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.
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.
Series 1 – Scrapbooks, 1945-1956
Series 2 – Publicity Materials
- Undated flyers, postcards, posters
Series 3 – Business Correspondence
- 1948-1958; 1983
Series 4 – Family Papers
- Genealogical information; Bellwood, Nebraska
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
Encoded TMM 03-16-2010