materials in libraries, archives, and in private hands for his proposed book on the history of Danbury. The collection traces Danbury's social and anthropological history noting the patterns and catalysts of change beginning in pre-colonial times to the late 20th century. The main focus is on local and regional society and culture, religion, families, economic growth and development, and government.

His personal papers include correspondence with family members, personal friends, and colleagues, his education and historical writings, and World War II memorabilia that includes maps, war pamphlets, medical handbooks, and a scrapbook containing photographs of military friends and excursions while serving as a medic during the Italian campaign. This scrapboook was scanned in 2009 and links to the scans are listed in the inventory (Series III, subseries 9).

Warner's personal correspondence files include an extensive series of letters written to his parents during World War II that chronicle his basic training, ocean voyage to North Africa aboard a troop ship, through the Mediterranean to Italy, and then to France. Many of his letters contain detailed descriptions of the countryside and local inhabitants. According to Army regulations, letters from family and friends were destroyed after being read, but a few letters did survive and can be found in folders 2, 3 and 4. Additional information regarding Warner's wartime experiences can be found in an oral history interview conducted by a student for an historical research assignment. Warner discusses circumstances and events that were not included in his letters to his parents.

The Sources and Book series contain extensive personal research notes, copies of diaries and church records, indexes, newspaper clippings, and other source materials for his proposed book on the history of Danbury. The Book series is divided into several chapter and subject headings indicating it was a work in progress. Information in the Danbury History/Theory series is focused on scientific theories, paradigms, social science, and the scientific method.

Warner's Postcard Collection contains postcards from all over the United States as well as Europe that were sent to Warner and his family or bought as souvenirs while on vacation. The Sheet Music Collection consists of piano solos and songs of the early 20th century.

Below is a detailed summary of the scope and contents of Series I, Research Files


Articles feature the effects of industrial growth and urbanization on forests, agriculture, farming and the environment, pollution, and world population growth. Federal/state/global agricultural policies on land use, intensive chemical crop production, bioengineering, and the use of technology in the food chain and animal husbandry. Also refers to alternative organic farming techniques and better use of land, crop rotation and environmental friendly policy decisions.

Air Travel

A collection of articles, editorials, letters to the editor, pictures, and schedules. Several articles on the Danbury Airport development, problems, attempts by several companies to establish commuter service, and opposition to the entire project.

American Revolution - Box 1

Research notes, clippings, pamphlets, and bibliographies. The main focus is on Danbury's role in the American Revolution. The material covers political attitudes, military campaigns, and effects of the Revolution on this area plus in depth coverage of the 1976 Bicentennial events and celebrations.

See also: American Revolution Box 2

American Revolution - Box 2

Research notes, clippings, pamphlets, and bibliographies.

See also: American Revolution Box 1

Arts, Literary

Articles on authors who resided in Fairfield Country. Articles range in date from around 1950 to 1990. A series of articles from the Bridgeport Sunday Post from December 1961 to February 1962 contains an important overview of literary circles in Fairfield County.

Arts, Visual and Dance

A slightly misleading subject heading, the subseries contains information on sculptors, cartoonists, museums, galleries, organizations, art patrons, painters, illustrators, textile designers, dance companies, woodworkers, glassblowers, etc. Encompasses all the arts, really. A series of articles from the Bridgeport Sunday Post from December 1961 to February 1962 contains an important overview of the arts scene.


Research notes, programs, clippings, pamphlets, bulletins, and, 1935 Tercentenary celebrations, local participants, civic dignitaries, and costumes, dissertations on the following local religious organizations: St. Paul's Lutheran, Swedish Immanual Evangelical, Holy Trinity Russian orthodox, Presbyterian, Methodist, Universalist, history and doctrine of Sandemanianism and Theopolis Chamberlain, Jehovah's Witness, Baptist, Eastern Rites, Mormons, Assembly of God, and the Advent Christian Church. Research papers on the history of local/regional churches and chapels: Baptist, Chapels (Beaver Brook, Middle River, Great Plain), Roman Catholic Churches, Congregational Church, King Street Church, and the Episcopal Church/Church of England. Also included Church of Christ (Disciples) /Central Christian Church.

