The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Ward M. Canaday Collection, 1902-1991


Size: 1 lin. Ft.

Provenance: The majority of the materials in the Ward Canaday Collection were donated by Mr. Canaday’s daughter, Doreen Damaris Canaday Spitzer.  Other items such as publications and memorabilia relating to Mr. Canaday or Overland were given by Ralph D. Meeks as a member of the Willys-Overland Knight Registry, Inc.  The Christmas broadside was donated by Mary Gillham, and Willys-Overland Company advertisements were given to the Center by Paul Rieger.

Access: Open

Related Collections: 

Copyright: 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: Barbara A. Shirk, May 1991

Reformatted by: Arjun Sabharwal, January 2010



            This collection centers primarily on Ward M. Canaday, a Toledo community leader and chairman of the Board of Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.  It contains personal information on Mr. Canaday as well as information on Willys-Overland with much emphasis on the development of the Jeep.  It also shows his connection with the University of Toledo and the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece.

            In addition, there are biographies and papers relating to other members of the Canaday family; namely, his wife, Mariam Coffin Canaday; their daughter, Doreen Damaris Canaday Spitzer; and her husband, Lyman Spitzer, Jr.  Also included is information relating to Mr. Canaday's brother, Frank; and Frank’s wife, Molly Morpeth Canaday.

            Anyone doing research in the areas of business administration, automobiles, University of Toledo and City of Toledo history, astronomy, and nuclear engineering would find this collection of interest.

            No restrictions have been placed on the use of this collection.



Scope and Content Note

            The Ward M. Canaday Collection focuses on Mr. Canaday and the activities associated with his role as businessman and leader in civic enterprises in the United States and abroad.  The material in this collection is divided into nine sections which deal mainly with Mr. Canaday personally and Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.  Included is information on some of the Canaday family members; however the portion relating to Mr. Canaday is the most extensive.

            The first section of the collection deals with Mr. Canaday’s speeches; photographs, which date from childhood to his 90th birthday; clippings on his obituary, as well as personal clippings (1949-1976), and clippings relating to Mr. Canaday and Willys-Overland (1934-1976).  A great portion of this section shows his strong connection with the University of Toledo; particularly with his dedication of the William S. Carlson Library in 1973 and his affiliation with the Friends of the University Libraries.  (The Ward M. Canaday Center of the Library was dedicated to him on September 25, 1979.)  He also paved the way for the construction of the Engineering Science Building in 1960 and the establishment of a nuclear engineering department there.  In addition to the University of Toledo, Mr. Canaday was committed to the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece where he served as Trustee and President for several years.  As the papers indicate, he was instrumental in acquiring funds for completion of the Agora excavations and the reconstruction of the Stoa of Attalos (digging, landscaping, building of a museum, etc.); and on April 1, 1983, Gennadeion West House, the residence of the director of the American School, was renamed Canaday House in memory of Mr. Canaday.  Also among the items in this section are honors, citations and gifts to Ward Canaday that can be found under “Artifacts.”  One of these came from Chinese President, Chiang Kai-Shek, in 1947 as a thank you for wartime training in technical methods of production; another is a chrome-plated forty millimeter anti-aircraft projectile inscribed to him by Wilson Foundry and Machine Co.

            The second section of the collection is devoted to Ward Canaday’s wife, Mariam and contains primarily clippings (1971-1975) and news items relating to the many organizations to which she belonged; a few of which were the American Association of University Women, The Women’s League of Toledo Symphony Orchestra and Toledo Opera Association, Women’s Auxiliary of Riverside Hospital, etc.  She attended Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and was a member of The Friends of the Library and Friends of Music there.  Some of the items in the collection refer to the College library which was named the Mariam Coffin Canaday Library.  Included also is a program for the dedication of the Mariam  C. Canaday Medical Arts Building at Riverside Hospital in Toledo; her obituary, and correspondence, etc.

