James Francis O'Connor Papers, 1937-1945  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Creator
O'Connor, James Francis, 1878-1945
Title
James Francis O'Connor Papers
Dates
1937-1945
Quantity
3 linear feet
Collection Number
Collection 1059, MtBC, us (collection)
Summary
The James Francis O'Connor Papers consists of papers and correspondence from O'Connor's Livingston office. Topics include: O'Connor's ranch properties in Park County, MT, the WPA, Farm Credit Administration, House Committee on Indian Affairs, the America First Committee, the Fort Peck Dam, Senator James E. Murray, and Senator Burton K. Wheeler. The collection also contains newspaper clippings pertaining to O'Connor, speeches both in Montana and in Congress, and photographs of O'Connor, family, and associates.
Repository
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
59717-3320
Telephone: 406-994-4242
Fax: 406-994-2851
asc@montana.libanswers.com
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

James Francis O'Connor was born May 7, 1878, near California Junction, Iowa. He attended public and normal schools in that state and graduated from the Nebraska Law School in 1904. He came to Montana in 1905 and practiced law in Livingston. He began his public career as a judge of the Sixth Judicial District and becoming a member of the Democratic Party. Later he was elected to the Montana House of Representatives and was elected Speaker in his first term. During much of his career he owned a ranch near White Sulphur Springs. In 1936 he was elected to the U.S. Congress from the Second District, representing eastern Montana, and was re-elected in 1938, 1940, 1942, and 1944. He served on several committees and was chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs. He died on January 13, 1945, while serving in Congress. His only son, Miles O'Connor, died the same year.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists of 3 linear feet of papers and correspondence from O'Connor's Livingston office. The papers are arranged in topically labeled folders with a general effort to sort the material chronologically. Original folder titles have, for the most part, been retained. Series 1 contains papers pertaining to O'Connor's ranch properties in Park County, MT. Series 2 contains topical files concerning a wide variety of subject matter, including: the WPA, Farm Credit Administration, House Committee on Indian Affairs, the America First Committee, the Fort Peck Dam, Senator James E. Murray, and Senator Burton K. Wheeler. Newspaper clippings pertaining to O'Connor are arranged in Series 3 under broad subject headings. Series 4 contains a number of O'Connor's speeches both in Montana and in Congress arranged chronologically from 1937 to 1944. Series 5 contains 15 photographs of O'Connor, family, and associates.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Arrangement

Series 1 Ranch Papers, 1931-1945

Series 2 Topical Files, 1937-1945

Series 3 Newspaper Clippings, 1942, undated

Series 4 Speeches, 1937-1944

Series 5 Photographs

Acquisition Information

Papers and correspondence from the office of U.S. Representative James Francis O'Connor of Montana were donated to Special Collections by Mrs. Geneva Lott of Livingston, Montana, the Congressman's only daughter, in 1970. The collection consists of office files kept in the Livingston office of Rep. O'Connor during his career in the U.S. House of Representatives. The office was managed by Miles O'Connor, the Congressman's son, who was also his law partner.

Processing Note

This collection was processed 2009 May 19


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:  Ranch papers, 1931-1945Return to Top

Handwritten and carbon copies of typed letters relating to O'Connor's ranch properties in Park County, Montana. Includes letters to his hired men during his terms in Washington D.C. regarding management of his ranches.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
2K Ranch, Elmer Dobson correspondence
1942-1943
1/2
2K Ranch, J. Kirchbaum correspondence
1931-1938
1/3
2K Ranch, Kirchbaum correspondence
1939-1940
1/4
2K Ranch, Kirchbaum correspondence
1941-1942
1/5
2K Ranch, Kirchbaum, correspondence
1943-1945

