The Complete Chautauquan:

Chautauqua Talent Bureaus

By Jeffrey Scott Maxwell

The Providers of Talent and Complete Programs

The Chautauqua Bureaus were responsible for providing "talent" or "platform attractions" to the independent chautauquas as well as organizing their own traveling circuit tent chautauquas. Many of the organizations that had been involved with booking lyceum talent were then able to draw on their banks of talent for the summer chautauqua programs. 

Here is a list of historic circuit chautauqua bureaus in alphabetical order.

Acme Chautauqua System, 420 Clapp Block (1921), then 522 Liberty Bldg. (1924), Des Moines, Iowa, W. S. Rupe, manager talent department.  "Small-town, four-day chautauquas exclusively.  Three thirteen-week circuits." (1924). TERRITORY: Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Eastern Kansas.  TLM1120/0421/0824 

Alkahest Lyceum System, Inc., (sometimes advertised as Alkahest Chautauqua System),  Chautauqua Department, English-American Bldg., then later Healy Bldg (1908), Atlanta, Georgia.  Russell Bridges, President; Howard L. Bridges, Sec. and Treas.  Territory: The Southern States--Md. ('17), W. Va. ('17), Va., N.C., S.C., Ga., Fla., Ala., Miss., La., Tex. ('17), Ark., Tenn, and Ky.  HISTORY: "The Alkahest was organized in 1898, and incorporated under the laws of Georgia in 1903.  It was the outgrowth of an ideal which has become real.  Its growth has been gradual and subtantial, until it nowoccupies the position of an institution with several departments, 'Covering the South Like the Dew.' (1920)"  TLM0417/1120/0421/0824 

American Lyceum Bureau, Oklahoma City, Okla. TLT1007 

Associated Chautauquas, Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Fred W. Bartell, general manager. TERRITORY: Including Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. ADVERTISING: Liberal use of the slogan, "The Best Chautauqua Program in the West."  (TW0708) 

Ballentine Bureau, 909-910 Lyon & Healy Building, Chicago.  Saida Ballantine, manager.  TLM1120

British Lecture League--Seaforth, Liverpool, England.  TLM1120

Bible & Scorer, Philadelphia. TLT1007 

Brockway, Pittsburg, Pa. TLT1007 

Cadmean Lyceum and Chautauqua Association, Inc., Topeka, Kansas.  C. Benjamin Franklin, president; E. W. Carson, general manager; R. M. Locke, secretary-treasurer.  Directors: Ralph W. Squires, Champaign, Illinois; H. J. Bamford, Los Angeles, California; Madison Klick, San Antonio, Texas; W. H. Nation, Wichita, Kansas. "From the Alleghenies to the Pacific" (1924).    TLM0824 

Central Chautauqua Assn.  TLM0417 

Central Chautauqua Bureau, 29 S. La Salle Street, Chicago, Illinois.  Jno. Howard Jones, president and general manager; Ned. W. Lowe, secretary and treasurer; G. W. Borland, vice-president and booking manager.  TERRITORY: Central and Southern states.  TLM0417 

Central Chautauqua System - SEE: Central Community Chautauqua System.  TLM0421 

Central Community Chautauqua System (formerly Central Chautauqua System), Merchants Bank Bldg., Indianapolis, Indiana (1917), then moved to First National Bank Bldg., Greencastle, Indiana (1920-21), then moved to 28 W. North Street, Indianapolis, Indiana (1924).  Loring J. Whiteside, president; S. Eugene Whiteside, general manager ('17) then Harry Z. Freeman, general manager ('20, '21, '24).  TERRITORY: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.  TLM0417/1120/0421/0824 

The Chautauqua Association of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.  Paul M. Pearson, President; Wm. Bradway, Tres.; Dr. Jesse H. holmes, Sec'y.  TERRITORY:  Operating circuit over Atlantic States from New Hampshire to North Carolina. (April 1917)  TLM0417/0421(L) 

The Chautauqua Manager's Association, Suite 795 (1907), then Suite 630 (1912), Orchestra Bldg., Chicago.  TLT1007/0812 

