The Wendell W. Mischler Papers consist of correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs, which document the personal life and professional activities of Wendell W. Mischler during the years he served as William Howard Taft's private secretary. While the papers date from 1894 to 1930, the bulk of the material concerns Mischler's service to Taft from his retirement as president and until his appointment as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1913-1921). During this time Taft taught at the Yale University Law School, and Mischler resided in New Haven, Connecticut.
Because Mischler and his wife were separated for long periods of time, during Taft's numerous lecture tours across the country and the Taft family's extended summer vacations in Pointe-au-Pic, Canada, or when Marie Mischler was called to attend family members in Arkansas and Colorado, these papers include extensive files of exchanges between husband and wife. For some periods there are daily letters from Mischler to his wife. Mrs. Mischler's letters are less numerous and many of them remain in the files of undated letters in folders 35-38.
While Mischler seldom discusses politics in these exchanges, the letters consitute a journal of Taft's lecture engagements and provide a view of Taft family business, domestic management, office practices, and social affairs at Yale and in New Haven. Mischler often mentions plays and concerts he attends. The exchanges between husband and wife relate to family business, particularly the health of Mrs. Mischler, who spent some time in a sanitarium in Washington, D.C., family living arrangements and finances, and the activities of Mr. Mischler's niece, Lorena Zeller, who was pursuing a musical career in New York.
The papers include only a few items autographed by Taft and his wife. These are in folders 41 and 42. The papers also include photographs of Taft and his family as well as invitations to Taft family weddings.
The papers also include items of family memorabilia, such as programs from Lorena Zeller's concerts, writings by Marie Mischler, and travel brochures. Box four contains numerous family photographs.
Yale University Library acquired the Mischler Papers in 1986. A niece of Marie Mischler, who received the papers after her aunt's death, had previously held the papers. Included in the papers are a few items related to Taft, which are addressed to Emory Moore, father of the previous owner and brother of Mrs. Mischler.