Series 2:  Topical files, 1937-1945Return to Top

Papers and correspondence pertaining to a wide range of topics and arranged chronologically by year (whenever possible). Folder titles are, for the most part, original and generally denote the issues which were of interest at different periods of O'Connor's stay in the House of Representatives including the WPA, Farm Credit Administration, the Democratic Party, Indian Affairs, the America First Committee, Senator James E. Murray and Senator Burton K. Wheeler. Folders in Box 5 have been taken out of the chronological sequence since their contents are not restricted to a single year.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/6
Drought Crisis
1937
1/7
WPA
1/8
WPA and the Drought Crisis
1937
1/9
Henry A. Wallace
1937
1/10
Franklin D. Roosevelt
1937
1/11
Farm Credit Administration
1937
1/12
Farm Credit Administration, Special Cases
1937
1/13
Farmer's Union
1937
1/14
Federal Land Bank
1937
1/15
Fort Peck Dam
1937
1/16
Home Loans
1937
1/17
Labor Unions
1937
1/18
Correspondence
1937
2/1
Department of Agriculture
1937
2/2
Appointments (Requests for)
1937
2/3
Correspondence, Requests
1938
2/4
Great Falls to Receive Federal Crop Ins.
1938
2/5
Public Debt
1938
2/6
Correspondence
1939
2/7
Announcement of Candidacy
1940
2/8
Campaign Appointments
1940
2/9
Correspondence, Democratic Committee, etc.
1940
2/10
Correspondence, Democratic Party
2/11
Correspondence, Individuals
1940
2/12
Campaign Correspondence, Attorneys
1940
2/13
Correspondence, Associations, Agencies
1940
2/14
Form Letters
1940
2/15
Campaign Advertising
1940
2/16
Indian Vote (Rober Yellowtail)
1940
2/17
Lewistown Postmaster Affair
1940
3/1
Labor Unions
1940
3/2
U.S. Cabinet, etc.
1940
3/3
U.S. Congress, Lyndon B. Johnson, John W. McCormack, Sam Rayburn
1940
3/4
Thank You Letters, Campaign
1940
3/5
Election Returns
1940
3/6
Congratulations
1940
3/7
Correspondence
1941
3/8
Criticism of Administration
1941
3/9
Labor Unions
1941
3/10
Announcement and Filing
1942
3/11
Correspondence
1942
3/12
Correspondence, general
July-December 1942
3/13
Form Letters
1942
3/14
Democratic Committees (National)
1942
3/15
Democratic Committees (State)
1942
3/16
Democratic Workers (State)
1942
3/17
Form Letters about campaign announcement
1942
4/1
Correspondence about Candidacy
1942
4/2
Postmasters
1942
4/3
Correspondence from VIPs, Sam Rayburn, etc.
1942
4/4
Government Officials, general correspondence and Papers
1942
4/5
Campaign Materials
1942
4/6
About F.F. Haynes, Campaign Opponent
1942
4/7
James Murray, FDR, etc.
1942
4/8
Campaign Correspondence, Clippings, Jerry O'Connell
1942
4/9
Indian Vote
1942
4/10
Labor Unions
1942
4/11
Correspondence, Congratulations
1942
4/12
Bridger Times Condemns O'Connor
1942
4/13
Controversy over News Stories
1942
4/14
Murray, Sen. James
campaign of 1942
4/15
Voting Record
1942
4/16
Columnists Drew Pearson and Robert Allen attack O'Connor
4/17
Cut Bank Pioneer Press Endorsement of O'Connor, Criticism of Murray
4/18
Letters of Congratulation
1942
4/19
Thank You Letters
1942
4/20
Election Returns
1942
4/21
Certificates of Election
4/22
Correspondence
1943
4/23
Obituaries and Memorials
1945
5/1
Unamerican Activities Smear
1941-1942
5/2
Unamerican Activities Smear, "People's Voice"
5/3
Vocational Education
5/4
Fraser, Willard
5/5
Haynes Fritz
1942
5/6
Melvin Hoiness GOP Opponent
1942
5/7
Murray, Sen. James E.
5/8
O'Connell, Jerry
1940
5/9
America First, Correspondence about
5/10
Crop Loans
5/11
Fish
5/12
Forest Service
5/13
Ft. Harrison Reopenings
1937-1938
5/14
Fort Peck Dam
1937-1938
5/15
Ft. Peck Game Reserve
5/16
Freight Rates, all years
5/17
Housing
6/1
Sugar
6/2
Supreme Court Packing Issue
6/3
Townsend Plan
1937-1942
6/4
Wheeler, Burton K., correspondence

Series 3:  Newspaper clippings, 1942, undatedReturn to Top

Newspaper clippings from the period of O'Connor's Congressional terms. Clippings are of both articles and editorials, and are taken from numerous state and national newspapers, including the Great Falls Tribune, the Miles City Star, the Livingston Enterprise, and many others. Topics covered include O'Connor's campaigns, isolationism during the pre-war period, the America First Committee, FDR, the Democratic Party, and others. Clippings are arranged loosely by topic. In some cases, an entire newspaper page is included, and the article of scrutiny is marked. Box 8 contains two scrapbooks of mounted clippings.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6/5
Roosevelt
1942
6/6
Social Problems
1942
6/7
Labor and the War
1942
6/8
War Effort
1942
6/9
Montana
1942
6/10
O'Connor
6/11
O'Connor
6/12
O'Connor
6/13
Other Democrats
6/14
Roosevelt
6/15
War Effort
6/16
Political Issues-National
7/1
Political Issues-Montana
7/2
Indian Problems
7/3
Lindbergh, Col. Charles A.
Box
8
Scrapbooks
2 volumes

Series 4:  Speeches, 1937-1944Return to Top

Speeches delivered by Rep. O'Connor and others between 1937-1944. Some speeches were delivered in the House of Representatives and printed in the Congressional Record. Others are photostatic copies or typed pages. Topics include foreign affairs, farm production, election matters, Lend-Lease and other legislation.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
7/4
"Indians, Their Lands, Rights...Crow Indians of Montana" Congressional Record
June 15, 1937
7/5
"Necessity for General Farm Legislation", "Crop Ins." Congressional Record
August 5, 1937; August 10, 1937
7/6
"My Report..." (O'Connor's Activities in His 1st Session)
August 16, 1937
7/7
"Pending Farm Legislation" Speech on CBS Radio
December 20, 1937
7/8
"General Welfare Act...", "Plight of the Farmer", Congressional Record
May 25, 1938; May 31, 1938
7/9
Speeches to Montanans
1938
7/10
"Our Duty to the Aged" Congressional Record
May 31, 1939
7/11
"Neutrality" Congressional Record
October 31, 1939
7/12
"My Fellow Democrats" Campaign Speeches in Montana
1940
7/13
"Reciprocal Trade", "Reclamation", "Townsend Plan", Congressional Record
February 26, 1940; March 5, 1940; May 6, 1940
7/14
"Sugar Legislation", "National Farm Program", Congressional Record
June 20, 1940; July 1, 1940
7/15
"Manufacturers' Sales Tax", Congressional Record
March 26, 1941
7/16
"Lend-Lease Bill", Congressional Record
February 17, 1941
7/17
"Old-Age Pensions", Congressional Record
February 18, 1941
7/18
Indian Affairs
April 14, 1941
7/19
"Extension of Sugar Act"
December 1, 1941
7/20
"Hon. Charles Leavy", "Sugar...Industrial Alcohol", "Purchasing Power", Congressional Record
February 19, 1942; April 27, 1942; June 1, 1942
7/21
"Nation's Part in War...", "Food Production...in War", Congressional Record
June 25, 1942; September 22, 1942
7/22
Campaign Speeches in Montana
Some by Miles O'Connor
1942
7/23
Speeches in Progress, Fragments of Speeches
1942
7/24
"Report to Montana", Congressional Record
September 18, 1944
7/25
Speech to Montana Democratic Party
audiotape reel and CD
1944

Series 5:  PhotographsReturn to Top

15 black and white photographs of Rep. O'Connor, his home and family, and associates. Size varies from 4" × 5" to 8" × 10". Six autographed photographs of portraits including Sam Rayburn, are included. (Photographs 1-8 have matching negatives included in the folder.)

Container(s) Description
Box/Folder
7/26
#1: O'Connor with son Miles at ranch
#2: O'Connor with wife
#3: O'Connor's house in Livingston
#4: O'Connor's house in Livingston
#5: O'Connor with grandsons
#6: O'Connor and family
#7: O'Connor riding horse in Livingston parade
#8: O'Connor in Livingston parade
#9: Autographed Portrait of Sam Rayburn
#10: Group of Men at Office Table
#11: Autographed Portrait of E. E. Cox
#12: Autographed Portrait of J. Burrwood Daley
#13: Autographed Portrait [Raymand Genune?]
#14: Autographed Portrait [Paul Green?]
#15: Autographed Portrait [T. Leavy?]

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Dams-Montana
  • Legislators-United States
  • Ranchers-Montana-Park County
  • Ranches-Montana-Park County

Personal Names

  • Murray, James E.
  • Wheeler, Burton K. (Burton Kendall), 1882-1975

Corporate Names

  • America First Committee
  • United States-Farm Credit Administration
  • United States-Work Projects Administration
  • United States-Works Progress Administration
  • United States-Congress-House
  • United States-Congress-House-Committee on Indian Affairs

Geographical Names

  • Fort Peck Dam (Mont.)
  • Montana-Politics and government-20th century
  • United States-Politics and government-1933-1945