Civil War

Research notes, clippings, and pamphlets covering the life and culture from the Civil War to WWII with the focus on the effects of these events on local life, attitudes, and American institutions in general.

Clubs/Organizations/Fraternal Groups

Research notes, clippings on local area clubs and organizations concerning their evolution and development and reflect local community interests.

Communications/Post Office/Radio/Television/Telephone/Computer

Development and effects of expansion of communications systems on the local area. Research notes on early New England mail routes (ca 1700) and a history (research notes) of the Danbury Post Office and the burgeoning receipts accrued in the 1970's with the influx of corporations into the area.

Community, Family, Class, Suburbia

Research notes, clippings, pamphlets, magazine articles, and student papers. Problems of town planning, funding, rise of suburbs and associated problems, commuters, integration, family breakdown, influence of cities on small cities and towns, Fairfield County, agrarian control of urban areas, local/state/federal problems, residents involved internationally, middle class, and genealogy.

Connecticut Towns

Articles covering history, events, and politics of general interest. The focus is on growth, expansion, and the resulting social, environmental, and economic effects. The towns are generally those from western (?) Fairfield County.

Danbury Business, 20th Century - Box 1

Original businesses in Danbury, changing business climate, the influx of new corporations and the effects on the local growth, economy, and demographics. The material also indicates the societal/cultural changes of the local labor force and examines wealth distribution from agricultural and manufacturing to managerial and technological workers.

Danbury Business, 20th Century - Box 2

Corporate growth, structure and development, relocation, downsizing, transferees, industrial pollution, and individual corporations such as Union Carbide and the GAF hostile take over, and Perkin Elmer and the problems of the Hubbell telescope. The three Union Carbide files are a composite view of the changes a multinational corporation can bring to an area and how global events/disasters can have a negative effect on local economies.

Danbury - Business & Economy

Local economic news, relocation, corporate structure, downsizing, Chamber of Commerce, change from manufacturing to service industries, corporate needs, and new work and job skills.

Danbury - Downtown Redevelopment

Downtown development of Danbury after the 1955 floods and projected growth into the 1980's with the West Side development. Re-development projects, federal and state assistance for urban renewal, and problems with it.

See also: Floods

Danbury - Downtown Zoning

Revival of downtown after deterioration, City Center, parking problems and redevelopment/restoration projects, local boards, City Planning and Zoning, Redevelopment Agency, Chamber of Commerce, Common Council, Parking Authority, and the parking garage controversies.

Danbury Fair and Circus

Research notes and papers, clippings, and pamphlets describe the cultural evolution of Fair from a purely agricultural event in 1869 to a more modern theme park atmosphere at the close in 1981. Ringling Barnum and Bailey Circus, circus performers, and P. T. Barnum's life.

Danbury Individuals and Families - Box 1

Newspaper articles and obituaries of area residents.

Danbury Individuals and Families - Box 2

Newspaper articles and obituaries of area residents.

Danbury Scott-Fanton Museum and Historical Society, Inc.

Consists of Executive Board of Trustees minutes as well as regular and special meetings, newsletters, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and flyers concerning gifts, events, and exhibits.


Waste management, recycling, attempts to establish an incinerator for area trash disposal, closing the Danbury landfill, legal battle of Waste Management, Inc., and the city of New Milford, Iroquois natural gas pipeline construction, Candlewood Lake, gypsy moth infestations, development of Tarrywile Park in Danbury, and establishment of public lands.

Energy and Evolution of Danbury

Energy, oil crisis, solar power and alternative sources of energy. Emphasis on change and the social effects of oil on global and regional infrastructures.


History of Connecticut farming from the early 17th century, loss of land, local farming, and animal husbandry, farm preservation, tobacco farming, nurseries, dairy farms, sheep, soil erosion, and humus industry.


A comprehensive photo study of the catastrophic floods which devastated the Connecticut and Merrimac Valleys in 1938; Housatonic flooding; Still River flood control project, Norwalk River flood control and impact on Route 7 in lower Fairfield County, 1955 area flooding, conservation, soil erosion, silting up of rivers, wetlands management and impact of urbanization on the local eco-systems and river flood plains, and environmental impact policies. Also, local and area social history describing the region's accelerated growth in the early part of the century through the 1980's.

Health Care

Articles focus on the needs, evolution and growth of area health care, and ancillary services; also, an increase in special interest and self-help groups.


Newspaper clippings that focus on the need for safer highways versus the need for tighter control on preserving the environment and the necessity for sound planning at state and local and regional levels. Topics include impact studies, task forces, mass transportation, roads and highways, ecology, environmental pollution, effluent, dredging, channelization, blasting and filling.

Historic Preservation

Research notes, clippings, surveys, grants, local preservation movement and the founding of the Danbury Preservation Trust.

Holidays - Regional

Newspaper clippings and research notes. General look at holiday celebrations which include First Night, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Easter, Halloween, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Articles, research notes, annual reports, and research papers. Founding of Danbury hospital, fund raising, long range planning, accelerated growth and approval for expansion, funding policies, corporate and individual philanthropy.


Newspaper clippings contain information on housing needs with emphasis on the continuing need for affordable housing rentals and the need for zoning changes in order to allow such building. Also public projects, public opinion concerning health violations in public projects; accusations made against housing authority and of applications for apartments, the need for single family houses, and shelter for an increasing number of homeless.

Ives Family

Clippings, programs, research notes, and genealogy on his life, music, interpretation and influence.


History of local as well as regional libraries; history of Danbury News Times, its buildings, equipment, editors, publishers, and staff. Also, varied information on area libraries, their histories, and problems.

Malls, Stores, Hotels/Motels, Restaurants

The history and the development of the malls in the Danbury region include building of the downtown Danbury Plaza Mall, the attempts to initiate malls in Brookfield, New Milford, and Southeast, and the complete history of the development of the Danbury Fair Mall from its inception to its construction in the mid-1980s and opening in 1986. History of the Caldor chain, opening/closing of restaurants, food stores, and motels/hotels.


Research notes and clippings covering all aspects of music, performers, reviews, programs, composers, bands, and choruses.

Native American Indians

Research notes and newspaper clippings focus on Connecticut's Native American tribes from the prehistoric Paleo Indian culture to the current casino industry.

Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces-Danbury Region

Emphasis on recreational areas and open spaces of town in the Danbury region (Danbury, Bethel, Brookfield, Kent, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield, Sherman). Special coverage of development of Candlewood Lake, Richter and Tarrywile Parks in Danbury. Coverage from 1960 to1995.

Police, Courts, Fire, Military

Clippings, pictures, research notes, and booklets. Major crimes and fires, history of fire departments, Danbury Police Department, crime, the Federal Correctional Institute, old and new Danbury Courthouses, Civil Defense, Danbury National Guard, and military museums.


Newspaper clippings, research notes, and theses concerning the growth of railways in this area, extension of rail lines beyond Danbury, new stations, safety inspections, railroad bridges, Railway Museum, fare hikes, commuter complaints of poor service, and mergers.


Clippings, maps, annual reports, and planning bulletin. Traces the politics and problems of regional growth, expansion of local towns, infusion of state and federal monies to support and share services.

Schools - Box 1

Newspaper clippings, research notes, editorials, senior papers that cover all areas of school needs; construction, faculty, administration, problems, solutions and histories of schools both public and private in the Danbury area, and alternatives to "regular" schools. Budgets and funding extensively covered.

See also: Schools Box 2

Schools - Box 2

Newspaper articles, pamphlets, literary magazines, and yearbooks. Test scores, racial and discrimination issues, editorials, Danbury High School, and teachers.

See also: Schools Box 1

Social Issues

An overview of social services in the area. Most of the articles refer to Danbury and the social and volunteer services offered.

See also: Hospital, Health Care, and Schools

Still River Watershed, Lakes, Streams, Wetlands Swamps

History of the building of the Rocky River Hydro Electric Power Plant and the wide ranging effects on the economy, environment, and ecology of the region.

Streets, Buildings, Structures-Danbury and Regional Towns

Newspaper photos, articles, and copied drawings of variety of Danbury streets, homes, and landmarks with feature articles on specific Danbury homes.


