Guide to the Carl Ultes, Jr. Papers

Carl Ultes, Jr. Papers
Wright State University Libraries Special Collections and Archives
Phone: 937-775-2092
Ultes, Jr., Carl
Bulk dates:
8.5 linear feet
Carl Ultes, Jr. was an attorney, businessman and civic leader in Springfield, Ohio who eventually took over the O.S. Kelley Company from his father-in-law, O.W. Kelly. The collection consists of business papers, correspondence, news clippings, pamphlets, legal case files as well as materials relating to Ultes's memberships in various civic organizations, and his interest in stamp collecting.
The records are in English

Biography of Carl Ultes, Jr.

Carl Ultes, Jr. was born in 1881 in Chelsea, Michigan to Dr. Carl Ultes, Sr. and Berthea Werkheim. He had one brother, William. Ultes's father, Carl Sr., was born in the Rhineland section of Germany in July1848. He attended college at the University of Heidelberg. In 1869 he relocated to the United States to attend the University of Michigan Medical School, where he graduated in 1873. He earned another medical degree from Bellevue Medical School in 1878. Carl Sr. practiced medicine in both Chelsea and Lansing, Michigan before moving his family to Springfield, Ohio in 1890.

Carl Ultes, Jr. graduated from Wittenberg University, where he was salutatorian of his class. On the day of his graduation, he met Louise Kelly, who would later become his wife. Ultes attended the University of Michigan Law School before returning to Springfield to join a law firm. After a short time, Ultes traveled west and landed in Portland, Oregon to practice law there. Ultes had kept in touch with Louise Kelly over the years and when she traveled to Spokane, Washington with a friend, Carl met them there. Soon after, he moved his law practice to Spokane and began a long distance relationship with Kelly. They married in Springfield, Ohio in December 1912. They lived in Spokane until 1919 when they returned to Ohio so that Carl could join his father-in-law's business, the O.S. Kelly Company. Carl initially started as a sales manager and slowly advanced within the company.

In his pastime, Carl collected stamps and played golf. He became president of the Springfield Country Club and directed the 1933 Ohio Amateur Golf Tournament held there. There are two interesting aspects to his involvement with the country club. When the club was destroyed by fire, Carl installed slot machines and rebuilt the club from the revenues. And when Carl played golf at the club, Ohio Governor James Rhodes was often his caddy. In later years, he spent more time on community affairs with the Rotary Club and the Community Fund. Ultes served on the Board of Directors of the National Piano Manufactures Association. He was also an advisor for the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at Wittenberg and was active in the Boy Scouts.

Carl Ultes, Jr. died July 26, 1973 at Mercy Medical Center, Springfield, Ohio. He was 92 years old.

Scope and Content

Series I: O.S. Kelly Company, consists of records relating Ultes' employment at his father-in-law's company, O.S. Kelly Company. The company first started out by manufacturing farming equipment but later focused on engineering piano plates, which the correspondence reflects.

Series II: Personal Files, consists of four subseries. Subseries IIA, Brochures and Pamphlets, contains football programs, including three from Wittenberg University, Ultes' alma mater, as well as travel brochures and maps he collected during his time living in the Pacific Northwest. Subseries IIB, Camps and Schools, contains brochures and correspondence with administrators relating to prospective programs Ultes was researching for his son, Tom's, attendance. There are also some letters from Tom to his parents written while he was away at camp. Subseries IIC, Finance and Investments, contains a mix of correspondence, legal documents, and stock receipts relating primarily to his personal finances, though some of the correspondence regarding bill collection may overlap with his responsibilities at O.S. Kelly Company. Subseries IID, Stamp Collecting, contains correspondence with stamp vendors, primarily from New York, and fellow stamp collectors, receipts, stamp price lists, and newspaper clippings and articles about stamp collections and collecting. It also holds Ultes' membership cards to the American Philatelic Society.

Series III: Associations, contains five subseries consisting of records that reflect several of Carl's social affiliations and responsibilities. They contain incoming and outgoing correspondence, meeting minutes, attendance records, pamphlets, membership lists, and newsletters.

Series IV: Candidate for Prosecuting Attorney, contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, ballots, and election ephemera relating to Ultes' run for Prosecuting Attorney in Washington in 1918.

Series V: Legal Practice in Spokane, Washington, covers the majority of the collection and contains office dockets, pleadings booklets, and case files. In Subseries VC, Old Charles Dickens Mining Company, the files relate to both Ultes' professional responsibilities as legal counsel as well as his personal investment.

Statement of Arrangement

This collection is arranged into five series and twelve subseries:
Series I: O.S. Kelly Company
Series II: Personal Papers
Subseries IIA: Brochures and Pamphlets
Subseries IIB: Camps and Schools
Subseries IIC: Finance and Investments
Subseries IID: Stamp Collecting
Series III: Associations
Subseries IIIA: Charity Work
Subseries IIIB: National Piano Manufacturers Association
Subseries IIIC: Ohio Golf Association, Amateur Championship
Subseries IIID: Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity
Subseries IIIE: Rotary Club of Springfield
Series IV: Candidate for Prosecuting Attorney
Series V: Legal Practice in Spokane, Washington
Subseries VA: Ledgers and Booklets
Subseries VB: Case Files
Subseries VC: Old Charles Dickens Mining Company

Restrictions on Use

Publication rights have not been deeded to Wright State; therefore, researchers must obtain written permission from Mr. Tom Ultes, O.S. Kelly Company, 316 North Street, Springfield, Ohio, 45502. Copyright restrictions apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Related Material: Related Material

O. S. Kelly Company Records

Subject Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Attorney and client -- United States -- Cases
Attorney at law
Business -- Ohio
Piano makers -- Ohio -- Springfield
Political campaigns
Practice of law
Stamp collecting


Ultes, Carl, Jr., 1881-1959 -- Manuscripts


O.S. Kelly Company

Material Types:

Legal documents

Preferred Citation

[Description of item, Date, Box #, Folder #], MS-30, Carl Ultes, Jr. Papers, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.

Acquisition Information

This collection was acquired from Mr. Tom Ultes, President, in the summer of 1974.

Processing Information

Processed by: David Whittaker, 1975; Updated by Carol A. Wissinger, 1981; Updated by Stephanie Kays, 2016.


No further accruals are expected.

Other Finding Aid

The finding aid is available on the Special Collections & Archives, Wright State University Libraries web site at