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Collection M 046:
Helene Searcy Puls papers

Years this material was created: 1917-1962
Quantity: .8 linear shelf feet (in 2 document cases)
Arranged and described by Katharhynn Heidelberg and Todd Ellison, Archivist 
(completed November, 1993; revised September, 1998)

 ©1998 by Fort Lewis College Foundation, Center of Southwest Studies account

Links to contents

scope and contents
Biographical note
Series descriptions
Container list

Related collections

Other collection inventories
Center of Southwest Studies

Introduction/ Scope and contents

M 046
Helene Searcy Puls papers
.8 linear shelf feet (in two document cases) (approximately 500 items, in 40 folders)

This collection includes writings and personal papers retained by Helene Searcy Puls, a Colorado poet who lived in and wrote about primarily the Durango-Silverton area. In addition to adding a great deal of insight to this area, she also, through her verse and letters, provides useful information regarding the places to which she traveled during her life, including Russia and the Ukraine region. Her poems are not only useful in a literary and artistic sense, but allow for a glimpse into the past.  The collection also contains materials pertaining to her relatives in the Boston and Puls families.  The material is in a highly usable condition, but the papers are deteriorating, and considerate handling must be implemented by users of this collection.

Biographical note

Helene Wilhelmina Searcy Puls was a poet of national distinction, writing in the first part of the twentieth century.  Born in 1900 to William Searcy and Helen Boston Searcy of Silverton (her father became District Judge in 1913), Ms. Puls was to spend much of her life in Southwestern Colorado, and even when she was far away, on the plains of Nevada as a school teacher, or wandering the steppelands of Russia, her place of birth was very much in her mind and was consequently reflected in her verse.  She died in early 1965 in Arvada, Colorado.

The Center of Southwest Studies acquired this collection via donation in 1969, by the Denver Women's Press Club, through the efforts of Mrs. Gladys Parce.  Mrs. Parce mentioned the collection to Richard Gobble at Fort Lewis College, to whom she was referred by Mrs. Esther Liu, a member of the library staff at Fort Lewis College.  The matter was then referred to President Rexer Berndt, who accepted the collection with delight.  It was deemed appropriate that her work, which reflected so much of the Southwest, have its final resting place at the Southwest Center at Fort Lewis College.  Roderick A. Ironside, nephew of Helene Puls, has added to the collection with  donations of various items since April of 1995.

Records deaccessioned: approximately ten items (envelopes, blank paper) that lacked informational value were thrown away.

Related collections of note:

Mrs. Puls's published book of poems, The Sword (1945) is cataloged with the Center's books and is shelved in the Southwest Studies Center Library.

Richard T. Nelson dedicated his Early History of Durango (1932; typescript at Center of Southwest Studies collection M053) to his late beloved friend William N. Searcy, who had died on 27 February 1932.

See also collection M 037, the Boston-Searcy collection, for local history materials about the Boston and Searcy families.  Walter Boston (1878-1948), who lived in Durango from ca. 1880 to 1902.  His sister was Helen M. Boston, who married William N. Searcy in 1879.  Their children were Ruth I. (who married A. D. Ironside, father of Roderick Ironside) and Helene W. (who married Louis Puls).

Series descriptions

Note: Record groups (RGs), shown in boldface, are numbered consecutively. The lower levels of organization, following the RG number, are and series. Box numbers start with 1 in each record group.

The materials within most record groups are organized from highest hierarchical level to lowest, or from most general to most specific. Items within each series (e.g., reports, and correspondence) and within each box and folder are arranged chronologically, unless noted otherwise.

The boxes are numbered in one single numbering scheme starting with 1; folder numbers start with 1 in the first box, and begin again with folder 1 in box 2. Undated poems bearing publishing notification are placed after those which bear dates and notification. undated poems bearing no publishing notification will be placed after those unpublished poems which are dated.

Listing of Record Groups and Series--

Record Group 1: Helene Puls papers

Series 1: Poems of Helene Searcy Puls, 1921-1962, 32 folders. Includes typewritten poems bearing publishing dates or similar notification (to be referred to as "published"); typewritten poems bearing no publishing notification (to be referred to as "unpublished"); handwritten copies; personal arrangements of poems; printed materials including: galley proofs, published clippings (not newspaper), and magazines and books featuring her work.

Series 2: Helene Puls biographical materials, 1926-1940, 5 folders. Includes assignments; personal correspondence; a certificate of award for a short story contest and stories which she submitted, along with a list of contest winners; and numerous newspaper clippings about her, or featuring her poetry.

Series 3: Poems of other authors, 1930s and undated, 2 folders. Includes magazines and periodicals not featuring her work, as well as several loose leaf pieces of paper, with the poems others have written or that she copied down.

