Skip to main content

Lorenzo D. Creel Papers

Identifier: 82-01
The Lorenzo D. Creel Papers have been divided into two major groups and into series within the groups. The first group contains Creel family items and includes correspondence, financial records, business papers, memorabilia, photographs, and books which belonged to Creel family members with the majority of the material originating from Lorenzo and his son Cecil. Three-dimensional items, which accompanied the collection, have been donated to the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Home Economics Costume Collection, the Nevada Historical Society, and the Nevada State Museum.

The second group contains U. S. Indian Service records representing Lorenzo D. Creel's work with various Indian agencies and groups throughout the country. Included are correspondence, financial records, subject files, diaries, workbooks, maps and photographs. The material in the collection includes original, handwritten documents and also typewritten, copied, and printed items that cover a time period from about 1875 to 1945. The photographs in this group, most of them taken by Lorenzo Creel, number about 4,500 and include prints, film, and glass plate negatives, generally in good condition, depicting Indian life and customs in areas around the United States.


  • 1875-1945



Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


8.5 Cubic Feet (9 boxes)


Collection contains Creel Family papers, mainly correspondence; U.S. Indian Service Records; approximately 4500 original and collected photographs, prints and negatives of American Indians.

Biographical Note

Lorenzo Dow Creel was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia on April 12, 1853. He attended Marshall College in West Virginia and Duff's Business College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From 1884 until 1891, he served on the faculty of the Tri-State College, Angola, Indiana, and in 1900 he began his career with the federal government in the U. S. Census Office. His work with the U. S. Indian Service started in 1902. He served as superintendent of the boarding school at the Crow Indian agency in Montana, and in 1907 was transferred to the Nevada Agency as superintendent of the Indian Training School at Wadsworth, Nevada. In 1910, he accepted appointment as special agent for the Seminole Indians in Florida and from 1911-1916, he served as special agent for the scattered bands of Indians in Utah. In 1916, Lorenzo Creel returned to Nevada as a Special Supervisor for the Indian Service and Special Disbursing Agent for Nevada Indians. He retired from the Indian Service in 1922, but remained in Reno, Nevada until his death on October 19, 1926.
Cecil W. Creel, son of Lorenzo D. Creel, was born in Angola, Indiana in 1889. He received his education at various schools around the country and attained the Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nevada in 1911. In 1921, after some years of experience in the field of agriculture, he became director of the Agricultural Extension Division and professor of Agricultural Extension in the College of Agriculture, University of Nevada, Reno. In 1940, Cecil Creel moved to Washington, D. C., where he served as coordinator between the Association of Land Grant Colleges and the Roosevelt administration. He also ran, unsuccessfully, for the U. S. Senate in 1942. Cecil Creel retired from the University of Nevada faculty in 1952, and died in Reno in 1968.


Group 1: Creel Family Group 1, Series 1: Correspondence Group 1, Series 2: Financial Records Group 1, Series 3: Family Items Group 1, Series 4: Business Papers Group 1, Series 5: Cecil W. Creel Items Group 1, Series 6: Books and Pamphlets Group 1, Series 7: Family Photographs

Group 2: U. S. Indian Service Group 2, Series 1: Correspondence Group 2, Series 2: Subject Files Group 2, Series 3: Financial Records Group 2, Series 4: Diaries and Workbooks Group 2, Series 5: Maps and Drawings Group 2, Series 6: Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from Jane Creel on April 7, 1981, accessioned as 82-1. Lever Bros., N.Y., N.Y.

Related Archival Material

AC 0005: Cecil Willis Creel Papers

Separated Material

All photographs in the collection have been transferred to the photo archives, as collection UNRS-P2710 and UNRS-P2711.
A Guide to the Papers of Lorenzo D. Creel Papers
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)