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Congressman Edward G. Breen Collection

Identifier: MS-409

Scope and Content

This collection documents Edward G. Breen as a U.S. Congressman in the House of Representatives from 1949-1951, his service as the mayor of Dayton, Ohio and on the Board of Commissioners for Montgomery County. This collection includes newspaper clippings, photographs, awards, certificates, posters and other memorabilia. The materials in the collection have been divided into two series.

Series I, Personal Papers, contains all personal documents and materials related to Edward G. Breen. This includes a collection of photographs, some taken by William Preston Mayfield, photos of E. G. Breen's sister Mary Louise Breen, materials from his military career, personal papers including the Montgomery Co. Annual Report of 1958, and newspapers that are related to important events that occurred during his life including the Dayton Flood, World War I, and World War II.

Series II, Scrapbooks and Memorabilia, contains four scrapbooks and other memorabilia related to his political career from the 1940s and 1950s. One scrapbook contains all newspaper clipping pertaining to his term as the Mayor of Dayton, the second contains clippings from his term as a U.S. Congressman, and the third scrapbook contains a collection of all of the invitations, important correspondence, and other materials from Breen's time in Washington, D.C. A fourth scrapbook contains materials relating to the family life of the Breen's. It includes wedding photos and newspaper clippings, family photos and other various photos and materials relating to the life of the Breen family.


  • Creation: 1908-2013
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1940-1950


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biography of Congressman Edward G. Breen

Edward G. Breen was born on June 10, 1908, to John and Katherine Breen. His father was manager of the Philips House Hotel in downtown Dayton, Ohio where Edward was born in one of the rooms there. Edward earned a bachelor's degree from University of Dayton, then went on to continue his studies at the Ohio State University. He returned to Dayton to manage the Hilton Biltmore and later the Van Cleves Hotel.

During World War II Breen served in the Air Force at the rank of Major, seeing active duty in North Africa and Italy. After release from active duty, he was awarded the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Infantry Reserve. Upon his return from the war, he was elected to the Dayton City Board of Commissioners in 1945, who appointed him Mayor.

He resigned his position in 1948 in order to be nominated by the Democratic Party for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected over incumbent Raymond Burke, a Republican, and then in 1950, re-won his seat against the Republican challenger Paul Schenck. However, health issues forced Breen to resign from office on October 1, 1951.

After his return to Dayton, Breen worked in real estate and insurance until re-entering public service as a member of the Board of Commissioners for Montgomery County, Ohio. He served from 1955-1960. During this time he also got married to Constance Focke on November 10, 1956. Edward and Constance had three children, one of whom, Edward F. Breen, wrote a biography of his father, Lucky Eddie, and donated the collection to Wright State. Edward G. Breen passed away on May 8, 1991 in Dayton.


7.75 linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains the papers of Edward G. Breen, a Dayton, Ohio native and Democratic Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives for the third district of Ohio from 1949-1951. Before being elected to Congress, Breen served in the Air Force during World War II, he then served as mayor for the city of Dayton upon his return home from war. After serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, Breen was elected to the Board of Commissioners for Montgomery County. Three scrapbooks of newspaper clippings from the 1940s document Breen's media coverage as hotel manager, Dayton mayor, and Montgomery County Commissioner. A fourth scrapbook contains materials relating to the family life of the Breen's, including wedding photos, newspaper clippings, and family photos. The collection also contains a variety of memorabilia including personal photographs, awards, certificates, posters and a Silent Butler.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged in 2 series.

  1. Series I: Edward G. Breen Personal Papers, 1902-2013
  2. Series II: Scrapbooks and Memorabilia, 1908-1984

Acquisition Information

Donated by Edward F. Breen, son of Congressman Breen, on April 9, 2009.


Congressman Breen's children may donate more materials in the future.

Related Material

MS-2 James Middleton Cox Papers MS-278 Frank Krebs Collection Ms-280 Marguerite Parrish Papers MS-341 Tony Hall Papers MS-419 Congressman David Hobson Collection MS-458 Dayton Daily News Archives

Separated Material

There are two oversized folders located in map case location 63, files 10 and 11.


Breen, Focke Edward. Lucky Eddie: The Life, Times and Family of Former U.S. Congressman, Edward G. Breen. The Local History Company: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2008.

Processing Information

The scrapbooks were in deteriorated condition, with articles and other materials falling out. As a result, every article was photocopied and returned to as close to its original place in the scrapbooks as possible. The fourth scrapbook was inter-leaved with acid-free paper to protect each page.

Guide to the Congressman Edward G. Breen Collection (MS-409)
Finding aid prepared by David Brownell
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • February 2012: Additions processed by Lynda Kachurek.
  • April 2015: Additions processed by Adam Becker.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA