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MSS 046 Dick Mendenhall collection Edit


MSS 046


  • 1770-1947 (Creation)


  • 1.69 Linear Feet (Whole)
    One legal document box and one box measuring 11.5 by 15.25 by 3.



  • Abstract

    Autographs and other historical materials collected by Dick Mendenhall.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Dick Mendenhall

  • Physical Description

    Fair to good

  • Conditions Governing Access

    This collection has no restrictions. This collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required. Apply in the Heritage Room for access.

  • Preferred Citation

    Dick Mendenhall collection, MSS 046, Heritage Room, Athens-Clarke County Library.

  • Biographical / Historical

    Mendenhall established himself in radio and television broadcasting working at WGAU as a production director and host of talk shows, including a program co-hosted with Barbara Dooley. He had previously worked in public relations for the Bell Telephone Company in Philadelphia. In addition to his radio work, he wrote columns for the Athens Banner-Herald. Mendenhall was purportedly inspired to collect autographs when as a child, in the 1940s, he read an article about an autograph collector in True Comics.

  • Scope and Contents

    The first series contains documents varying widely in date and purpose. For some of them, scant information in the accession file has left their provenance unknown. Among the items are War Ration books and other materials pertaining to a Hagarty (alternately spelled Haggerty) family of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania; examples of Confederate currency; photographs and a ticket from the 1929 University of Georgia-Yale University football match, the inaugural game of Sanford Field Stadium; a couple issues of rare newspapers from the late nineteenth century; and three original deeds from Guildford County, North Carolina (one from 1862, two from 1866) pertaining to Mendenhall’s ancestors. The folders in this series are arranged chronologically.

    The second series consists of Mendenhall’s autograph collection and some documents relating to it. Much of the series consists of binder sheets containing letters, photographs, postcards, and other printed documents, or scraps of paper, all bearing an autograph of a political leader or other noteworthy person. They have only been removed from the original binder to an archival box with a three-ring binding device. For now, the range of dates for these documents is tentative. Also in this series are empty envelopes in which many of the documents found in the binder originally came; an autographed Lewis Grizzard book; an appraisal of the collection; and, most important, correspondence both directly pertaining to the collection (that is, with the signatures cut out from the letters) and, in a few cases, regarding other matters, but which nonetheless include the signatures of other famous individuals. More information about the collection is available in an inventory prepared by the Heritage Room staff upon initial receipt of these materials in 1998. This inventory is in the accession file, available upon request.

    The signed items are split into two sections in the binder. The first section mostly includes letters and photographs. The second mostly includes postcards, scraps of paper, and other items of similar small size. For each section, the autographs are arranged in rough alphabetical order by name. In the second section, often the binder sheets include four pockets; the items held in such sheets are listed in clockwise order. The autographs are as follows. Political leaders are noted by their highest offices attained for executive, legislative, and judicial positions, as applicable.

