Charles A., Elizabeth, and Charles E. Kading Papers, 1893-1976

Container Title
Wis Mss QF
Part 1 (Wis Mss QF, PH 684, PH 973-PH 974, PH 1088, PH 1101, PH 1117-PH 1118, PH 3648 (3)): Original Collection, 1811-1948
Physical Description: 6.8 cubic feet (34 archives boxes) and 172 photographs 
Scope and Content Note

Mainly correspondence, speeches, articles, diaries, and notebooks of a Dane County farmer and agricultural expert who was a political figure in the Progressive movement. Donald served as assemblyman, 1903-1907; state senator, 1909-1913; and Wisconsin secretary of state, 1913-1917. The part of the collection coinciding with his legislative career contains material on education, pure food legislation, and the development of a state highway system; also scattered references to party politics, which become more numerous in the later papers. Letters written during World War I describe Donald's service in France with the Young Men's Christian Association and with the Army Education Corps as an instructor in agriculture. Much of his postwar correspondence is concerned with his study and promotion of farm management programs for the United States Department of Agriculture and the University of Wisconsin and with his development of a simplified system of farm accounting. There is also information on dairy farming, the raising of purebred horses, cheese production, and tobacco cultivation in the state.

Other letters indicate Donald's continued interest in conservation and highway improvement. Also included are letters relating to his participation in the Dane County Agricultural Society, Friends of Our Native Landscape, and Masonic organizations.

Correspondence of Donald's family comprises the early portion of the collection. Included are photographic copies of letters from Scotland to his grandfather, James Donald, a Presbyterian minister who emigrated with members of his family to western Dane County in the mid-1850s. There are also original letters to John Strong Donald (1842-68) and Ellen (Sweet) Donald, parents of John Sweet Donald.

Also present are records of Friends of Our Native Landscape. These records cover the years 1916-1948; however there is very little material before 1922, and none for the years 1918-1919 and 1935-1937. The papers contain programs and other records, clippings, and correspondence kept by Donald and others. Records begin with 1916 when the first plantings of commemorative trees was made in the “Forest of Fame” at Mt. Vernon, Wisconsin. This part and the Friends organization occupied much of Donald's attention through the 1920s. After his death in 1934, the Forest of Fame continued to be partly guided by the Friends; Donald's daughter, Mrs. Woodburn, remained interested in the organization as the papers show.

Programs, lists of officers, and statements of policies of the Friends indicate the members' interest in nature education, conservation, and park and roadside development. Donald was apparently president of the Wisconsin chapter from its founding in 1920 to the time of his death. The organization had some connection with the extension activities of the University during these years also, when Professor Franz Aust was secretary; the Horticulture Department cooperated in planning the four annual meetings, and the publication, Our Native Landscape, had its editorial offices in the Horticulture building.

Correspondence in this portion of the Donald papers contains letters from such well-known people as Zona Gale, Jens Jensen, Mrs. Andrew Carnegie (March 23, 1931), Ray Stannard Baker (April 9, 1928), and Robert M. La Follette Jr. (April 10, 1926).

Photographs include images of Donald and his farm, his family and friends, images related to his professional interests, and a number of photographs of the Wisconsin State Capitol, circa 1915-1925.

