The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

William M. Booker Scrapbooks, 1907-1952, bulk, 1920-1935



Size: 1 linear foot

Reverend Robert Giannini, Sewanee, Tennessee

Access: open

The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

Completed by:  April S. Dougal, August 1990




The William M. Booker Scrapbooks consist of three volumes pertaining to the civic and business endeavors of Mr. Booker from 1907 to his death in 1945.  Other materials included in the scrapbooks concern the religious career of Sister Farley of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio in 1952.  Correspondence, newsclippings, and other memorabilia in the scrapbooks document Booker’s activity in the Toledo Community Chest, the Toledo offices of the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, the Boy Scouts, Toledo Rotary, and other organizations.  Some materials also pertain to Booker’s personal life, including his marriage and travels.


There are no restrictions on the use of the William M. Booker Scrapbooks.

Biographical Sketch


William M. Booker was born June 16, 1874, in Shelbourne Falls, Massachusetts.   When his father died, Booker, along with his mother and sister, moved to Toledo.  In 1900, at the age of 15, he became an insurance agent with the Standard Accident Insurance Company.  In 1905, he began a life-long career as manager of the Toledo offices of the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company.  Booker’s life was distinguished by his involvement in a myriad of civic organizations.


He began working with local charities around 1910, and was co-chair (with W.W. Knight) of the Liberty Loan drives during World War I.  Booker was a charter member of the Rotary Club, the Toledo Club, and the Chamber of Commerce.  Over the course of his life, he was a trustee of many organizations, including the Humane Society, Toledo Hospital, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Boy’s Club, the Toledo Zoological Society, the Social Service Federation, and the Newsboys’ Association.  Booker’s involvement with the Toledo chapter of the American Red Cross included chairmanship of a War Drive during World War I and at least five membership drives.  In 1930, he was chosen president of the Toledo Area Boy Scout Council after leading a major campaign to pay off the Boy Scout Reservation near Sylvania in 1924.


Booker was also heavily involved in the Toledo Community Chest.  He worked with the organization’s precursor, the War Chest, during World War I, and helped organize the Community Chest as a permanent federation of social welfare organizations.  Booker played a leading role in Chest fund drives throughout the 1920s and 1930s, and often headed the special gifts committee, which solicited major contributions from prominent Toledoans.


Charitable activities and institutions seem to have occupied much of Booker’s free time, for he was also involved in a number of other campaigns.  Some of the projects he devoted time and energy to included Belgium Relief, Mississippi River Relief, Japanese Relief, Armenian Relief, and “Fatherless Children of France.”  When Edward Drummond Libbey, of Libbey Glass, died in 1941, Booker was among the men chosen to determine the distribution of the Libbey estate among local charities.  In 1930, he was honored by the Toledo Blade for his contributions to the community.  Eleven of his peers in local civic organizations voted unanimously to award the newspaper’s Achievement Cup to William Booker in January, 1930.


Booker was a Catholic, and his religious affiliation led him to charitable works for the church.  He helped with the campaign for the Holy Rosary Cathedral, and became a member of the Holy Rosary parish.  In the weeks preceding his death, Booker had also planned to begin a fund drive for St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo.  He died 26 January 1945.

Scope and Content


The William M. Booker Scrapbooks seem to have been created by Mr. Booker himself, with a few additions which were made after his death.  Each book was separated into topical sections, and the items in each section are arranged in loose chronological order.  The first scrapbook includes correspondence on five subjects.  Section 1 consists of Community Chest and Rotary Club correspondence, and spans the period from April 1922 to May 1932.  The correspondence in section 2 deals with Booker’s employment with the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company from December 1919 to November 1930.  Section 3 is miscellaneous correspondence from June 1919 to June 1930, and section 4 includes letters introducing Booker and his wife during their European vacation, April to June 1923.  The fifth and final section of the scrapbook consists of congratulatory letters regarding the Achievement Cup award Booker won in 1930.  These materials provide evidence of the people Booker knew and the honors he accrued, but do not provide much information about his activities in these areas.


