George C. Biggar Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

MA 001

Level of description

Papers

Title

George C. Biggar Papers

Date(s)

  • 1916-1988 (Creation)

Extent

0.84 linear feet [2 document cases]

Name of creator

(1899-1989)

Biographical history

George Biggar, son of James Harvey and Caroline Goodfellow Bigger was born on a farm near Aurora, South Dakota on January 11, 1899. He attended South Dakota State University (then South Dakota Agricultural College), where he received a BS in agriculture in 1921 and a MS in Dairy Husbandry in 1922. While at South Dakota State University, he was editor of the Industrial Collegian newspaper and worked on the Jackrabbit yearbook. After graduating, he immediately pursued a career in journalism, working as a reporter for the Moline (Illinois) Dispatch and later the Illinois State Farm Bureau.

In 1924, he began his radio career at station WLS in Chicago, just 3 weeks after Sears-Roebuck started broadcasting. He worked at many radio stations around the country while he was employed by Sears-Roebuck, working mainly with agricultural and farm programs. In 1929, after Sears stopped its broadcasting activities, Biggar returned to WLS. He continued to work on farm, homemaker and entertainer programs, included the National Barn Dance, a show where many country and old performers got their start. During this time, he was also responsible for sending Herb Morrison to cover the Hindenburg landing, where he was the only reporter to witness the tragedy.

In 1938, Biggar moved to WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was in charge of rural programs, as well as some entertainment programs. At WLW, Biggar was invited to go to Great Britain as a guest of the British Information Service. While there, Biggar observed agricultural practices and noted their changes during the war years. This trip is reflected in many of his papers.

Biggar's career in radio continued until his retirement in 1964. Following his departure from WLW, he continued to move around the Midwest working in radio. He eventually bought station WLBK in DeKalb, Illinois, which is where he finished out his career. Following his retirement, he moved to Laguna Beach, California, and then onto Fargo, North Dakota. He passed away March 19, 1989.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Related to Biggar's career in radio. The bulk of the material is composed of radio scripts, interviews, photographs and other material collected throughout his career. Material from a trip to Great Britain in 1943-1944 makes up a large portion of the collection and includes material related to agriculture during wartime.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Uploaded finding aid

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Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Accruals

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Related descriptions

Notes element

General note

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Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

ID

MA001

ID

MA 1

Description control element

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