Chicago  TLT1007 

The Coit Lyceum Bureau, Cleveland, Ohio.  TLT1007/0812 

The Coit-Alber Bureaus, Central Offices: 2443 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, O. Arthur C. Coit, president (1921), Louis J. Alber, president (1924); Louis J. Alber, manager (1921).  Several offices ran under this operation including The Coit Lyceum Bureau, The Coit-Alber Dominon Bureau, The Coit-Alber Lyceum Bureau, The Coit-Neilson Lyceum Bureau, The Coit-Alber Independent Chautauqua System and The Coit-Alber Chautauqua System.  TLM1120/0421/0824 

Coit-Alber Chautauqua Co., 1101-4 Hippodrome Bldg., Cleveland, Ohio.  O. B. Stephenson, manager; Arthur C. Coit, president; Louis J. Alber, general manager; O. B. Stephenson, secretary-treasurer; Tom Hendricks, manager of publicity; W. C. Coleman and L. G. Dickey, general superintendents of the two circuits; E. R. Cable, auditor.  TERRITORY:  Operating 150 circuit chautauquas in PA., N. Y., Ohio, Ind., Mich.  (1917) TLM0417 

The Coit-Alber Chautauqua System, 2443 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, Ohio.  R. A. Swink, secretary; Earl R. Cable, treasurer.  TERRITORY:  Operating seven-and-five-day circuit chautauquas in New York, W. Va., Penn., Ohio, Ky., Ind. and Mich.  (1921)   TLM0417/1120/0421 

Coit-Alber Dominion Bureau, Lumsden Building, Toronto, Ont.  Robert J. Alber, manager.  TERRITORY:  Operating lyceum and chautauquas in Eastern provinces of Canada.   TLM0421 

Coit-Alber Independent Chautauqua Co., Orchestra Bldg., Chicago, Illinois - O. B. Stephenson, secretary-treasurer.  "Booking talent with independent chautauquas everywhere."  TLM1120/0421/0824 

Columbia - Salina, Kansas.  "The personel of the bureau is as follows:  J. A. Dillinger, manager; Wm. E. Dillinger, field manager; Della Nash, secretary; Mrs. Fred Carup, office manager; Ruth Runner Williams, producer; S. B. Braden, music critic; Alexander H. Mills, legal advisor.  There are eight field representatives.  The bureau serves Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado." ~From The Lyceum Magazine, April 1921

Columbian   TLT1007 

Community Chautauquas - Orig. Equitable Bldg., New York City (1917); moved to White Plains, New York (1920); moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1921 - Loring J. Whiteside, general manager; Carl H. Turner, assistant general manager; S. Eugene Whiteside, treasurer.  "An organization for studying and supplying the needs of progressive communitiess.  Publishers of 'The Community Magazine.'  Based upon superior methods.  Highest satisfaction of committees and talent attained by reduction in overhead expense and eliminaton of long jumps on direct systematic bookings." SEE: Affiliated company: Central Community Chautauqua System.  TLM0417/1120/0421/0824 

Continental Lyceum Bureau, 508-511 Walker Building, Louisville, Kantucky.  C. W. Hesson, General Manager.  Chicago office: 817-819 Kimball Building.  John Loring Cook, Chicago representative.  "Booking high class lyceum and chautauqua talent."  TERRITORY:  Central, Eastern, and Southern states.  TLM1120

Co-Operative.  TLT1007 

Davidson, Dr. W. L., Washington, D. C.  TLT1007 

Dickson Lyceum Bureau, Allegheny, Pa.   TLT1007 

Dixie Lyceum Bureau, Suite 510 Wilson Bldg., Dallas, Texas.  TERRITORY: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana. "Agency for the Principoal Platform and Musical Attractions.  Attractions furnished for Lyceum Courses, Chautauquas, Teacher's Institutes, Colleges, CLubs, etc.  AFFILIATED with Coit Lyceum Bureau, Cleveland; White Entertainment Bureau, Boston; Alkahest Lyceum System, Atlanta; Mutual Lyceum Bureau, Chicago; Ellison-White Lyceum Bureau, Boise-Portland.  TLM1120

