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ZACHARY BALL PAPERS

de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi


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Creator: Zachary Ball (pseudonym of Kelly Ray Masters Sr.)
Title: Zachary Ball Papers
Dates: 1944-1983
Dates: [bulk 1944-1978]
Quantity: 1.50 cubic feet (4 boxes)
Identification: DG0059

Abstract: The Zachary Ball Papers contain literary papers, publications, correspondence, photographs, audio recordings, and business records created and accumulated by Zachary Ball and his son, Kelly Ray Masters Jr., between 1944 and 1983. Ball's papers were created primarily from his composition of nineteen published and unpublished works and the operation of his audio recording sales firm, Joe Panther Enterprises. Ball is noted for his adventure stories for boys, especially his series featuring Joe Panther, a young Seminole in south Florida.

Biographical Note

Kelly Ray Masters was born in the Blackjack Hills west of Princeton, Missouri, to Abelino and Iva (Herrick) Masters on June 16, 1897. He lived in or near Altoona, Kansas, between the ages of six and thirteen, where he attended school and worked for his father and neighbors. Masters dropped out of school at the start of the seventh grade to help support his family, working in a series of factory jobs in Kansas City, Kansas, and St. Joseph, Missouri. At age seventeen, while working as a bellhop at the St. Charles Hotel in St. Joseph, he joined a small tent repertory show, playing small towns in Missouri. Masters spent the next twenty-five years touring the Midwest with various troupes and as part of a musical act with his younger brother. Second World War gasoline rationing finally put an end to his roaming.

Masters had married Gladys Green in 1931 and had a son, Kelly Ray Jr. He delivered newspapers in Austin, Texas, to support his family while selling stories to magazines of widely varying quality. Masters took the pen name Zachary Ball by combining the names of two of his favorite movie stars: Zachary Scott and Lucille Ball. While in Austin, he co-wrote several short stories for the Saturday Evening Post and Collier's with Frankie-Lee Weed (later Frankie-Lee Janas). Weed wrote under the pseudonym Saliee O'Brien. The pair submitted stories under O'Brien's name when the lead character was a woman and under Ball's name when a man.

Ball published two books for adults, Pull Down to New Orleans (1945) and Piney (1950), before turning to children's fiction for the school library market. He specialized in adventure stories for boys. Joe Panther (1950), a novel about a young Seminole in south Florida, was Ball's first juvenile work. It spawned a number of sequels and was adapted as a motion picture in 1976. Bristle Face (1962), one of Ball's many tales prominently featuring dogs, received the Dorothy Canfield Fisher and William Allen White Awards for 1964 and 1965, respectively. It was adapted for television in 1964.

In the mid-1960s, Zachary Ball and his son founded Joe Panther Enterprises, a non-profit mail order business supplying audio recordings of Ball's lively renderings of his stories to foster good reading habits in young children. The company was based in Miami, Florida, Ball's home for several years. Seeking a drier climate, he and his wife moved to Roswell, New Mexico, in 1971. A Zachary Ball Children's Book Collection Room was dedicated at the Central Missouri State University Library in Warrensburg, Missouri, in April 1978. Ball died in 1987.

Sources:
Fourth Book of Junior Authors & Illustrators, ed. Doris de Montreville and Elizabeth D. Crawford (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1978), 26-28.
Something About the Author, ed. Anne Commire (Detroit: Gale Research, 1972), 3:118-119.
Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series, ed. Deborah A. Straub (Detroit: Gale Research, 1988), 24:251.


Scope and Content Note

The Zachary Ball Papers contain literary papers, publications, correspondence, photographs, audio recordings, and business records created and accumulated by Zachary Ball and his son, Kelly Ray Masters Jr., between 1944 and 1983. Ball's papers were created primarily from his composition of nineteen published and unpublished works and the operation of his audio recording sales firm, Joe Panther Enterprises. The material is organized into three series: literary works, Joe Panther Enterprises, and personal papers.

