J. Roy Lewis Papers, 1910-19491 box (1 linear feet).
A prominent resident of Holyoke in the first half of the twentieth century, J. Roy Lewis was a key player in the development the Pioneer Valley. He worked for the Hampden-Ely Lumber Company and was involved in several local organizations and projects, notably the Taxpayers Association, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Planning Committee. Although likely quite comfortable financially, Lewis was concerned about the distribution of wealth, calling the relationship between business owners and consumers “a real bloodless revolution.”
To residents of the Pioneer Valley, Lewis was best known as a frequent writer of letters to the editors of the Holyoke Transcript-Telegram and the Springfield Republican from 1911 to 1945. In 1915, another writer commented that “every now and then J. R. Lewis pops up with some [com]plaint about the democracy of which he was born a part.” Lewis was extremely prolific, publishing over 110 letters by 1916 with titles (chosen by the editors) such as “Interesting Letter from J. Roy. Lewis,” “J. Roy Lewis Speaks in Praise of Democrat’s Editorials,” and “Again Mr. Lewis.”
The J. Roy Lewis collection contains business correspondence, city management plans, audits from the Hampden-Ely Company, and numerous letters to the editors of the Holyoke Transcript-Telegram and the Springfield Republican.