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RG3692.AM:  Cleveland Albert Ross, 1887-1973

Papers:  1917-1927

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Musician; railway rate expert

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


Cleveland A. Ross was born in Hays City, Kansas, in 1887. His family moved to Lincoln when he was eleven years old, and Ross lived there until his death seventy-five years later. According to rosters within this collection, Ross played the horn. He organized the first high school band at Lincoln High School in 1906 and was later the manager of the Le-Gyt Orchestra and leader of the Elks Band. The Le-Gyt dance orchestra was probably begun in the early 1920s. By 1924 it was also known as the Ross and Williams Orchestra. However, Ross earned his living as a rate expert for the State Railway Commission, a position he held for twenty-five years. He then went into private practice until his retirement.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript material dating from 1917-1928. The materials consist of Orchestra Correspondence, 1923-1927; State Railway Commission Correspondence, 1923-1928; American Federation of Musicians’ Constitutions, 1918-1927; and Miscellany, 1917-1918. This material relates primarily to C.A. Ross’ musical career as manager of the Le-Gyt Orchestra. Some papers relating to his position as rate expert for the State Railway Commission are also included.

The first two folders consist of Orchestra Correspondence, 1923-1927, which details prices and terms set by the Le-Gyt Orchestra, instruments used, and music played. Included are letters to music publishers discussing orchestrations being used and letters from publishers advertising their newest songs. The State Railway Commission Correspondence, 1923-1928, consists primarily of cover letters for reports, explanations of administrative detail, and discussions of products tested by the commission.

The American Federation of Musicians’ constitutions cover the years 1918-1927. Rules and by-laws are provided. Also included is a 1924 constitution for the Omaha Musicians’ Association. The last part of the collection includes datebooks, 1917-1918, which record the location of the Le-Gyt Orchestra’s performances, as well as the amount received for their services. Also included are contracts, rosters, music lists, sheet music, and musical organization bulletins.


Box 1


  1. Orchestra correspondence, March 1923-July 1924

  2. Orchestra correspondence, August 1924-September 1927 and undated

  3. Nebraska State Railway Commission correspondence, 1923-1928

  4. American Federation of Musicians’ Constitution, 1918-1927 (7 volumes)

  5. Omaha Musicians’ Association Constitution, 1924

  6. Misc. datebooks, 1917-1918 (2 volumes)

  7. Misc. contracts, rosters, music lists, sheet music, musical organization bulletins



American Federation of Musicians

Le-Gyt Orchestra (Lincoln, Neb.)

Lincoln (Neb.) — History

Music and Musicians

Music — Nebraska

Music, popular

Nebraska State Railway Commission

Omaha Musician’s Association (Omaha, Neb.)

Ross and William Orchestra (Lincoln, Neb.)

Ross, Cleveland Albert, 1887-1973


AIF/psw   02-08-1980

Encoded TMM   08-27-2011