Newspaper clippings on local and regional theaters, actors, producers and writers of theater and television, theater workshops, summer stock, Bethel Cinema, Candlewood Playhouse, Palace theater, Chekhov Theatre, Danbury Actors Repertory Theater, Southbury Playhouse and the Starlight theater.

Topography, Geology, Weather

Research notes, clippings, pamphlets, bulletins, and survey maps on the growth of agriculture, industry and manufacturing, and the natural factors that have influenced the economic growth and development of the region.

See also: Farming, Still River, and Highways


Clippings, pamphlets, and research notes. Changes in transportation, truck problems, weigh stations, mass transit, commuters, buses, antique cars, old roads, and bridges/covered bridges. Research notes on Revolutionary routes, old road making, Washington's route through Danbury, stagecoach, post roads, turnpikes DOT, Federal Highway Administration.

See also: Highways and Air Travel


  • Creation: 1725-1997, (Bulk 1940-1997)
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1940 - 1997


Access Restrictions

Open for research without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the:
Ruth A. Haas Library
Archives and Special Collections
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: 203-837-8992

Historical/Biographical Note

Truman Augustine Warner, Jr. was born and raised in Danbury, Connecticut. He was educated in the Danbury public schools, and was one of the first men admitted to Danbury State Teachers College. After graduation in June 1941, Warner had to put his education and teaching career on hold when the army called him to serve in World War II. He served as medic with the 88th Infantry Division in North Africa and Italy and then was attached to the 81st Medical Base Depot (APO 772) in France and was put in charge of the B battery of the 450th AAA for a brief period. His actions as a medic in the Italian campaign urned him a battlefield commission to lieutenant and commendations for bravery.

Upon his return from the War, Warner began taking courses at Columbia for his Master's in history and doctorate in education and anthropology. During this time he also taught high school in Old Lyme, Connecticut, and in Briarcliff, New York. Warner returned to his alma mater in 1958 as Dean of Admissions, and after several years he began teaching in the Social Science Department. He served as Chairman of the joint Department of History and Social Sciences, introduced courses in non-western cultures, and taught his specialty, Japanese History and Culture.

Warner was also a board member and former president of the Scott-Fanton Museum, now known as the Danbury Museum and Historical Society. During his tenure, he supervised and contributed to numerous museum exhibits.

When he retired in 1995, after 37 years as a teacher and administrator, he received the University's first Presidential Service Medal. Also, a scholarship was created in his name that is given annually to an undergraduate student majoring in Social Science or History.


63.5 Linear Feet (, 64 boxes)

Language of Materials



Warner spent 37 years as a teacher and administrator and was also a board member and former president of the Scott-Fanton Museum, now known as the Danbury Museum and Historical Society. During his tenure, he supervised and contributed to numerous museum exhibits. The Warner Collection consists of writings, photographs, miscellanea, research notes and papers documenting Warner’s life as a World War II medic, author, historian and historical researcher. The bulk of the collection contains an extensive series of newspaper clippings and printed materials relating to local and state history, several boxes of personal papers, and several boxes that contain information on Western’s faculty, administration, and events concerning the school’s history beginning in the 1940s and continuing through to the late 1990s.


Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject.

The files are grouped into 4 series:

Series I, Research Files

Series II, Manuscript and Related Documentation

Series III, Personal Papers (including WCSU History)

Series IV, Sheet Music


Materials donated to WCSU upon Warner's death.


Guide to the Truman A. Warner Papers
Unverified Full Draft
Herb Janick, Mary Jane Janick, Wendy McCullough, Louise McDevitt, Ann Miller, Jim Pegolotti, Harriet Rosenberg, Jamie E. O. Cantoni, Brian Stevens.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing, re-housing and description of Series I, the local history materials, was funded by the generous support of the Meserve Memorial Fund (1997-1998).
Edition statement
This version was derived from Truman Warner Finding Aid.doc

Repository Details

Part of the Western Connecticut State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Haas Library
181 White St
Danbury 06810 USA US
203.837.8322 (Fax)