Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1910-1990  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Torrance, Roscoe C. (Roscoe Conkling), 1899-1990
Title
Roscoe C. Torrance papers
Dates
1910-1990 (inclusive)
Quantity
approximately 34.86 cubic feet
Collection Number
1326, 1361, 1951
Summary
Civic leader, businessman, and political leader of Seattle, Washington
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Some records stored offsite; advance notice required for use.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Roscoe Conkling Torrance, nick-named Torchy because of his red hair, was an alumnus and supporter of the University of Washington sports teams known as "the Number One Husky." Torrance was born September 2, 1899 in Diamond, a small town in eastern Washington State. Later the family moved to Spokane where Torrance attended the Longfellow School. His interest in sports started early; he volunteered as a bat boy for the Spokane Indians baseball team. After moving to American Falls, Idaho, at the age of twelve, Torrance joined the American Falls High School baseball team. He attended high school in Spokane, where he was a football player, captain of the baseball team, and was voted "Yell King."

In 1918, during WWI, Roscoe Torrance became a student at the University of Washington. He volunteered for the Student Army Training Corps which was created at the University of Washington on October 1, 1918; however, the war ended before his intended training in Oklahoma could begin. While at the UW, Torrance was an athletic property manager for the athletic department, and was president of the Associated Students of the UW. While study body president, he raised funds for the building of a new stadium in 1920. Torrance played on the University's baseball team, which toured Japan during 1921.

After college, Torrance was employed as freshman baseball coach and assistant graduate manager for the UW athletics department. In 1924, he began to work as a billboard space salesman for Foster & Kleiser Company. In 1931, Torrance and his business partner William H. Seifert bought the Western Printing Company, and in 1938, the two acquired the Wood and Reber Advertising Agency, which later merged with Metropolitan Press. After Metropolitan Press' acquisition by Craftsman Press, Torrance was employed as vice president. Between 1926 and 1936, Torrance served in the Marine Corps Reserve. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he fought in the South Pacific as a member of the 3rd Marine Division, and he earned a Bronze Star.

Torrance's civic and sports-related activities in Seattle were numerous. As a member of the Washington Athletic Board of Directors, he helped create the 101 Club in 1933, an organization to provide support to athletes. After the purchase of the Seattle Rainiers professional baseball team by Emil Sick, Torrance was hired as executive vice president for the team. He took on this work for a small sum while continuing to work in the printing business. In 1936, Torrance became State Chairman for the March of Dimes and served in that capacity for twenty years. Torrance was also a founder of Greater Seattle, Inc., the originators of Seafair in Seattle. He was crowned King Neptune XIX of Seafair in 1968. In 1962, Torrance and his wife were co-chairs of the Century 21 Exposition's hospitality commitee, hosting such dignitaries as President John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Jonas Salk. Torrance chaired the boards of the Western Pacific Insurance Company, the Salvation Army, and the Boys Clubs of America, and was a post commander of the American Legion. He was a member of the National Association of Manufacturers and Association of Washington Industries and a director of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Torrance was a member of the Rainier Club, the Seattle Rotary, Harbor Club, and Nile Temple of the Shriners.

During the 1950s, Torrance became involved in a public scandal due to his activities raising money for athletes. He was accused of running a "slush fund" that provided University of Washington players with more funding than the maximum financial aid allowed by the Pacific Coast Conference (forty dollars). Torrance and others felt that the maximum amount of funding allowed was far too little to assist the athletes with the cost of living and education. After the controversy, the University of Washington was placed on athletic probation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the University's teams could not participate in any NCAA championships until the probation concluded. These events caused Torrance to remove himself from his official ties with the UW's athletics department.

Despite the unpleasantness during the 1950s, Torrance's efforts in supporting the University were honored in 1972 when he received the Distinguished Alumni Special Service Award. The Puget Sound Sportswriters and Sportscasters gave him their Charles E. Sullivan Award in 1974. He was inducted into the UW's Hall of Fame and the Washington State Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. In 1989, Torrance was the first awardee of the annual Seattle-King County Association of Realtors' First Citizen Award. In 2001, he was posthumously inducted into the UW's Baseball All-Century Team.

Torrance married Ruth Doris Inkster in 1924. The couple had three children, named Shirley, John and William.

After the death of his wife, Ruth, in 1971, Torrance married Madge True in 1976. He also remained active in the community throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and served as the chairman of the board of the Western Pacific Insurance Company, director of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, post commander of the American Legion, and board member of the Salvation Army and Boys Club of America, and was a member of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Association of Washington Industries, the Rainier Club, the Seattle Rotary, Harbor Club, the Seattle Golf Club, and the Nile Temple.

Torrance published his memoir, Torchy, in the 1980s. He died on November 24, 1990.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Correspondence, minutes, legal documents, ephemera, memorabilia, newsletters and other publications, photographs, clippings related to Torrance's involvement in political activities and conservative causes.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Accession No. 1326-001: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1944-1961Return to Top

5' linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, files; 1944-1961.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Roscoe Torrance, Seattle, 1970-01-23

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-002: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1948-1974Return to Top

2' 1" Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, minutes, legal documents, ephemera, memorabilia, miscellaneous items; 1948-1974.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Torrance 9/5/74 and 12/3/74, 1974-09-05

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-004: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, circa 1950sReturn to Top

3' 5" Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, photographs, ephemera, plaques.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Roscoe Torrance, Seattle, 1975-07-16

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-005: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, circa 1950-1975Return to Top

5" Linear; oversize.

Scope and Content: Memorabilia, certificates/awards, and ephemera.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Records stored offsite; advance notice required for use.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: R.C. Torrance, 1975-09-23

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-006: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1970-1976Return to Top

1.5' Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, ephemera; 1970-1976.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Roscoe Torrance, 1976-06-01

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-007: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1960-1977Return to Top

4.5' Linear.

Scope and Content: Letters, periodicals, ephemera, memorabilia; ca. 1960-1977.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: R.C. Torrance, 1977-10-03

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-008: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1910-1978Return to Top

1' 8" Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, ephemera, memorabilia, photographs; ca. 1910-1978.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: T. Torrance, Seattle, 1978-04-26

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-009: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1977-1979Return to Top

1.5' Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, newsletters; 1977-1979.

This accession consists of newsletters, correspondence and ephemera published by several national politically conservative groups. Also includes some correspondence with local political figures.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users, but access to portions of the papers restricted. Contact repository for details.

Acquisition Info: Roscoe Torrance, 1980-01-29

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-010: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1932-1980Return to Top

1.5' Linear.

Scope and Content: Financial records, correspondence; 1932-1980.

Contains financial statements of: Seattle Rainier Baseball Club, 1939-1955; Wood and Reber, Inc., 1933-1956; Western Printing Co., 1932-1954; and some correspondence with national Republican groups, 1980.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Torchy Torrance, 1980-05-01

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-011: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1975-1980Return to Top

1.5' Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, newsletters; 1975-1980.

Accession includes Mr. Torrance's correspondence and publications of national right-wing groups.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Torchy Torrance, 1980-09-25

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-012: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1980-1981Return to Top

[Information not available]

Scope and Content: Correspondence, certificates, mailings, ephemera; 1980-1981.

Items concern Torrance's support of Republican candidates and conservative causes.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Roscoe C. Torrance, 1981-10-29

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-013: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1982Return to Top

5" Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, memorabilia, certificates, ephemera, oversize portrait, photographs; 1969-1982 (bulk 1982)

Items concern Torrance's support of Republican candidates and conservative causes.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Roscoe C. Torrance, 1982-12-09

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-014: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1977-1983Return to Top

10" Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, newsletters, photographs, ephemera, subject series; 1977-1983.

Main subjects covered in this accession are Mr. Torrance's activities in support of amateur athletics including U.S. participation in the Olympic games, and his support of Republican political candidates. Box 1 contains a number of photographs, including a good portrait of "Torchy" Torrance, a signed photograph of Ronald Reagan, a photograph of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, and others.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Torchy Torrance 9/8/83 and 11/17/83, 1983-09-08

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-015: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1957-1985Return to Top

5" Linear.

Scope and Content: Biographical features, correspondence, lists, clippings, ephemera; 1926, 1957-1985.