Dominion Chautauquas, 515-519 Lougheed Bldg. (1921),  then 410 Burns Bldg. (1924), Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  J. M. Erickson, gen. manager.  "Seven circuits covering four western provinces and Alaska."  In 1921 listed as part of Ellson-White and Affiliated Service.  In 1924 listed as an office of the Redpath Bureau.  TLM0421/0824 

Ellison-White Chautauqua System, 410 Lumber Exchange Bldg. (1917), then moved to Tenth Flour Broadway Bldg. (1920-21), then moved to 333 East Tenth St. (1924), Portland, Oregon.  J. R. Ellison, manager; J. M. Erickson, manager Dominion Chautauquas; Ray Andrews, manager South Seas Chautauquas.  "Two hundred chautauquas on the Pacific Coast under this management" (TLM, 1917).  "Five hundred chautauquas from Louisiana to Manatoba, from Colorado to the Coast" (TLM, 1920, 1921, 1924).  SEE ALSO: Dominion Chautauquas | South Seas Chautauquas. TLM0417/1120/0421/0824 

Feakins, William B., Inc., Times Building, New York City.  TLM1120

Gordon Bureau, Studio 1528 Kimball Building, Chicago.  Phone, Wabash 7440.  M. Edith Gordon, Director.  "Twelve years' exerience with a large chautauqua company, organizing and directing various kinds of attractions.  Offers expert service to communities and chautauqua and lyceum bureaus in securing lecturers, entertainers, musicians, musical nad dramatic companies, coaches for Home Talent Plays, junior supervisors and playground directors.  Emergency calls filled on short notice."  TLM1120

Holbrook-Barker Co., 201 Bush Temple, Chicago.  Harry M. Holbrook, manager. TLT0107 

Holladay, S. M.  SEE: Midland Chautauqua Circuit System. TLM0417/1120/0421 

Inter-State Lyceum Bureau, 1603 Kimball Bldg., Chicago.  James S. Myers, President and Manager.  "Operating during 1920-21 un Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.  Eight years of successful lyceum and chautauqua management.  We use select list of high grade talent of acknowledged platform ability and we guarantee every attraction we book."  TLM1120 

Kansas Lyceum and Chautauqua Association, 122 N, Market Street, Wichita, Kansas.  TERRITORY: "Kansas, Oklahoma and the Middle West." 

Lincoln Chautauqua Systems. SEE: National Lincoln Chautauqua Systems, Inc. TLM0417 

Midland Chautauqua Circuit System, 705 Youngerman Bldg. and also listed as 625 Flynn Building (1911, 1912, 1920), Des Moines, Iowa.  S. M. Holladay, manager; Otis V. Moon, secretary.  TERRITORY: Middle West.  "One eight day and one nine day circuit" (1917). "One seven and two five day circuits -- also some independent chautauquas" (1921).  TLM0211/0417/1120/0421/TLT0812 

Midland Chautauqua Circuits.  Operated by Myers and Trimble.  SEE: Myers and Trimble.  TLM0824 

Midland Lyceum Bureau - Chicago, Chicago. Ill. 

Midland Lyceum Bureau - Des Moines, 900-906 Fleming Bldg., 6th and Walnut, Des Moines, Iowa. 

Midland Lyceum Bureau - Kansas City.  Kansas City, Missouri.  TLT1007 

Midwest Associated Chautauquas (formerly White Chautauqua Circuit, est. 1906; later renamed White & Myers Chautauquas, then White & Brown Chautauquas).  J. S. White, co-owner; James S. Myers, co-owner. TERRITORY: Mo., Iowa, S. D., Kans., Okla. HISTORY: "Mr. White entered the lyceum business in 1897, booking independent attractions on a circuit plan. Joined the Midland Bureau in 1903.  Established the White Chautauqua Circuit in 1906, which name was changed to the Midwest Associated Chautauquas in 1912. Established the White Lyuceum Agency in 1910. Volume of business both lyceum and chautauqua: one-quarter million dollars" (1917).   SEE: White & Brown Chautauquas. TLM0417 