Series 4: Photographs, 1917-1922, 1 folder. Five black and white photos of the Searcy family, and two photoprints of Helene W. Searcy: one (colorized) taken in August, 1922, in front of the Searcy home at 1361 3rd Ave., Durango; the other, a small portrait photo also dated 1922.

Container list

Box 1

Series title Folder title

Folder 1 Poems. List of poems sent out, and poem charts.

Folder 2 Poems. Published poems, typed, 1921-1924.

Folder 3 Poems. Published poems, typed, 1924-1928. Includes photocopies of The Barnard Bulletin, 6/6/1924 (2 p.) containing a class day poem by Helene Searcy; and cover and inside page of The Ukrainian Juvenile Magazine, October, 1928 (2 p.) containing a poem by Helene Searcy Pulse.

Folder 4 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, 1920-1926.

Folder 5 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, 1926-1932.

Folder 6 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, 1935-1943.

Folder 7 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, 1943-1949.

Folder 8 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, 1952-1958.

Folder 9 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, undated.

Folder 10 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, undated.

Folder 11 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, undated.

Folder 12 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, undated.

Folder 13 Poems. Unpublished poems, typed, undated.

Folder 14 Poems Unpublished poems, typed, undated.

Folder 15 Poems Unpublished poems, typed, undated.

Folder 16 Poems. Handwritten poems, 1921-1943.

Folder 17 Poems. Handwritten poems, 1943-1949.

Folder 18 Poems. Handwritten poems, 1951-1961.

Folder 19 Poems. Handwritten poems, undated.

Folder 20 Poems. Handwritten poems, undated.

Folder 21 Poems. Handwritten poems, undated.

Folder 22 Poems. Personal arrangement: roughly 300 pages of typed text, complete with a table of contents and a list of needed corrections and changes; poems ranging from 1920 through 1940.

Folder 23 Poems. Printed materials: complete with published clippings and a galley proof,1925.

Folder 24 Poems. Printed materials: magazines featuring her poems; The Sign: A National Catholic Magazine, 1947 January; The Survival, a journal put forth by her writing club, undated.

Folder 25 Poems. A personal arrangement by the author, 1922.

Box 2

Series title Folder title

Folder 1 Poems. Printed materials: A Tale of Lake Eldora, 1942 July, with accompanying letter; Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1932 July.

Folder 2 Poems. Printed materials: Lyric Invaders, 1930.

Folder 3 Poems. Personal arrangements, in leather-bound journals, undated.

Folder 4 Poems. Printed materials: The Lyric West, 3 volumes, 1922-1923.

Folder 5 Poems. Printed materials: Stratford Magazine, 1931 September; Stratford Monthly, 1924, and an acceptance letter.

Folder 6 Poems. Personal arrangement: "Homekeeping Notes" (for Louis), undated.

Folder 7 Poems. Personal arrangement: handwritten in 2 notebooks, 1938-1952.

Folder 8 Biographical materials. Assignments, including an autobiography, 1962.

Folder 9 Biographical materials. Assignments, including a later published research paper.

Folder 10 Biographical materials. Clippings: newspaper articles and book reviews, 1929- 1940.

Folder 11 Biographical materials. Correspondence, including personal letters and letters from publishers.

Folder 12 Biographical materials. Certificates: college graduation program and a short story award, including both stories submitted, and a list of winners.

Folder 13 Poems of other authors. The Scope Periodical, 3 volumes, 1932 Fall, 1933 Spring, and 1933 Winter.

Folder 14 Poems of other authors. Loose leaf pages of poems, mostly handwritten, by persons other than Helene Searcy Puls. Date undetermined.

Folder 15 Photographs. Five black and white photos of the Searcy family, presumably on Lake Electra, 1917-1918. Two photoprints of Helene W. Searcy: one (colorized) taken in August, 1922, in front of the Searcy home at 1361 3rd Ave., Durango; the other, a small portrait photo also dated 1922.

This inventory was prepared by Katharhynn Heidelberg and edited by Todd Ellison, November 30, 1993, and was revised by Ellison on September 18, 1998; initial html conversion was done by Jesse Davila, September 21, 1998.

Doing your own research:
This description of a portion of the collections at the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies is provided to inform interested parties about the nature and depth of the repository's collections.   It cannot serve as a substitute for a visit to the repository for those with substantial research interests in the collections.

This collection is located at the Center of Southwest Studies on the campus of Fort Lewis College.  Researchers wanting more information about using this material at the Delaney Southwest Research Library at the Center may email the archivist at archives@fortlewis.edu or click here to use our E-mail Reference Request Form (or phone the archivist at 970/247-7126).  The Center does not have a budget for outgoing long-distance phone calls to answer reference requests, so please email if you wish to receive a response from the Center.  To request reproductions/copies, click here for instructions.

Page last modified: September 01, 2006