Items concern Torrance's support of Republican political activities and of U.S. participation in the Olympic Games; also, local sports and contributions to charities.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Torchy Torrance: 4,5,7, and 8/84; 2/85, 1984-04-01

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-016: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1985-1986Return to Top

10" Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, Christmas cards, invitations, color photographs, awards, plaques, ephemera; 1985-1986.

Accession concerns Torrance's support of Republican political activities and local sports and contributions to charities.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: "Torchy" Torrance 1985-1986; plaques from UW LIbrary Spec. Coll. 4/1/85, 1985-01-01

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-017: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1986-1989Return to Top

7.5" Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, Christmas cards, awards and honors, newsletters, color photographs, ephemera; 1986-1989.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: "Torchy" Torrance 1986-89, 1985-01-01

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-018: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1989-1990Return to Top

1' 8.5" Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, awards and honors, clippings, ephemera; 1989-1990.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: "Torchy" Torrance 9/29/89 - 3/20/90, 1989-09-29

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1361-001: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, circa 1947-1957Return to Top

1' Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, photographs, contracts, ephemera.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Gift of Roscoe Torrance, Seattle, 1970-06-03

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1951-001: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, [Information not available]Return to Top

5" Linear.

Scope and Content: Correspondence, minutes, photographs.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Roscoe Torrance, Seattle, 1972-05-17

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Accession No. 1326-019: Roscoe C. Torrance papers, 1987-1990Return to Top

1 vertical file

Scope and Content: Invitations, certificates, and materials from Torrance's involvement with the Republican Presidential Task Force, correspondence from recipients of Torrance's memoir ("Torchy!", (1988)), and other certificates, invitations, and correspondence.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Unknown; presumably Roscoe Torrance, possibly November 1990

Description
Roscoe C. Torrance papers

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • Torrance, Roscoe C. (Roscoe Conkling), 1899-1990--Archives
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Adams, Brock, 1927-2004 (creator)
    • Chandler, Happy, 1898-1991 (creator)
    • Cooper, John M (creator)
    • Evans, Daniel J., 1925- (creator)
    • Ford, Gerald R., 1913-2006 (creator)
    • Hope, Bob (creator)
    • Jackson, Henry M. (Henry Martin), 1912-1983 (creator)
    • Magnuson, Warren G. (Warren Grant), 1905-1989 (creator)
    • Miller, Floyd C (creator)
    • Pelly, Thomas M. (Thomas Minor), 1902-1973 (creator)
    • Reagan, Ronald (creator)
    • Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979 (creator)
    • Rosellini, Albert D. (Albert Dean), 1910-2011 (creator)
    • Smith, R. Irvine (creator)
    • Spellman, John (creator)
    • Vanderjagt, Guy (creator)
    • Wallace, George (creator)
    • Corporate Names :
    • Amateur Athletic Union of the United States (creator)
    • American Cause (creator)
    • American Conservative Union (creator)
    • American Legion (creator)
    • American Legion. Department of Washington (creator)
    • American Security Council (creator)
    • Americans Against Union Control of Government (creator)
    • Conservative Caucus (creator)
    • Craftsmen and Met Press (creator)
    • Greater Seattle, Inc (creator)
    • March of Dimes (creator)
    • Metropolitan and Western Printing Company (creator)
    • National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame (creator)
    • National Police and Fire Fighters Association (creator)
    • National Right to Work Committee (U.S.) (creator)
    • New Freedom of '76 Foundation (creator)
    • Northwest Hospital (creator)
    • Republican National Committee (U.S.) (creator)
    • Republican Party (King County, Wash.). Central Committee (creator)
    • Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ) (creator)
    • Republican Party. National Congressional Committee (creator)
    • Salvation Army (creator)
    • Seafair (creator)
    • Seattle Center (Seattle, Wash.) (creator)
    • Seattle Rainiers (Baseball team) (creator)
    • United States Citizens' Congress (creator)
    • United States Olympic Committee (creator)
    • University of Washington. Annual Fund (creator)
    • University of Washington. Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. President (creator)
    • Variety Club (creator)
    • Western Printing Company (creator)
    • Wood and Reber, publishers (creator)
    • Young Americans for Freedom (creator)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)