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Wheeler and Robert McMillen Family Papers

Identifier: 0031

Collection Overview

The Wheeler and Robert McMillen family papers document the history of the McMillen/Doane family, primarily through the lives of Wheeler and Robert McMillen. Notably, the materials in the collection provide insights into the American conservative movement during the twentieth century, American agriculture, the publishing industry, and the Boy Scouts of America, among other subjects. The materials also provide insights into the personal lives of the midwestern family, including their connections to Ada, Ohio and Ohio Northern University.

Significant groupings of material in the collection include correspondence (personal and professional), professional and personal writings, photographs, various professional and subject files, and artifacts and ephemera associated with the McMillen family.


  • Creation: 1728-1999
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1924-1999

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. Note: In compliance with University Policy 6.1 if the user is affiliated with a media organization, or if the intended outcome for archival work is create a product that wil be featured by the media, then the user should first contact ONU's Communication and Marketing Office to coordinate their archival research/media request.

Conditions Governing Use

Ohio Northern University maintains copyright for institutional records in accordance with U.S. copyright law. Collections may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not help. Users are responsible for determining the appropriate use and reuse of materials.

Biographical / Historical

The McMillen/Doane family has roots in the American midwest, including Ohio and Indiana. Later, Wheeler and Robert McMillen relocated to Northern Virginia. The family, predominately Wheeler and Robert, were connected to agriculture, publishing, and the American conservative movement. For many years the family owned a 125 acre farm in Ada, Ohio.

Wheeler McMillen was born on January 27, 1893 and attended Ohio Northern University from 1911-1914. He was an important figure around the world with his work and perspectives in the agricultural field. He was a newspaper reporter, but moved into being an editor for the Covington (Indiana) Republican and the Country Home. He worked as editor-in-chief at both the Farm Journal and The Pathfinder. He was the founder and president of the Farm Chemurgic Council. He was also a well-known author of both books and articles, with his best known works being The Green Frontier and Feeding the Multitudes. He passed on March 4, 1992.

Robert Doane McMillen was born on June 3, 1916. He was the son of Wheeler and Edna McMillen. He received his M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University in 1938. Robert McMillen was commissioned to the United States Navy in 1946, where he worked up to a Liuetenant Commander. He was also assistant naval attache while he was stationed in South Africa. He worked as editor at the New Haven Register and the Farm Journal. He was also secretary of the Chemurgic Council. He went on to work as the assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra T. Benson during the 1950s. After working for the government, he moved into strictly public relations roles with the American Meat Institute, the Corn Refiners Association and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. He passed on May 15, 1998


20.3 Linear Feet (28 containers)

Language of Materials



The Wheeler and Robert McMillen Family Papers document the lives of Wheeler and Robert (along with other family members) and provide insights into the American conservative movement during the twentieth century, American agriculture, the publishing industry, and the Boy Scouts of America, among other subjects. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, subject and professional files, writings, and family artifacts.

Related Materials

The University of Orgeon Special Collections and University Archives possesses a Wheeler McMillen Papers collection (collection 120) that is open to researchers.


As an academic archives that strives to advance historical research and understanding of our shared histories, the ONU Archives is committed to preserving and making accessible original, historic materials. This commitment to preserving materials in an uncensored form means that collections may contain offensive text, images, or recordings.

Processing Information

Andrew Taylor processed the collection during the summer of 2023 as part of his internship for the Indiana University Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering. The finding aid was lightly revised in November 2023.

During processing, approximately five linear feet of material was removed from the collection, primarily consisting of plaques, news clippings, and empty envelopes.

Wheeler and Robert McMillen Family Papers, 1728-1999, bulk 1924-1999
Taylor, Andrew
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Ohio Northern University Archives Repository

Heterick Memorial Library
525 South Main Street
Ada Ohio 45810 United States