Francis Royster Williams (1900-1998) Papers (KC0249)
After her studies at Pine Manor College and the Kansas City Art Institute, Frances Royster entered the field of commercial art. Her clients including Wolferman's Foods, Emery, Bird, and Thayer, Woolf Brothers, and other large Kansas City companies. In 1926, she married Winthrop Williams. For many years Mr. Williams was manager of the home office of Frank Paxton Lumber Company in Kansas City, Missouri. He also sang on WDAF radio in the 1920's and 1930's.
From the early 1930's, Frances Royster Williams wrote and illustrated a series of verses featuring two children named Cuddles and Tuckie. These features were published for 28 years in the Kansas City Star and were also syndicated in 50 other papers from coast to coast. As their popularity grew, Cuddles and Tuckie became radio personalities and were an instant success. In its first year of programming (1941), the school children of Kansas City, Missouri chose "The Christmas Adventures of Cuddles and Tuckie" as their favorite radio show. In 1949, Mrs. Williams' radio Travel Series, "The Strange Adventures of Cuddles and Tuckie," won an award for the best local children's program at the American Exhibition of Educational Radio Programs.
Mrs. Williams was also active in many civic and social activities. She was one of 15 original members of the Junior League Children's Theatre (1929), where she helped out with the acting, art work, and make-up. She was also appointed in 1949 to the City Hall Committee on Worthwhile Books for Children. In 1943, she helped start the Radio Council of Greater Kansas City and was the first Chairman of their Children's Committee. She held the same chairmanship in 1960 in what is now the Radio and Television Council of Greater Kansas City. Throughout her career, Frances Royster Williams has received many awards for her contributions to the fields of children's literature and drama.
The Papers contains hundreds of original illustrations, poetry, layouts, clippings and fan mail (including letters from Shirley Temple and Bing Crosby) related to the "Cuddles and Tuckie" newspaper series and books. Also included are scripts, audio tapes, copyright certificates, and news clippings related to the "Cuddles and Tuckie" dramatizations; and Mrs. Williams' commercial artwork for local businesses, particularly Wolferman's Foods and Emery Bird Thayer Co. 1925-1987.
31 cubic feet.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu