Patrick Henry (P.H.) Costello was born January 17, 1897 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. He was the son of Patrick and Julia (Frisks) Costello. Costello graduated from Litchfield (Minnesota) High School in 1913. In 1914, he attended the University of North Dakota, majoring in medicine. Following the 1915-16 school year, he transferred to North Dakota Agricultural College (now North Dakota State University) to study pharmacy. He graduated from NDAC with a degree in pharmacy in 1917.
He enlisted with the United States Army on May 28, 1918 in Fargo. A Private, 1st Class, he served as part of a medical detachment at the post hospital at Fort Riley, Kansas until his discharge on December 13, 1918.
Following the war, he worked for W.A. Siegfried, a pharmacist in Sanborn, North Dakota. In 1919, he acquired his own pharmacy in Cooperstown, N.D. He married Jeannette Bergstrom of Cooperstown on July 7, 1920. Their only child, Curtis, was born June 30, 1921.
P.H. Costello was an active member of the Democratic Party in Griggs County, and even served as mayor of Cooperstown for a time. In 1942, Costello decided not to seek re-election, instead campaigning to be secretary for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). The NABP is an organization representing the boards of pharmacy in all 50 states. He won election and moved the family to Chicago.
P.H. Costello died in May 1971, in Jackson, Minnesota.
The P.H. Costello Papers consist entirely of correspondence to and from Costello, 1934-1944. The majority consists of correspondence between Costello and John Moses. The two knew each other from their days together at UND, in addition to their joint affiliation with the Democratic Party. Much of the correspondence relates to the political climate in Griggs County and the status of the Democratic Party in North Dakota, as well as the nature of politics statewide. The two were close friends, however, as they frequently discussed happenings in each other's families, as well as the health of Moses.
The collection also contains a 1936 letter from Costello to William Langer. Costello, then president of the American Pharmaceutical Association, pledged to assist the Governor-Elect with any questions he had regarding food and drug legislation and public health.
In addition, there is correspondence to and from Thomas Moodie, who was the Democratic candidate for Governor in 1934. Both Moodie and Costello express pleasure regarding levels of support for the Democratic Party in Griggs County.
Also included are several 1942 letters of recommendation on the behalf of Costello to the NABP. Finally, several letters written by Costello regarding the job applications of friends are present.
The correspondence is arranged alphabetically.