Mutual-Ewell Bureau, 30 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago. Fred D. Ewell, proprieter; Mrs. Edgar Fields, associate manager. "High grade 5-Day Chautauquas."  Territory: Northern Illinois, Wisconsin and States West of the Mississippi.  SEE: Mutual Lyceum & Chautauqua System.  TLM0421/TLM0824 

Mutual Lyceum Bureau, 55 Auditorium Bldg., Chicago. Frank A. Morgan, manager; Alfred L. Flude, secretary Chautauqua Dept.  TLT1007 

Mutual Lyceum & Chautauqua System (later advertised as Mutual-Morgan Bureau), 910 Steinway Bldg., Chicago, Illinois, then 64 East VanBuren Street, Chicago (1920).  Frank A. Morgan, president; M. H. Wright, vice-president and manager (1917); Fred D. Ewell, secretary-treasurer.  *One of the oldest and largest independent lyceum and chautauqua bureaus in the United States.  Operates throughout the Central states, four Chautuaqua circuits and a large lyceum business.  The discernment with which talent is selected has made 'Mutual' express to both talent and the public merit and quality." (1920).  TLM1120/0421  "The Mutual-Morgan Bureau will conduct two circuits of five day chautauquas this summer and will join with the Mutual-Ewell Bureau in presenting one long circuit of four day chautauquas." ~From The Lyceum Magazine, April 1921.

Mutual-Morgan Bureau, 632  McCormick Building, Chicago, Illinois. Frank A. Morgan, manager; Glen MacCaddam, associate manager. History: Successor to Mutual Lyceum Bureau.  Teamed with Mutual-Ewell Bureau to produce Chautauquas under the name of Mutual Lyceum and Chautauqua System.  SEE: Mutual Lyceum and Chautauqua System.  TLM0421/0824 

Myers and Trimble, 624 South Michigan Blvd., Suite 911-912, Chicago, Illinois.  Phone: Harrison 0477. Operating Midland Chautauqua Circuits.  TLM0824 

National Chautauqua Bureau, 1711 Lamont St., N. W., Washington, D. C. (1907), then moved to 1520 E. 115th St., Cleveland, Ohio(1911).  Dr. W. L. Davidson, manager. "The only Bureau exclusively engaged in Chautauqua work and controlled by a successful Chautauqua manager. Has introduced more absolutely worthy and successful attractions than any other Bureau. Contracts direct from manager to Chautauqua committee. No agent's commission annexed to legitamate price. A postal, or a wire, brings a contract which will be kept" (ad p29, TLT, Oct. 1907).  TLT1007/0211 

National Lincoln Chautauqua Systems, Inc., 106 N. LaSalle St., Chicago. Alonzo E. Wilson, president and general manager; Wm. Beers, first vice-president; L. J. Kendall, second vice-president; Chas. R. Jones, treasurer; Oliver Williams, secretary and transportation manager.  Territory: Ill., Wis., Mich., Ind., Ohio, Pa., W. Va, Md.  History: "Founded in 1905 by Alonzo E. Wilson. Incorporated in 1911 on co-operative plan with local committees and associations as stockholders. Has operated 1233 chautauquas" (1917).  TLM1917 

J. B. Pond Lyceum Bureau, Everett House, Fourth Ave. & 17th St., New York City, N. Y. Chautauqua attractions available season 1908. TLT1007 

Radcliffe Attractions, Inc., 727 Munsey Bldg., Washington, D. C.  W. L. Radcliffe, general manager.  Established 1905.  "Books all tours of the United States Marine Band.  Conducts chautauquas on the circuit plan in southern territory.  The Radcliffe Chautauquas run 45 weeks each year" (1917).   TLM0417 

Radcliffe Chautauqua System, New Masonic Temple, Washington, D. C. (1920), then 907 16th St., N. W., Washington, D. C.  W. L. Radcliffe, General Manager  (1920) Director (1921, 1924).  "Established 1905.  Books tours of the United States Marine Band.  Conducts chautauqua with a community building purpose on the circuit plan from Deleware Bay to the Golden Gate.  The Radcliffe Chautauquas run forty-five weeks in each year.  1500 Progressive communities will have a Radcliffe Chautauquqa in 1918." (1920)  "Conducting over 1600 Chautauquas on the circuit plan in fourty-four states."  (1924)   TLM1120/0421/0824 

Redpath Lyceum Bureau.  Offices in 12 cities from Boston to Seattle.  Operates in every state in the Union.  Geo. H. Hathaway, president; Crawford A. Peffer, vice-president; Keith Vawter, secretary; Harry P. Harrison, treasurer.  Department managers: Boston and New York, Crawford A. Peffer; Pittsburg, J. E. Brockway, manager (1917), Geo. S. Boyd (1921, 1924), prop. (1917); Columbus, O., W. V. Harrison; Chicago, Harry P. Harrison; Cedar Rapids, Keith Vawter; Birmingham, Ala., Harry P. Harrison and M. S. Craft; Kansas City, Chas. F. Horner; Dallas, Tx., H. J. Rupert (1917), Denver and Seattle, Arthur Oberfelder; Los Angeles, Harry Minor (1917); [Los Angeles was not listed in 1924]; Los Angeles, L. B. Crotty (1924); Toronto, Ontario, [The Dominion Chautauquas, Limited] E. B. Persons (1924).  Publishes the Lyceum News.  HISTORY: The Redpath Bureau is the original lyceum bureau founded in 1868 by James Redpath.  Chautauquas were established in 1904 by Manager Keith Vawter with Harry P. Harrison as the first superintendent (Harrison was still in college). SEE ALSO: 1924 ad from The Lyceum Magazine.  TLM0417/1120/0421/0424 
"Redpath Chautauquas -- true caravans of culture -- have, since 1904, been blazing the trail of advanced thought and superior diversion.  No better appreciation of Redpath service and Redpath ideals could be expressed than through the contract renewals which have come almost unanimously since circuit chautauquas were launched by Keith Vawter. Redpath 'Redskins'--Nomads of Knowledge--have popularized the Canvas College. The 'tepid teepees of temperament' are becoming less temperamental and decidedly more human. Our folks of the platform are worthy descendants of the pioneers who have been immortalized by history's tribute to Chautauqua Institution. REDPATH--The Name with a Fame"  ~Two-page ad with caption "Wigwams of Wisdom - Teepees of Temperament" from The Lyceum Magazine, August 1924.

Redpath Chautauquas, Chicago, Illinois.   Harry P. Harrison, manager (April 1921).  TLM0417/0421/0824 

Redpath Chautauquas, Columbus, Ohio.  W. V. Harrison, manager (April 1921).  TLM0417/0421/0824 

Redpath Chautauquas, New York.  Crawford A. Peffer, manager (April 1921).  TLM0417/0421/0824 

Redpath-Brockway Chautauqua System, Merchant's Bank Building, Indianapolis, Indiana. District office: Wabash Bldg., Pittburg, Pa.. Loring J. Whiteside, president; Harry P. Harrison, vice-president; S. Eugene Whiteside, treasurer. Territory: Pennsylvania and the Eastern half of West Virginia.  TLM0417 

Redpath-Horner Chautauquas, Kansas City, Missouri.  Charles F. Horner, manager (April 1921).  TLM0417/0421/0824TLT0812 

Redpath-Vawter Chautauquas, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Keith Vawter, manager (April 1921). TLM0417/0421/0824 

Runner, Louis O., 5527 South Boulevard, Chicago.  "Producer of concerts companies EXCLUSIVELY lyceum and chautauqua.  Not affiliated with any bureau or school, but supplies companies to more than twenty bureaus.

