These materials were acquired through Ben Guttery from Mr. Dave Dillingham of Fort Worth about 1999. Dillingham was an auctioneer and purchased these papers in two or three old suitcases at an estate sale. Interestingly, they also contained a flyer from a coin and stamp store owner in Fort Worth, Robert Wallace. Mr Wallace said that at one time he had acquired the entire remainder of the Sumners' estate. He was interested in the items for their postal history as they contained many letters to Sumners from across the globe. It appears that these papers were of a more personal nature to the Congressman and were not part of the materials he donated to the Dallas Historical Society. Click HERE to view the DHS booklet.
In the summer of 2001, Ben Guttery donated these materials to the Poage Library along with most of his collection of campaign materials and a small group of papers from former congressman W. R. Smith. The materials were already individually foldered and arranged chronologically. The BCPM staff put each letter in a mylar top loader and then into acid-free folders.