The papers in the literary works series were created from Ball's composition of five published books; ten published short stories or adaptations; four unpublished works; and one motion picture adaptation of a novel. They are organized into five subseries: books, short stories, unpublished works, motion picture, and other literary material. In each of the first three subseries, the papers are arranged alphabetically by title and the material for each composition is arranged chronologically in order of creation when known. Ball sometimes wrote typescripts on the backs of old typescript pages and letters received. Such occasions have been noted in the container listing. Among the more valuable scrap paper is his correspondence with his California literary agent, Ralph L. Autry, from 1958 to 1966, on the reverse of typescript pages 113-161 of The Conquerers [sic]. Elsewhere, Ball's ten short stories appear in their original published magazine form. The subseries for the motion picture adaptation of Joe Panther contains production and promotional material collected by Ball over the course of the making and marketing of the film.

Ball's records from Joe Panther Enterprises primarily include promotional material for the firm and three samples of audio recordings. The personal papers series contains assorted photographs, clippings, and correspondence accumulated by Zachary Ball. Finally, the pieces of correspondence with the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection were selected and photocopied from the correspondence file of the de Grummond Collection because they provide information on Ball's literary career, Joe Panther Enterprises, and locations of other material created by Zachary Ball. Both Ball and his son, Kelly Ray Masters Jr., corresponded with the collection. The letters are arranged chronologically


Series and Subseries

A. Literary Works

1. Books (1949-1967)

2. Short Stories (1945-1959)

3. Unpublished Works [ca. 1971]

4. Motion Picture (1975-1976)

5. Other Literary Material (1944-1978)

B. Joe Panther Enterprises (1953-1968)
C. Personal Papers ([ca. 1950]-1983)


Restrictions

Restrictions on Use

Noncirculating; available for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item and cite the series), Zachary Ball Papers, de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi Libraries.

Provenance

These papers were donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by Zachary Ball and Kelly Ray Masters Jr. between 1966 and 1991.

Processing Information

Processed by Hans Rasmussen, December 2001. Encoded into EAD Version 1.0 by Danielle L. Bishop. This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Container Listing

Box/Folder

.