Slayton Lyceum Bureau, Steinway Hall, Chicago.  Henry L. Slayton, presidetn; Chas. A. Wagner, secretary; Wendell P. Slayton, treasurer.  TLT1007/0208 

Southern Chautauqua Service, 524 Temple Court, Chattanooga, Tennesee.  Ray Newton, president; E. C. Turner, director; T. F. Paris, circuit manager.  Territory: Southeast.  Operating circuit chautauquas only.  One five-night circuit of evening programs opening in Florida in May, closing in Kentucky in September.  TLM0421 

Southwestern Chautauqua Association, McAlester, Oklahoma. "The only Bureau offering a complete list in the South West. We offer nothing but the best. We have a number of the leading platform attractions of America on our list. Our completed list will be ready in December. Write for terms and dates" (p33, TLT, October, 1907) TLT1007 

Standard Lyceum & Chautauqua System, Inc., 328 South 12th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska.
1917, 1920 - E. M. Avery, president; C. O. Bruce, Secretary-Treasurer.
1921 - C. O. Bruce, owner. Department directors: L. M. Strain, E. H. Potter, Geo. H. Lemmon, Chris L. Christensen, Isabelle Havens, George E. McClure.
1924 - Department managers: Geo. H. Lemon, E. H. Potter, Rhue E. Green.
1917 - "Four chautauqua circuits, 287 towns" 
1920 - "Territory: unrestricted.  operating principally in the Central West.  Nine seasons in lyceum; five seasons in chautauquas.  Four chautauqua circuits, 335 towns.  Two Community Festival Circuits."
1921 - "Territory: Unrestricted.  Operating in twelve states in Central West.  Over 400 summer chautauquas on five circuits."
1924 - "Operates in the Middle Western and Central Western states, conducting on Super-Six Circuit De Luxe two high-grade Five-Day Chautauqua circuits and Lyceum."  TLM0417/11200421/0824 

South Seas Chautauquas, Box 468, Auckland, New Zealand, or Box 554, Melbourne, Australia.  SEE: Ellison-White Chautauqua System.  TLM0421/0424 

Swarthmore Chautauqua Association, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.  Paul M. Pearson, director.  TLM1120/0421/0824 

Toledo Acme Chautauqua System, name changed to Toledo Chautauqua System. SEE: Toledo Chautauqua System.   TLM0824 

Toledo Chautauqua System (formerly Toledo Acme Chautauqua System), 807-808 Second National Bank Bldg., Toledo, Ohio.  G. S. Chance, owner and manager.  TERRITORY: "East of the Mississippi.  Four-day Chautauquas exclusively.  No Lyceum.  No branches or affiliations."    TLM0824 

Travers Chautauqua System, 512 Liberty Bldg., Des Moines, Iowa. Frank C. Travers, owner and manager. TERRITORY: "Covering thriteen states in the central west. Circuit chautauquas only; no lyceums; no independent dates."  TLM0824 

Travers-Newton Chautauqua System. SEE: Travers-Newton and United Chautauqua Systems. TLM0421 

Travers-Newton and United Chautauqua Systems, 319-327 Good Block, Des Moines, Iowa.  Frank C. Travers, president; Ray D. Newton, Secretary-Treasurer and manager. "Circuit chautauquas only.  Tenth year.  Operating six circuits season of 1920, covering ten states.  Now booking talent ofor 1921.  Onmly standard and guaranteed attractions used.  Business more than doubled since 1918." (1920)  TLM1120/0421 

Travers-Wick Chautauqua System, 323-25-27 Good Block, Des Moines, Iowa. Frank C. Travers, president; H. S. Wick, secretary-treasurer. "Covering six states. An eleven weeks' session booked for 1916" (1917). TLM0417 

United Chautauqua System.  SEE: Travers-Newton and United Chautauqua Systems.  TLM0421 

White Chautuaqua Circuit (became Midwest Associated Chautauquas in1912, then White & Myers Chautauquas, then White & Brown Chautauquas).  J. S. White, president. History: Established 1906. SEE: White & Brown Chautauquas.  TLM0824 

