James W. Earp (1888-1958) Papers (KC0087)
James Earp was born in Clarence, Missouri on June 15, 1888. Mr. Earp began his career as a railroader in Clement, Oklahoma in 1904 and later moved to Kansas City, Missouri in 1914. He joined the Rock Island Railroad in 1912 and stayed with the company until his retirement 44 years later in 1956. His employment with the Rock Island was interrupted by service in World War I. He was with Company C, 68th Engineers and later in the 58th Company Transportation Corps in France. While in the army, he wrote for the Camp Garrett Camouflage and also worked briefly for Stars and Stripes.
In addition to his railroad career, Earp worked as an author of short stories throughout his life. He first ventured into writing at the age of fifteen by writing for his high school newspaper. His career as a published author began in 1916 when Railroad Mans Magazine accepted a short story which then developed into a series. While the range of topics for Earps short stories was quite broad, he was especially successful in writing stories based on railroad themes. He also wrote anonymously for magazines such as True Confessions during the 1920s and 1930s, submitting stories about faltering romances and heartbreak. His many short stories also appeared in such magazines as Railroad Mans Magazine, Railroad Stories, Argosy, Top Notch, Smart Set, American Boy, War Stories, Railroad Magazine, and Wayside Tales.
After retiring from the Rock Island Railroad in 1956, Earp continued to write until his death in 1958 at age 70.
The collection includes correspondence, scrapbooks, military mementos, articles, short stories, plays, poetry, and other material by Earp. A number of his short stories, in published form, are included in the collection. 1910-1957.
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Monday, February 07, 2011
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