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Felton, Harold W. 1902-1991



Born in Neola, Iowa, on 1 April 1902, Harold William Felton graduated from Neola High School in 1919. He attended Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, for one year before transferring to the University of Nebraska, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1925 and a law degree in 1928. During college he worked as a stage manager at the University of Nebraska's Temple Theatre and as an assistant in the dramatics department. In the summertime, Felton worked as a farmer, mule skinner, and as an actor on the Chautauqua circuits.

After graduation, Felton practiced law in Omaha for five years before he went to work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 1933. He married Hildegard "Helen" Kessler on 23 August 1933. The Felton's moved to Manhattan in New York, where Harold worked in the chief counsel's office of the IRS. He remained with the IRS for 37 years before retiring in 1970.

Felton wrote numerous children's books and books dealing with American folklore and tall tales. His interest in folklore developed from a fascination with Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox. He began collecting books and stories about the legendary lumberjack at an early age. In the early 1940s, Felton decided to write a book about Bunyan. His first book, Legends of Paul Bunyan, was published in 1947. Throughout his life, Felton continued to research and write about other legendary figures such as Pecos Bill, John Henry, Fire Fightin' Mose, and Bowleg Bill.

Harold William Felton died on 12 July 1991.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Harold W. Felton, Folklore Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0040
Scope and Contents The Harold W. Felton papers mainly relate to his career as an author and folklorist. The papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts of published works, unpublished manuscripts, research notes, galley proofs, book jackets, and book reviews. Other items include biographical materials, photographs, and sound recordings. Felton's writings and research files compose the majority of the collection. This series of materials illustrates Felton's continuing dedication to the study of American...
Dates: 1881-1988