White & Brown Chautauquas (formerly White & Myers Chautauquas), Railway Exchange Bldg., Kansas City, Missouri.  J. S. White, co-owner; Moreland Brown, co-owner.  TERRITORY: Mo., Iowa, S. D., Kans., Okla.  HISTORY: "Mr. White entered the lyceum business in 1897, joined the Midland Bureau in 1903. Established the White Chautauqua Circuit in 1906, which name was changed to the Midwest Associated Chautauquas in 1912 and later to the White & Myers Chautauquas" before becoming known as the White & Brown Chautauquas.  TLM0824 

White & Myers Chautauquas (formerly midwest Associated Chautauquas; later renamed White & Brown Chautauquas), Railway Exchange Building, Kansas City, Missouri.  J. S. White, co-owner; Moreland Brown, co-owner. SEE: White and Brown Chuatuaquas.  TLM0417/0421 

White, J. S., Lyceum Agency, Kansas City, Mo.  J. S. White, President, Owner with Moreland Brown of the White-Myers Chautauqua.  TERRITORY for Chautauquas: Mo., Iowa, S.D., Kans., Okla.  HISTORY:  "Mr. White entered the lyceum business in 1897, booking independent attrractions oin a circuit plan.  Joined the Midland Bureau in 1903.  Established the White Chautauqua Circuit in 1906, which name was changed to the White Myers Chautauquas.  Established the White Lyceum Agency in 1910.  Volume of business both lyceum and chautauqua: One-quarter million dollars."   TLM1120

Here is a list of some companies that served as support to the chautauqua business.

Baker & Lockwood Mfg. Co., Kansas City, MO.  "Tents for chautauqua encampments -- Write us before placing your contract. -- Family Tents, Cooking Tents, Refreshment tents, Photo Tents, Class Tents and Auditoriums, Wire Cots, Canvas Cots, Blankets, Pillows, Chairs, Stools, Stoves, Torches, Etc.  We are thoroughly equipped to furnish you everything in Tents and Camping Supplies, highest quality and at lowest prices. Nothing too large for our capacity. We rent thousands of tents every year, so that when your contract is placed you know we can do the rest."  ~Ad from The Lyceumite & Talent, February 1908.

Decatur Bridge Company, Decatur, Illinois.  Frank W. Ives, Manager, Auditorium Dept.  "Build a Permanent Auditorium for Your Chautauqua."  ~Ad from The Lyceum Magazine, April 1917.

The W. M. King Service, "Artists Engravers Printers," 626 Federal Street, Chicago, Illinois.  "The Lyceum Printers / Complete preparation of lyceum and chautauqua printing, the only printers devoting time exclusively to this work." ~Ad from The Lyceum Magazine, April 1921, September 1924.

Information about chautauqua speakers and performers can be found at The Complete Chautauquan: Chautauqua Platform Talent.

Permanency of the Chautauqua movement

Edward Amherst Ott, president of the  International Lyceum Association of America wrote in the October 1907 edition of The Lyceumite & Talent the following statement: "The vaudeville show held in a tent and misnamed 'Chautauqua' will pass because the American people are above it. The Chautauqua assembly growing out of the higher ideals and ambitions of a community will remain."  Little did he know that the circuit chautauqua, then in its infancy, would enjoy great success for another 25 years. How could he have guessed that the American people would not give up Chautauqua, but would have it taken away from them by the Model-A Ford and "Texaco Star Theater." Only four chautauqua bureaus managed five circuits in 1932, and no tent chautauquas were held in 1933.  Of the assemblies, only the New York Institution and a couple of independent assemblies were able to survive The American Century. 

The following article is found on the front cover of The Lyceum Magazine, April 1917.

20,000,000 People Hear Chautauqua Programs in a Single Season

The Chicago Tribune, of April 5, 1917, in an editorial says: 

"A TREMENDOUS instrument for molding public opinion is the Chautauqua system. People in great cities know little of its power.   Yet in almost every town in the United States with less than 50,000 population in the summer Chautauqua is the event of the year. 

