Select Page

NEBRASKA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY MANUSCRIPT FINDING AID



RG5372.AM:  Frances Margaret Creech, 1912-1999



Papers:  1945-1958; 1983

Bellwood, Butler County, and Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Musician

Size:  4.0 cu.ft.



BACKGROUND NOTE



Frances M. Creech, daughter of James G. and Minnie (Hookstra) Creech, was born in Bellwood, Nebraska, on April 10, 1912. She completed three years of college. By the late 1940s she was a member of an all women band headlined by Ruth Colman. Under various names, among them “Ruth Colman’s All Girl Orchestra,” the “Sweethearts of Swing,” and “Ruth Colman’s Polka Queens,” the band barnstormed its way throughout the country. Creech played piano and was also the band’s business manager and co-owner. After the band’s break-up, probably in the late 1950s, Creech lived in Lincoln, where she taught piano. Francis M. Creech died in Lincoln, Nebraska, on September 5, 1999, and was buried in David City.



SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE



This collection consists of six volumes and one box of manuscript material arranged in four series: 1) Scrapbooks, 1945-1956; 2) Publicity Materials; 3) Business Correspondence, 1948-1958 and 1983; and 4) Family Papers. This material relates primarily to the musical career of pianist Frances M. Creech of the Ruth Colman All Girl Orchestra. Additional material about Creech’s family history in Bellwood, Butler County, is also part of the collection.



The Scrapbooks, 1945-1956, of Series 1 document the travel and performances of Frances Creech during her years with the Ruth Colman band. Included are publicity materials, tour schedules, photographs, newspaper clippings, and souvenirs from the band’s tour stops. The Publicity Materials of Series 2 include undated flyers, postcards, and posters reflecting different advertising materials used by the Ruth Colman band.



Series 3 consists of Business Correspondence, 1948-1958, kept by Frances Creech in her role as business manager for the Ruth Colman All Girl Orchestra. These letters pertain mostly to tour dates and contractual arrangements. A Musicians Federation newsletter from 1983 indicates Creech’s continued interest in performing. The Family Papers of Series 4 includes material relating to Creech’s home in Bellwood, Nebraska, and her family lineage. The series also contains documentation relating to a bronze trinket found on the Creech farm, purported to be a Spanish spear dating from 1720.



Note:  See also the photo component [RG5372.PH] for related photographs.



DESCRIPTION



Series 1 – Scrapbooks, 1945-1956


Volume


  1. 1945-1947

  2. 1948-1950

  3. 1951

  4. 1953

  5. 1954

  6. 1956



Series 2 – Publicity Materials


Box 1

Folder

  1. Undated flyers, postcards, posters



Series 3 – Business Correspondence




  1. 1948-1958; 1983



Series 4 – Family Papers




  1. Genealogical information; Bellwood, Nebraska



 


ADDED ENTRIES:

Band musicians — Nebraska

Bands (music) — Nebraska

Bellwood (Neb.) — History

Butler County (Neb.) — History

Colman, Ruth Lucille, 1899-

Creech, Frances Margaret, 1912-1999

Musicians — Nebraska

Orchestras — Nebraska

Ruth Colman’s All Girl Orchestra

Ruth Colman’s Polka Queens

Women musicians — Nebraska



 



AIF   08-14-2002

Encoded TMM   03-16-2010