            The third section is composed of personal material that relates to Ward and Mariam Canaday as a couple.  For example, there are photographs taken on trips and social occasions; Christmas cards sent and received by the Canadays, including a framed church scene from Ward and Mariam; and clippings, some of which refer to their Inlands (Toledo) home and some which refer to Annaly, their Virgin Islands Estate.

            The fourth and fifth sections of the collection refer to Ward and Mariam’s daughter, Doreen, and her husband, Lyman Spitzer, Jr.  There is correspondence referring to Doreen’s honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Toledo and the Doreen Canaday Spitzer Fellowship, etc.  There are also clippings (1939-1983) and book reviews of Doreen’s biography of the Canadays, By One and One.

            There are also clippings which chronicle the work of Doreen’s husband, Lyman Spitzer, Jr., world-famous Princeton University astronomer and researcher.

            The sixth and seventh sections relate to Ward Canaday’s brother, Frank, and Frank’s wife, Molly.  Researchers will find a great deal of information on Frank, Molly, Ward, other family members, as well as Willys-Overland Motors in the Frank Canaday Papers (Collection No. 031).  There is a list of items found in scrapbook No. l of Collection No. 031 in this sixth section of the Ward M. Canaday Collection.  The scrapbook contains personal correspondence and photographs.

            The eighth portion of the Ward Canaday Collection deals with Willys-Overland Motors with emphasis on the Jeep which Ward Canaday was credited with developing and building during World War II.  The collection contains clippings and photographs of the Jeep as well as photographs, ad proofs, slides, negatives, and two original watercolor paintings in the “Jeep at War” series of paintings done by illustrator, James M. Sessions.  There are also auto ads in the Willys-Overland” section which include a framed, pencil-drawn Willys ad by John Taylor Arms and publications that refer to the operation, care, and parts for the Aero, Overland, Knight, and Whippet autos.  Included are clippings, photos, floor plans, etc. relating to the Jeep Administration Building which was demolished in 1979 and a World War II History of the plant (1941-1954) and a plot plan layout.

            The final section (Miscellaneous) contains primarily clippings on Greece’s royal family (1961-1966) and a book given to Ward Canaday by the author entitled, An Analysis of Plutonium Recycle in a Gas-Cooled Graphite-Moderated Reactor.

            A bibliography listing publications which are located in The Canaday Center is attached to this finding aid.



Box -Folder Inventory


Box     Folder              Series   Item

 1                                 Ward Murphey Canaday
             1                                 Biography
             2                                 Correspondence, 1909-1917
             3*                               Advertisements (Hoosier Kitchen Cabinet Co.),
             4                                 Programs, 1917
             5                                 Speeches, 1949-1963
             6                                 Reunion Anniversary Reports, Secretary’s Report, and
                                                            Alumni Bulletin  (Harvard Class of 1907),
             7                                 Toledo Social Register, 1928
             8                                 Chronological Lists of Events and Articles in
                                                            Toledo Blade  and New York Times,
             9                                             New York Times - “Canaday-Willys”
            10                                            Toledo Blade - “Canaday/Willys”
            11                                            Personal, 1949-1976
                                                The University of Toledo
            12*                              The Friends of the University Libraries
                                                                        (Miss Emch), 1942-1979
            13                                            Engineering-Science Building, 1955-1960
            14                                            Affiliations, 1963
            15                                            William S. Carlson Library
                                                                        Dedication, 1970-1973
                                                            The Ward M. Canaday Center
            16                                                        Dedication, 1977-1984
            17                                            Book Collector’s Corner, 1978-1982
            18                                            Bookplate, 1979
            19                                            Collections , 1980-1983
            20                                American School of Classical Studies,
                                                            Athens, Greece, 1964-1984
            21                                Photographs
            22                                Drawing of Ward M. Canaday, n.d.
            23                                Ninety-fifth Birthday Celebration, December 8, 1980,
            24^                              Artifacts
            25                                Obituary, 1976

                                    Mariam Louise Coffin Canaday
            26                                Biography
            27                                Association of Collegiate Alumnae
                                                            and American Association
                                                                        of University Women, 1917-1924
            28                                Correspondence, 1970
            29                                Clippings, 1971-1975
            30                                Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
                                                            Bryn Mawr, 1970-1975
            31                                Obituary, 1974-1975
            32                                Memorial Book, 1975
            33                                Medical Arts Building, Riverside Hospital,
                                                            Toledo, 1976

                                    Ward and Mariam Canaday
            34                                Correspondence (Personal), 1960-1967
            35                                            1970-1971
            36                                            Residence:  Inlands (Toledo) 1972-1977
            37                                            Residence:  Annaly (Virgin Islands Estate),
            38                                Photographs
                                                Christmas Cards
            39^                              Sent by the Canadays
            40                                            Received by the Canadays

                                    Doreen Damaris Canaday Spitzer
            41                                Biography
            42                                Correspondence, 1979-1987
            43                                Clippings, 1939-1983
            44                                Book Reviews of By One and One
                                                (Biography of the Canadays by Doreen Canaday Spitzer),

                                    Lyman Spitzer, Jr.
            45                                Biography
            46*                              Work In Astronomy and Related Newspaper Articles,

                                    Frank Harrison Canaday
            47                                Biography
            48                                Description of Scrapbook No. l,
            49                                Address at the Jubilee Celebration of Levin District
                                                            High School, 1940 (by Robert Pope)

                                    Molly Morpeth Canaday
            50                                Biography

                                    The Willys-Overland Company/Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.
                                                “The Jeep”
            51*                                          Clippings and Photographs, 1945-1991
            52^                                          Videos (2) -History of Jeep and 50th Anniversary Jeep
            53                                            “Jeep at War” Series
                                                                        Photographs and Negatives (23)
            54*^                                        Ad Proofs (23) and Paintings (2)^
            55                                            Slides (23)
            56                                            Sessions, James M., Illustrator, (Biography, etc.)
            57                                            Jeep - Family of Four-Wheel Vehicles in Public Service
                                                                        Ad Brochure, 1956
            58                                            “Salute to a Steel Soldier:  The Jeep”
                                                                        (WTOL - TV’s Documentary on the Jeep) ,
                                                                                    May 23, 1964
            59                                            Jeep Administration Building
                                                                        Floor Plan
            60                                            Clippings
                                                                        (Destruction of the Building), 1979
            61                                            Photographs
                                                                        Destruction of the Building, 1979
            62*                              Overland Auto and Truck Ads, 1913-1916
            63*                              Willys Auto Ads, 1936-1937
            64*                              Aero Willys Ads, 1953
            65                                            Econorama (Booklet),  1948
            66                                            “Directions for the Operation, Care and
                                                                        Adjustment of Overland”
                                                                                    Automobiles” (Booklet), 1915

                                    (The Willys-Overland Company/Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.)
            67                                            Publications for Vehicles and Parts, 1902-1970
            68                                            “The Superior Whippet Six Model 98-A
                                                                        Preliminary Parts List “(Booklet ), 1928
            69                                            “Willys-Knight Parts List - Model 70-70a”
                                                                        (Booklet), 1927
            79                                            The Willys War News, Vol. 3, No. 3, May 19, 1945
            70                                            The Knight-Overland Starter Magazine, March 1979, No. 67
            71                                            World War II History, 1941-1954
            72*                                          Willys-Overland Knight-Registry (WOKR), 1970-1974
            73                                Plot Plan Layout, 1947

            74^                              Their Majesties The King and Queen of the
                                                            Helene’s Visit  - Toledo, Ohio,
                                                                        November 5, 1953 (Photo Scrapbook)
            75                                Juan Carlos and Sophia de Bourbon, 1961-1962
            76                                Queen Frederika of Greece, 1966
            77                                An Analysis of Plutonium Recycle in a
                                                            Gas-Cooled Graphite-Moderated Reactor
            78                                General

*=oversize cabinet, drawer 2
^=oversize area
**=locked cabinet


Last Updated: 6/27/22