"A great tent is set up and twice daily for a week half the population gathers to be thrilled, instructed and amused.  Politicians, orators, musicians and entertainers follow each other in the programs. In a single season Chautauqua audiences in the United States will aggregate 20,000,000 people." 

Has humor changed over the years?  The next two items below are "humorous" exerpts from the "April Fool's" edition of a magazine devoted to serving the managment and talent of the lyceum and chautauqua circuits. 

From The Lyceum Magazine, April 1921, The Foolish Number"; Page 7


     That in the 1920 chautauqua season there were 5757 people who devoted their entire time to chautauqua work. 
     That 910 college men were used to handle 525 tents; 
     That more people attended chautauqua lecture courses than attended any other public meetings, with the exception of the churches and moving pictures; 
     That the people get more for their money in chautauquas and lecture courses than from any other form of education or entertainment; 
     That the chautauqua cost them less than ten million dollars. 

--C. F. H.
(Charles F. Horner)
(It took a couple of readings to figure out that the last line above was meant to be a punch line -- I guess humor has changed over time. --Jeffrey)

From The Lyceum Magazine, April 1921 - "The Foolish Number", Page 19


      (Dear Lyceum Magazine:  I dare you to use this in your Human Beings number.--Ray Andrews.) 
     A lecture should be like a woman's dress -- long enough to cover the subject, and short enough to be interesting. 
     The material should be good enough to wear well, and not be too transparent.  Something should be left to the imagination. 

Full-page ad from The Lyceum Magazine, August 1924, back cover:

The Redpath Bureau 
A National Institution 
American Public Served by Thirteen Offices

  1. New York City.

  2. C. A. Peffer, Manager.
    Lyceum and chautauquas at White Plains, N. Y.
    Dramatic production department, New York City. 
  3. Boston, Mass.

  4. George H. Hathaway, President.
    C. A. Peffer, Manager.
    Lyceum and chautauquas. 
  5. Rochester, N. Y.

  6. G. LeRoy Collins, Manager.
    Lyceum and winter festivals. 
  7. Pittburgh, Pa.

  8. George S. Boyd, Manager. Redpath-Brockway lyceum. 
  9. Columbus Ohio.

  10. W. V. Harrison, Manager.
    Lyceum and chautauquas. 
  11. Chicago, Ill.

  12. H. P. Harrison, Manager.
    Lyceum and chautauquas.
    Musical Bureau. 
  13. Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

  14. Keith Vawter, Manager.
    Redpath-Vawter lyceum and chautauquas. 
  15. Kansas City, Mo.

  16. Charles F. Horner, Manager.
    Redpath-Horner lyceum and chautauquas.
    Horner-Witte Concert Bureau.
    Horner Institute of Fine Arts. 
  17. Denver, Colo.

  18. A. M. Oberfelder, Manager
  19. Los Angeles, Calif.

  20. L. B. Crotty, Manager.
  21. Birmingham, Ala.

  22. Merritt S. Craft, Manager.
  23. Orlando, Fla.

  24. O. W. Thomas, Manager.
    Lyceum and chautauquas. 
  25. Toronto, Canada.

  26. E. B. Persons, Manager.
    Lyceum and chautauquas. 
Representing Fifty-Six Years of Progress

SOURCES for information on this page (shown with abbreviations) are listed below.

TLM - The Lyceum Magazine, published monthly by Parlette-Padget Company, 122 South Michigan Avenue., Chicago, Illinois. 

TLT - The Lyceumite & Talent,  edited by Louis J. Alber and Paul M. Pearson, published at 959 People's Gas Building, Chicago, printed by Kenfield Publishing, Chicago. "OFFICIAL Organ of the International Lyceum Association of America, the International Chautauqua Alliance and the National Speech Arts Association. FOR THE Man on the Platform, the Manager Who Puts Him There, the Committee That Keeps Him There, and the Vast Audience That Wants Him There."


Page Created 06/24/00
Copyright © 2000 
By Jeffrey Scott Maxwell 
Last Updated 12/17/01