Box   1
Biographical sketch of Donald
General Correspondence
Box   1
1811-1884
Box   2
1885-1900
Box   3
1901-1911 August
Box   4
1911 September-1912
Box   5
1913 January-July
Box   6
1913 August-1914 February
Box   7
1914 March-October 9
Box   8
1914 October 10-December
Box   9
1915-1917
Box   10
1918-1919
Box   11
1920-1921
Box   12
1922-1923
Box   13
1924-1925 September
Box   14
1925 October-1926
Box   15
1927-1928 July
Box   16
1928 August-1929
Box   17
1930
Box   18
1931 January-October
Box   19
1931 November-1934
Box   20-26
Farm account book correspondence, 1921-1934
Box   27
Farm account book speeches, articles, and press releases
Box   28
General speeches, articles, and press releases
Box   29
Income tax forms, and material on the Masonic Lodge
Box   30
Miscellaneous material on the production of cheese and tobacco in Wisconsin
Box   31
Notebooks and diaries
Box   32
Miscellaneous notebooks
Friends of Our Native Landscape records
Box   33
1916 May-1930
Box   34
1931-1934, 1938-1948
Photographs
PH 684
Folder   1
1908-1928
Physical Description: 27 photographs 
Scope and Content Note: Photographic portraits of Donald, political campaign materials, and photographs related to his farm, 1908-1928. Two photographs of costumed men on camels (possibly Shriners) are also present.
PH 973
Folder   1
1928
Physical Description: 6 photographs 
Scope and Content Note: Photographs of the dedication of highway triangles (triangular plots of land at a highway junction) by the American Legion at Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, July 4, 1928. It is stated that these are the first triangular plots so dedicated. Images show a band, flags, a color guard, and participants, including John S. Donald.
PH 974
Folder   1
circa 1925
Physical Description: 8 photographs 
Scope and Content Note: Aerial photographs of unidentified towns in France, apparently made to show land use and town planning, circa 1925.
PH 1088
1915-1925
Physical Description: 46 photographs (1 archives box) 
Scope and Content Note: Photographs assembled by Donald of the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, including interiors, exteriors, and activities there, circa 1915-1925.
Box   1
Item   1a
Capitol views during construction: Construction scaffolding
Box   1
Item   1b
Capitol views during construction: Wing construction
Box   1
Item   1c
Capitol views during construction: Statue
Box   1
Item   2a
Views of Capitol facade
Box   1
Item   2b
Views of Capitol facade: Ornamental frieze
Box   1
Item   2c
Views of Capitol facade: Capital staircase
Box   1
Item   2d
Views of Capitol facade: South entrance
Box   1
Item   2e
Views of Capitol facade: Entrance
Box   1
Item   2f
Views of Capitol facade: Squirrels viewpoint
Box   1
Item   3a
Capitol dome and interiors: Capitol dome
Box   1
Item   3b
Capitol dome and interiors: Capitol dome lit at night
Box   1
Item   3c
Capitol dome and interiors: Skylight and staircase
Box   1
Item   3d
Capitol dome and interiors: Marble pillars
Box   1
Item   3e
Capitol dome and interiors: Overlooking State Street with iron balcony
Box   1
Item   3f
Capitol dome and interiors: Stairwell
Box   1
Item   4a
Office interiors: Office with map
Box   1
Item   4b
Office interiors: Desk with mail
Box   1
Item   4c
Office interiors: Office with photograph exhibit
Box   1
Item   4d
Office interiors: Office chamber
Box   1
Item   4e
Office interiors: Mailroom
Box   1
Item   4f
Office interiors: Clerical room
Box   1
Item   5a
Views from the Capitol: Lake Monona
Box   1
Item   5b
Views from the Capitol: State Street
Box   1
Item   5c
Views from the Capitol: East Washington Avenue
Box   1
Item   5d
Views from the Capitol: Madison Street
Box   1
Item   5e
Views from the Capitol: Buildings behind bench on Capitol grounds
Box   1
Item   6a
Views overlooking W. Washington Avenue: Summer scene
Box   1
Item   6b
Views overlooking W. Washington Avenue: Winter scene
Box   1
Item   7a
Views from Bascom Hall grounds: Back of Lincoln monument
Box   1
Item   7b
Views from Bascom Hall grounds: Aerial view of State Street
Box   1
Item   7c
Views from Bascom Hall grounds: Treetop view of Capitol
Box   1
Item   8
Wisconsin Senate group photograph
Box   1
Item   9a
Secretary of State: In the office with Miss. Homewood
Box   1
Item   9b
Secretary of State: In the office with Miss. Homewood
Box   1
Item   9c
Secretary of State: Sec. of State
Box   1
Item   9d
Secretary of State: Sec. of State standing
Box   1
Item   9e
Secretary of State: Group portrait with employees
Box   1
Item   10
Wm. H. Coureford, clerk
Box   1
Item   11a
Capitol employees: Man writing
Box   1
Item   11b
Capitol employees: Man reading
Box   1
Item   12
Meeting at Land Office
Box   1
Item   13
George Chatterton
Box   1
Item   14
Mary Bowden with mail
Box   1
Item   15
Men with election ballots
Box   1
Item   16
State Capitol Bowling League
PH 1101
Folder   1
circa 1920
Physical Description: 14 photographs 
Scope and Content Note: Photographs related to a group including Donald and their visit to a fish hatchery near Woodruff, Wisconsin, circa 1920. Images include hatchery buildings and the railroad station in Woodruff.
PH 1117
Folder   1
1917
Physical Description: 28 photographs 
Scope and Content Note: Photographs of agricultural exposition displays related to farm management shown jointly by the College of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin and the United States Department of Agriculture at the Panama-Pacific Exposition, San Francisco, California, 1917.
PH 1118
Folder   1
circa 1918-1925
Physical Description: 42 photographs 
Scope and Content Note: Photographs of the family, associates, and friends of Donald, including group and individual portraits, circa 1918-1925.
PH 3648 (3)
Folder   1
circa 1920
Physical Description: 1 photograph 
Scope and Content Note: Photograph of a group portrait including Donald, circa 1920.