Finding Aid to the Louis Victor Eytinge Collection MS.595

Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles, CA, 90065-5030
323-221-2164
rroom@theautry.org
July 2013


Title: Louis Victor Eytinge Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS.595
Contributing Institution: Autry National Center, Braun Research Library
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.4 Linear feet 4 folders
Date (inclusive): 1915-1917
Abstract: Louis Victor Eytinge (1878-1938) became a lucrative business man while serving a life sentence in the Arizona state prison. He was the son of Ida Seebohm, a music teacher from Dayton, Ohio and Harry Eytinge. From 1907-1937, Louis Eyinge was in and out of prison for forgery and fraud. This collection consists of published material and correspondence about or by Eytinge. Most of the material was created from 1915 to 1917, although some items are undated.
creator: De Ford, Miriam Allen, 1888-1975
creator: Eytinge, Louis Victor, 1878-1938

Biographical/Historical note

Louis Victor Eytinge (1878-1938) became a lucrative business man while serving a life sentence in the Arizona state prison. He was the son of Ida Seebohm, a music teacher from Dayton, Ohio and Harry Eytinge. Louis Eyinge spent most of his life in and out of prison for forgery and fraud. In 1907, Eytinge was also convicted and sentenced for a murder that some experts claimed was impossible for Eytinge to commit.
Sometime before 1907, Eytinge was an inmate in the Ohio Penitentiary where he contracted tuberculosis. He was sentenced there for forgery and was released on 1907 March 1.
En route to Arizona, Eytinge met and befriended John Laitch, a barber from Cheboygan, Wisconsin, who was also headed West for a healthier climate. On 1907 March 17, Eyinge rented a buggy and the two men travelled to the desert for a picnic. Eytinge returned alone from the outing. Laithc’s body was found a week later and Eytinge was accused of murder.
While in the Arizona Penitentiary, Eytinge recovered from tuberculosis and set up a successful mail order business for goods produced by convict labor. Eytinge promoted this merchandise by writing and distributing sales letters. Sales letter writing became Eytinge's second business endeavor that earned him over $5000 a year.
During Eytinge's incarceration, he also wrote articles for the Saturday Evening Post, edited issues of Postage: The Magazine of Direct Mail Advertising, wrote the screenplay Man Under Cover, and authored books on business and Arizona’s criminal problems.
Eytinge eventually appealed his case and was released in 1923 January 1. In 1927 Eytinge was in jail again for forgery. He was released a short while later but ended up back in prison for swindling by 1933 December 30. He was released in 1937. Eytinge died 1938 December 17.
References: Anonymous, "Genius Whose Brain is Astonishing Business World in Jail for Life Crime Science Says is Impossible" Information World: a Monthly Journal of Cashable Knowledge, 1917 April, pages 11-14.
Frank, Sadie A. "The Man Who Came Back." Success. May 1923, page 17.
Love, Frank. "Prisoner No. 2608 Couldn't Go Straight." Sun [Yuma] 5 Janurary 2006. Retrieved from Access World News. Database. 22 July 2013.
Young, Roz. "Eytinge's Life One Big Crime." Dayton Daily News 8 June 1991. Retrieved from Access World News. Database. 22 July 2013.

Scope and Contents note

This collection consist of published articles about Louis Victor Eytinge, correspondence from Eytinge to Joseph Amasa Munk, a booklet written by Eytinge titled Collecting the Coin, and two copies of the Postage: The Magazine of Direct Mail Advertising. Most of the material was created or published 1915-1917, although some items are undated.

Access

Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://theautry.org/research/research-rules-and-application or contact library staff at rroom@theautry.org. An item-level inventory is available from library staff.

Preferred citation

Louis Victor Eytinge Collection, 1915-1917, Braun Research Library Collection, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.595; [folder number] [folder title][date].

Use

Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Autry Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry National Center as the custodian of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Acquisition

Donated to the Library by Joseph Amasa Munk, between 1917 and 1927.

Processing history

Processed by Glenna Schroeder, circa 1977-1981. Finding aid updated by Anna Liza Posas 2013 July 22. Final processing of collection and publication of finding aid made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Related Archival Materials note

J. A. (Joseph Amasa) Munk Papers, 1834-1928, Braun Research Library, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS.209.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Advertising
Arizona -- History
Articles
Collecting the Coin
Correspondence
Forgery
Fraud
Postage (Magazine)
Prisoners

Folder 1

Article about Eytinge 1915-1917

Folder 2

Letters and articles regarding Eytinge's innoncence circa 1917

Scope and contents

Folder also includes letter from Eytinge to Joseph Amasa Munk, 1917 August 13. Eytinge is replying to Munk's request for copies of Eytinge's books Collecting the Coin and Writing Business Letters.
Folder 3

Collecting the Coin 1915

Scope and contents

Publication by Eyinge about writing debt collection letters.
Folder 4

Postage: The Magazine of Direct Mail Advertising issues

Scope and contents

Folder consists of volume 3, number 6, 1917 June and volume 4, number 1, 1917 July. Both magazine issues edited by Eytinge.