Skip to main content

Dwight Bennett Newton papers

Identifier: Coll 192

Scope and Contents note

The Dwight Bennett Newton Papers contain correspondence and manuscripts from a long and successful career in formulary Western fiction writing, primarily of novels. The correspondence is divided into three subseries: general, in alphabetical order (see Index of Correspondents at end of inventory); correspondence with the August Lenniger Literary Agency, in chronological order; and with Book Creations, Inc., in chronological order.

Much of the correspondence is with fellow Western writers, comparing notes, offering tips and criticisms, and sharing anecdotes about other writers and agents they have known. Of special interest are the files of correspondence with Frank Bonham, William R. Cox, Brian Garfield, Frank Gruber, Lew P. Holmes, and T. V. Olsen. There is also an informative Newton interview, conducted, by mail, by Jean Mead of Western Writers of America, Inc.

The manuscripts are also divided into three subseries, each arranged alphabetically: book-length, short stories, and teleplays. Publication information and pseudonyms are included with each title. Newton's novel-writing technique is easily documented. The first draft is composed at the typewriter on colored paper, with each session dated at the head of the text, and word counts at the top of each page. Heavy revisions are made in pencil, then the draft goes back for retyping. This second draft goes to the agent for marketing to the publishers. Often the second draft, after a once-over by a copy editor, is the one actually used by the typesetter.

Several of Dwight Newton's novels have an Oregon setting: The Big Land, Crooked River Canyon, Hangman's Knot, Oregon Rifles, and Disaster Creek. According to the Encyclopedia of Frontier and Western Fiction, "...what makes Newton's books different, and superior is his scrupulous attention to natural terrain--his sense of real places in the West..." (253). This is especially true of the Oregon novels.

Teleplays are arranged alphabetically by title of television series and title of play. The copies are mimeographed and bound, and are dated according to the date of the current revision.


  • 1947-1985


Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Conditions Governing Use note

Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical/Historical note

Dwight Bennett Newton, author of formulary western fiction, was born January 14, 1916, in Kansas City, Missouri, son of Otis L. and Grace (Thompson) Newton. He married Mary Jane Kregel in 1941 and has two daughters, Jennifer and Janet. He received a master's' degree in history from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 1942, and served in the Army Corps of Engineers from 1942 to 1946.

A founder and the first secretary-treasurer of the Western Writers of America, Dwight Newton has authored seventy novels, over 175 short stories and forty television scripts. His novel Range Boss (Pocket Books, 1949) was the first bought and published as a paperback original without first appearing in a hardcover edition, initiating a new era in modern publishing. Pseudonyms used by Newton include Dwight Bennett, D. B. Newton, Clement Hardin, Ford Logan, Hank Mitchum, and Dan Temple.

In the late 1950's, Newton worked as a Hollywood scriptwriter, turning out teleplays for western television series. He wrote the first teleplay for and created several of the regular characters in Wagon Train, and worked on stories for Tales of Wells Fargo, Death Valley Days, and others. Dwight Newton lives in Bend, Oregon.


19 linear feet (36 containers, 57 volumes)

Language of Materials



Collection comprises papers of American author of western fiction Dwight Newton, including correspondence with other writers, the August Lenniger Literary Agency, and Book Creations, Inc.; literary manuscripts (including short stories and teleplays); and 57 vols. of Newton's books.

Arrangement note

Collection is organized into the following series: CorrespondenceManuscriptsFree standing volumes

Processing Information note

Collection processed by Richard Bear.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Index of Correspondents

Ahlswede, Ann
Allen, Eric
Allen, Henry W.
Alter, Jody
Arlandson, Lee
Arthur, Budd
Arneson, Finn
Bachman, Jane
Baker, Betty
Ballantine Books
Ballard, Todhunter
Barker, S. Omar
Barrett, Marie
Berkley Publishing Corp.
Bickham, Jack
Blassingame, Lurton
Bolles, Beth
Bonham, Frank
Booth, Edwin
Brackett, Leigh
Brogan, Paul
Brown, Ronald Terry
The Bulletin
Castle, Frank
Cawelti, John G.
Central Oregon Community College
Choate, Gwen
Clark, William J.
Clift, June
Cloos, Bert
Clossey, Len
Cooke, Phil
Cox, William R.
Crowell, Jim
Cunningham, John
Cunningham, Reba
Deschutes County Library
Dilkes, Gene
Dotort, David
Doubleday & Co., Inc.
Duncan, Clyde H.
East, Fred
Ellis, Ray G.
Elston, Allan V.
Erismen, Robert O.
Etulain, Richard W.
Ferry, Cliff
Fisher, Nancy
Flood, Robert
Folston, Mrs. Delbert C.
Fox, Norman A.
Fox, Rosalea (Mrs. Norman)
Frazee, S.
Furman, Mrs. Evelyn E,
Gale, Robert L.
Garfield, Brian
Gaulden, Ray
Glidden, Frederick D.
Goulart, Ron
Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.
Grove, Fred H.
Gruber, Frank
H. J. Justin & Sons, Inc.
Halvorson, Alma E.
Haycox, Jill
Holmes, Lew P.
Hoofman, Acklin
Hoskins, James
Hubbell, Katherine L.
Hull, Raymond
Hunt, Kenneth J.
Idaho Festival of the Arts
James, Don
Jordan, David T.
Josephy, Alvin M., Jr.
Kaffer, Stephen
Langdon, Glen G.
Lee, Wayne C.
Loyd, Lavinia
Lucey, James D.
Lucia, Ellis
Lyles, A. C.
McCaig, Robert
Mead, Jean
Mikels, Ted V.
Mizer, Margaret N.
Montano, Tony
Moody, Ralph
Nalaboff, Bernie
National Cowboy Hall of Fame
Newton, Sherwood
Norstrom, Tracy
Olsen, Darrol
Olsen, Gene
Olsen, T. V.
regon Department of Continuing Education (Haystack)
Oregon Press Women, Inc.
Overholser, Steve
Overholser, Wayne D.
Owen, Dean
Pachon, Stanley A.
Pacific Northwest Writers Conference
Parent, Ernest J.
Patch, Chuck
Payne, Steve, et al
Pepper, Avis E.
Perrigo, Lynn I.
Pronzini, Bill
Richardson, Clara
Rifkin, Shepard
Riggs, David H.
Ritenour, Richard H.
Rosa, Joseph G.
Roughton, Tom
Rupp, Virgil
Schmitt, Martin
Searles, Lin
Shotwell, Robert E.
Sister Desiree
Smith, Lanette E.
Sonnichsen, C. L.
Soroka, Alex
Stenkamp, Dorothy
Stout, Rex
Strauch, Mrs. Carl F.
Thomas, Philip Drennon
Thompson, Thomas and June
Tompkins, Walker A.
Tonik, Albert B.
Trefager, Pat
Tucker, Oliver
Turner, William O.
Tusks, Jon
University of Missouri at Kansas
University of Oregon
Vance, William E.
Wade, Henry
Walker, Dale
Warner Books
West Coast Review of Books
Whitledge, Fred C.
Wilde, Larry
Wilhite, Virgil S.
Willamette Writers
Willison, Ralph
Writers Guild of America, West, Inc.
Guide to the Dwight Bennett Newton Papers
Complete Description
Finding aid prepared by Richard Bear
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives Repository

1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR 97403-1299 USA