The second scrapbook in the collection contains several loose items found in the inside cover of the book.  “Echoes from Parkland School, Toledo Ohio” (June 1927), provides evidence that Winnifred Booker, William’s wife, was principal of the school at that time.  Other loose materials pertain to the Holy Rosary Cathedral and the Toledo Club.  A printed memorial tribute to Booker that was given by the Rotary is also a loose item at the beginning of this scrapbook.  Section 1 of the second scrapbook consists of American Red Cross correspondence spanning the period from January 1921 to November 1930.  Section 2 includes materials regarding Booker’s involvement with the Boy Scouts of America from 1919 to 1927.  Section 3 consists primarily of correspondence regarding the Community Chest, but  also includes information on Sister Farley of St. Vincent’s Hospital (1940-1952), the Incorporation of the Toledo War Chest (May 1918), and a History of the Toledo Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America (September 1935).  Section 4 of the second scrapbook includes Mutual Benefit correspondence from 1928 to 1944, and the materials in section 5 deal with Booker’s involvement in the disposition of Edward Drummond Libbey's estate (1941), as well as miscellaneous speeches and introductions written by Booker.  The final section in the second scrapbook consists of materials on Booker’s trip to Europe in 1923, including photos of Mr. and Mrs. Booker, an itinerary of their trip, and a letter written in German.


The third scrapbook in the collection is composed primarily of newsclippings from Toledo newspapers.  Community Chest clippings (1924, 1926-1930) comprise the first section of the scrapbook.  Red Cross clippings date from 1913, 1919, 1927 through 1929, and 1931.  Newsclippings regarding activities of the Toledo Area Boy Scouts include stories from 1918, 1924, and 1928 through 1931.  The fourth section concerns miscellaneous topics that are listed in the index at the front of the scrapbook as well as in the box listing.


Many sections in separate scrapbooks complement each other.  For example, use of correspondence regarding the Community Chest from scrapbooks 1 and 2 could be used with contemporary newsclippings found in scrapbook 3 to provide a more complete impression of Booker’s activity in the Community Chest.


The United Way Scrapbooks (MSS-063) and the Libbey-Owens-Ford Collection (MSS-066) may also provide information to complement the William M. Booker Scrapbooks.  The United Way was originally formed under the auspices of the Toledo War Chest, and underwent many name changes (including Community Chest) before the adoption of the current title.  The Libbey-Owens-Ford Collection includes information on Edward D. Libbey which may broaden the information on the disposition of his estate.


Box & Folder Inventory




Section Description






Section 1

Community Chest and Rotary Club correspondence, April [1922]-May 1932.






Section 2
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company correspondence, December [1919]-November 1930.






Section 3
Miscellaneous correspondence, June 1919-June 1930.






Section 4
Letters of Introduction for the Booker’s European vacation, [April]-June 1923.






Section 5
Achievement Cup correspondence, [January]-May 1930.






Loose materials
     “Echoes from Parkland School, Toledo Ohio,” June 1927.



     “The Cathedral of the Queen of the Holy Rosary,” A.J. Dean, 1940.



     “Dinner Tendered to the Members of the Toledo Club by Mr. John
          Willys, November 24, 1915.”



     Printed memorial tribute to William M. Booker given by Rotary, 26
          January 1945.






Section 1
American Red Cross correspondence, January 1921-November 1930.






Section 2
Boy Scouts of America, [1919]-1927.






Section 3
Community Chest correspondence, 1918-1931.



Also:  *Information on and letter from Sister Farley of St. Vincent’s
              Hospital, 1940-1952.



          *Incorporation of Toledo War Chest, 14 May 1918.



          *History of Toledo Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, 1
              September 1935.






Section 4
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance correspondence, 1928-1944.






Section 5
Materials on the disposition of E.D. Libbey’s estate, 1941.



Also:  *Misc. speeches, introductions, [1930s]






Section 6
Materials on Booker’s trip to Europe, 1923.



     *photos of Mr. and Mrs. (Winnifred) Booker






     *letter in German






Section 1
Community Chest newsclippings, 1923-1924, 1931-1934






Section 2
Red Cross newsclippings, 1913, 1919, 1927-1929, 1931






Section 3
Boy Scouts, 1918, 1924, 1928-1931






Section 4
Miscellaneous topics:



     Whitlock Dinner, 7 December 1915



     Rotary Club, 1912, June 1922



     Mutual Benefit Life Ins., August 1907, 1919, 1924



     Chamber of Commerce, 1912-1915



     Toledo Yacht Club, March, April 1915



     Federation of Charities, 1916, 1919-1921



     Holy Rosary Cathedral, 11-19 June 1922



     Toledo Hospital, September-November 1925



     Toledo Museum of Art, November 1925



     E.D. Libbey, November 1925



     Orchestral Society, June 1926



     Prince William, February 1927



     Achievement Week, May 1927



     Santa Claus, December 1927



     Zoological Society, May 1928



     Blade Achievement Cup, January 1930






Loose newsclippings at end of scrapbook 3.

*=oversize cabinet




Last Updated: 6/27/22