Literary Works

Books
Keelboat Journey by Zachary Ball, illustrated by Hans Helweg (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1958)
1/1Galley, edited and marked for publication: front matter, chapters 1-20, illustration proofs clipped in precise locations, February-March 1958
North to Abilene by Zachary Ball (New York: Holiday House, 1960)
1/2Typescript of first two episodes of serial version of book, edited: typescript pp. 37, 40-58
1/3Typescript of outline of remainder of serial version of book, 8 pp.; carbon copy of same, (8 pp.)
1/4Carbon copy of complete typescript, edited: typescript chapters 1-10
1/5Carbon copy of complete typescript, edited: typescript chapters 11-18
1/6Carbon copies of typescript pages of revisions: (pp. 1-33)
1/7Carbon copies of typescript pages of revisions: (pp. 162-190)
1/8Carbon copies of typescript pages of later revisions: (pp. 72-76, 157-163, 178-179, 188-190)
1/9Dust jacket
1/10Contract between Zachary Ball and Akmqvist & Wiksell/Gebers Forlag of Stockholm for license to publish North to Abilene in Sweden, 24 May 1961, (1 p.)
Piney by Zachary Ball (Boston: Little, Brown, 1950)
1/11Carbon copy of typescript of original sample chapters submitted in July 1949: chapters 1-7 (pp. 3-74)
1/12Carbon copy of typescript of original sample chapters submitted in July 1949: chapters 11-16 (pp. 110-178)
1/13Dust jacket for British edition published by William Heinemann
1/14Contract between Zachary Ball and Les Presses de la Cite of Paris for license to publish Piney in France, 23 September 1952, (1 p.)
Skin Diver by Zachary Ball (New York: Holiday House, 1956)
2/1Typescript, edited: chapters 1-6 (first typescript page of High and Dangerous on reverse of sheet filed between typescript pp. 42-43; letter sent proposing a Joe Panther comic strip, 20 April 1955, on reverse of sheet filed after typescript p. 72)
2/2Typescript, edited: chapters 7-11 (first typescript page of Killer Claws by Green Turtle Charlie as told to Zachary Ball on reverse of typescript p. 73; letter received from Roy C. Bates on reverse of typescript p. 74; letter received from Robbie, 7 February 1955, on reverse of typescript p. 76; first typescript page of High and Dangerous on reverse of sheet filed between typescript pp. 76-77; typescript pages of story about wildcat attack on reverse of typescript pp. 75, 77-80)
2/3Typescript, edited: chapters 12-17 (first typescript page of Sky Pilot Poole on reverse of typescript p. 198; Highlights of Robbie's Round Table in Creative Writing, March 1954, on reverse of typescript pp. 199, 197; Suggested Revisions for Second Joe Panther Story on reverse of typescript pp. 200-202; Highlights of Robbie's Round Table in Creative Writing, February 1954, on reverse of typescript p. 203; letter received from Roy C. Bates, 18 March 1955, on reverse of typescript p. 205; first typescript page of The Lion's Den on reverse of typescript p. 208)
2/4Dust jacket
Sky Diver by Zachary Ball (New York: Holiday House, 1967)
2/5Carbon copy of typescript: front matter, chapters 1-9 (missing portions of pp. 2-3, 4-8, 9-11, 14-16, 17-23, 24-26, 52-66)
2/6Carbon copy of typescript: chapters 10-16
Short Stories
2/7"Bayou Murder" by Zachary Ball, illustrated by Bart Doe, Hometown (August 1955): 4-6.
2/8"Blue Norther" by Saliee O'Brien [and Zachary Ball], illustrated by James R. Bingham, Saturday Evening Post 218 (17 November 1945): 21, 37, 39, 41, 43.
2/9"Bone Rustlers" by Frankie-Lee Weed and Kelly Masters, Real Western 12 (October 1946): 73-79, 88.
2/10"Can't Have Cake and Eat It" by Saliee O'Brien [and Zachary Ball], illustrated by Lonie Bee, Saturday Evening Post 218 (8 September 1945): 23, 102, 104-107.
2/11"Fifteen Years After" by Zachary Ball, illustrated by Walter Skor, Saturday Evening Post 231 (30 May 1959): 28-29, 52.
2/12"Homestead" by Zachary Ball, illustrated by Jim Schaeffing, Hometown (February 1955): 4-6, 12, 14.
2/13"The Hunter" by Zachary Ball, Junior Scholastic 37 (5 January 1956): 10-11, 14, 16.
2/14Pull Down to New Orleans (abridged) by Zachary Ball, illustrated by Frank Godwin, Liberty 24 (18 January 1947): 31-45.
2/15"A Right Woman" by Zachary Ball, illustrated by Frank Godwin, Liberty 23 (9 March 1946): 28-29, 58-60.
2/16"Schoolma'ams Shouldn't be Pretty" by Zachary Ball, illustrated by Paul Rabut, Saturday Evening Post 218 (23 February 1946): 26-27, 133-134, 136.
Unpublished Works
The Conquerers [sic] [ca. 1971]
2/17Carbon copy of typescript: chapters 1-7, [ca. 1971] (assorted typescript pages for unidentified short stories and a play on reverse of typescript pp. 8-16, 77-87; two letters received, 1966-1971, on reverse of typescript pp. 3-4, 25; information from the Encyclopaedia Britannica collected for the 1960 presidential election on reverse of typescript pp. 17-24, 26-76)
2/18Carbon copy of typescript: chapters 8-15, [ca. 1971] (typescript pages for chapters 1-2 of The Screaming Hills on reverse of typescript pp. 90-111; correspondence with literary agent, 1958-1966, on reverse of typescript pp. 113-161; other letters sent and received, 1966-1969, on reverse of typescript pp. 112, 162-175)
Mississippi Man Hunt
2/19Incomplete carbon copy of typescript, 35 pp.; typescript pages from another draft, 2 pp.
The Stingarees [ca. 1971]
2/20Carbon copy of typescript of outline, 4 pp.; carbon copy of typescript of an early chapter 4 as a sample chapter accompanying the outline, (14 pp.)
2/21Typescript, edited: chapters 1-4 (typescript pp. 7-26)
3/1Carbon copy of typescript: chapters 1-7 (typescript pp. 1-76), [ca. 1971] (correspondence, 1966-1971, on reverse of typescript pp. 7-20; assorted typescript pages on reverse of typescript pp. 26-63
3/2Carbon copy of typescript: chapters 8-15 (typescript pp. 78-88, 98-157, 151-166), [ca. 1971] (employment application form letter of Kelly Ray Masters Jr. on reverse of all typescript pages)
Sugar Lady
3/3Carbon copy of second typescript, edited: chapters 1-12; photograph of illustration, 1 print
Motion Picture
Joe Panther directed by Paul Krasny (Artists Creation and Associates, Inc., 1976)
3/4Literary Purchase Agreement between Kelly R. Masters Sr. and Artists Creation and Associates, Inc., of Utah for motion picture rights to Joe Panther, 28 October 1975, (25 pp.)
3/5Script, (118 pp.)
3/6Photographs taken on film set in Florida, 12 prints, June-July 1976
3/733 1/3 rpm vinyl disc of "The Time Has Come" by England Dan and John Ford Coley (title song to motion picture)
3/8Promotional material: photographs of actors, synopsis of story, news releases, clippings, movie posters, invitation to New Mexico premier, folder, December 1975-November 1976, (37 items)
3/9Clipping concerning box office revenues, 2 November 1976, (1 item)
3/10Photocopy of proclamation declaring Zachary Ball Day in Roswell, New Mexico, 2 November 1976; photographs of Plains Theater in Roswell, New Mexico, decorated for Zachary Ball Day, 24 November 1976, (2 prints)
Other Literary Material
4/1Notebook of article citations, 1944-1959; notes on the flora and fauna of Florida, 3 index cards; notes for public appearances on reading for children and writing for adults, 3 index cards
4/2Letters received from editors, 1956-1978, (13 items)
4/3Dust jackets for Swamp Chief (1953), Kep (1961), Salvage Diver (1961), Bristle Face (1962), Sputters (1963), Tent Show (1964), (6 items )
4/4Reviews of Tent Show (1964) and television adaptation of Bristle Face (1964), (2 items)
4/5Royalty statements, 1952-1969, (9 items)
4/6Photograph of certificate for Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, 1964, 1 print; leaflets and clippings for William Allen White Award, 1965, 6 items, both awarded for Bristle Face (1962)
4/7Typescript of speech and photographs for dedication of Zachary Ball Children's Book Collection Room at the Central Missouri State University Library in Warrensburg, Missouri, April 1978, (3 pp. and 7 prints)



.

Joe Panther Enterprises

4/8Business cards for Zachary Ball and Joe Panther Enterprises; membership cards, reader's award, and reading pledge card for Joe Panther Fun Club; photograph postcards of Zachary Ball, (20 items)
4/9Promotional literature for Joe Panther Enterprises, 1966-1968, (21 pp.)
4/10Dust jackets for Swamp Chief (1953), Bar Pilot (1955), Young Mike Fink (1958), North to Abilene (1960), Skin Diver (1966), Kep (1961), Salvage Diver (1961), Bristle Face (1962), Sputters (1963), Tent Show (1964), all stamped "Joe Panther Fun Club; Box 665 N. W. Branch; Miami 47, Florida," (22 items)
4Reel-to-reel audio tapes for stories read by Zachary Ball for Joe Panther Enterprises: "Joe Panther Sample," "Noah and the Ark," "Crazy Old Preacher," [c. 1966], (3 reels)



.

Personal Papers

4/11Photographs of Zachary Ball, [ca. 1950-1960], (9 prints)
4/12Biographical clippings, 1964-1978, (4 items)
4/13Letters received from schools and children, 1965-1982, (5 items)
4/14American Kennel Club registration certificate for Mister Piney, Zachary Ball's Italian Greyhound, 1970
4/15Selected correspondence with the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, 1966-1983, (30 items)

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Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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