    1. Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of West Germany, on photograph (difficult to read, because it has faded or it is black ink against a dark portion of the photograph) plus a letter from a “Dr. Kulzer,” apparently an assistant to Adenauer.
    2. Muhammad Ali, on a Pennsylvania Station (New York City) train schedule
    3. Ivan Allen, Jr., Mayor of Atlanta (1962-1970); three letters
    4. Ellis Arnall, Governor of Georgia (1943-1947); three letters
    5. Griffin Bell, U. S. Attorney General (1977-1979); letter
    6. Two autographs, the first, Himan Brown, producer of radio and television programs, the second, Mercedes McCambridge, actor, on a photocopied Neil Simon letter pertaining to Simon’s play Lost in Yonkers
    7. Smiley Burnette, actor and musician; photograph
    8. Wallace Butts, head football coach (1939-1960), University of Georgia
    9. Albert “Happy” Chandler, Governor of Kentucky (1935-1939; 1955-1959), U. S. Senator from Kentucky (1939-1945), Commissioner of Baseball (1945-1951); two letters
    10. Mark W. Clark, U. S. Army general; letter
    11. LeRoy Collins, Governor of Florida (1955-1961); letter
    12. Bert Combs, Governor of Kentucky (1959-1963), judge of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; letter
    13. Kenneth A. Cox, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission (1963-1970); letter
    14. Bing Crosby, singer; letter and card
    15. Richardson “Dick” Dilworth, Mayor of Philadelphia (1956-1962); letter
    16. Jim Donnan, head football coach, University of Georgia (1996-2000); letter
    17. Vince Dooley, head football coach, University of Georgia (1964-1988); letter
    18. Tommy Dorsey and Jimmy Dorsey, musicians; photograph
    19. Don Edwards and unidentified second autograph; photograph
    20. Ralph Edwards, radio and television producer and host
    21. Dwight Eisenhower, President (1953-1961) of the United States, U. S. Army general; card
    22. William C. Friday, President of the University of North Carolina System (1957-1986); letter
    23. Al St. John, “Fuzzy”, actor; photograph
    24. Walter George, U. S. Senator from Georgia (1922-1957); letter
    25. Oren Harris, U. S. Representative, Arkansas’s 7th District (1941-1943) and Arkansas’s 4th District (1953-1966); two letters
    26. Gordon Gray, U. S. National Security Adviser (1958-1961), President of the University of North Carolina System (1950-1955); letter
    27. E. William Henry, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (1963-1966); letter
    28. Clyde Hoey, Governor of North Carolina (1937-1941), U. S. Senator from North Carolina (1945-1954), U. S. Representative, North Carolina’s 9th District (1919-1921); scrap of paper
    29. Bess G. Hoey, wife of Senator Hoey; handwritten letter
    30. J Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1924-1972); three letters, one card, and an unsigned F. B. I. Christmas card
    31. Allan Jackson, radio commentator; photograph
    32. Graham Jackson, musician and conductor; letter
    33. Jacqueline Kennedy, First Lady of the United States (1961-1963); card; seems to be a signature stamp, not an autograph
    34. Frank Leahy, head football coach, Boston College (1939-1940) and University of Notre Dame (1941-1943; 1946-1953); letter
    35. Walter Lippmann, author, newspaper columnist; letter
    36. Eugene List, musician; photograph
    37. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., U. S. Senator from Massachusetts (1937-1944; 1947-1953) and U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1953-1960), South Vietnam (1963-1964; 1965-1967), West Germany (1968-1969), and the Holy See (1970-1977); letter
    38. Groucho Marx, actor and comedian; letter
    39. Pierre Mendès France, Prime Minister of France (1954-1955); letter
    40. Walter Mondale, Vice President of the United States (1977-1981) and U. S. Senator from Minnesota (1964-1976); letter
    41. Peter Nero, musician and conductor; concert program
    42. Edward R. Murrow, journalist; photograph
    43. Mohamed Naguib, President of Egypt (1953-1954); card
    44. Drew Pearson, Washington Merry-Go-Round newspaper columnist, letter
    45. Maxwell M. Rabb, lawyer, Cabinet Secretary (1954-1958) and U. S. Ambassador to Italy (1981-1989); letter
    46. Arthur W. Radford, U.S. Navy Admiral; two letters and a card
    47. Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea; letter
    48. Hyman G. Rickover, U. S. Navy Admiral; letter
    49. Carl Sanders, Governor of Georgia (1963-1967), letter
    50. Richard T. Schulze, U. S. Representative, Pennsylvania’s 5th District (1975-1993); letter
    51. W. Kerr Scott, Governor of North Carolina (1949-1953), U. S. Senator from North Carolina (1954-1958); letter and photograph
    52. Howard K. Smith, journalist
    53. Robert G. Stephens, Jr., U. S. Representative, Georgia’s 10th District (1961-1977)
    54. Francis R. Strawbridge III, of Strawbridge and Clothier, a department store in Philadelphia established by his grandfather
    55. Jimmy Stewart and Jessie White, actors, on an issue of Playbill (Volume 7, Issue 3, March 1970) for the Mary Chase play, Harvey
    56. Herman Talmadge, Governor of Georgia (1947; 1948-1955), U. S. Senator from Georgia (1957-1981); three letters
    57. Ernest Vandiver, Governor of Georgia (1959-1963), letter
    58. Lowell Thomas, writer, broadcaster
    59. Charley Trippi, football player, and Coburn Kelley, Athens Y. M. C. A. director; certificate
    60. Harry Truman, U. S. President (1945-1953), U. S. Vice President (1945), U. S. Senator from Missouri (1935-1945); letter
    61. Grace G. Tully, secretary for U. S. President Franklin Roosevelt; letter
    62. Charles L. Weltner, U. S. Representative, Georgia’s 5th District (1963-1967), Georgia Supreme Court justice (1981-1992); ten letters
    63. Rose Mary Woods, secretary for U. S. President Richard Nixon; letter
    64. Jack Wells, Mayor of Athens (1948-1958; 1962-1964); letter
    65. Charles E. Wilson, Secretary of Defense (1953-1957); letter and card
    66. Bruce Williams; letter
    67. Queen Elizabeth II (no autograph); letter

    In the second section, the format is not specified. A significant number of the items are scraps of paper.

    1. Clinton P. Anderson, U. S. Secretary of Agriculture (1945-1948), U. S. Senator from New Mexico (1949-1973)
    2. H. H. Arnold, U. S. Army and Air Force general
    3. Red Barber, sports announcer
    4. Alben Barkley, U. S. Vice President (1949-1953) and U S. Senator from Kentucky (1927-1949; 1955-1956)
    5. Tommy Bartlett, host of Welcome Travelers radio program and founder of Tommy Bartlett’s Water Ski and Jumping Boat Thrill Show, a tourist attraction in Wisconsin Dells; Les Lear—based on this postcard—also involved in the Welcome Travelers show; and a “Miss Duffy”
    6. Ralph Bellamy, actor
    7. Humphrey Bogart, actor
    8. Owen Brewster, U. S. Senator from Maine (1941-1952), U. S. Representative, Maine’s 3rd District (1935-1941)
    9. Omar Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1949-1953)
    10. Herbert Brownell, Jr., U. S. Attorney General (1953-1957)
    11. Wallace Butts, head football coach, University of Georgia (1939-1960)
    12. James F. Byrnes, U. S. Secretary of State (1945-1947), U. S. Senator from South Carolina (1931-1941), U. S. Representative, South Carolina’s 2nd District (1911-1925), Governor of South Carolina (1951-1955)
    13. Mike Castronis, coach and teacher, Athens High School and Athens Y. M. C. A.
    14. R. Gregg Cherry, Governor of North Carolina (1945-1949)
    15. Tom C. Clark, U. S. Attorney General (1945-1949), U. S. Supreme Court justice (1949-1967)
    16. Josephus Daniels, U. S. Secretary of the Navy (1913-1921), owner of the Raleigh News and Observer
    17. Jimmy Conzelman, football player
    18. Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1940-1945; 1951-1955)
    19. Dwight Eisenhower, U. S. President (1953-1961), U. S. Army general
    20. Bob Davis, football player for Georgia Tech and, in the N. F. L., the Boston Yanks; later, Mayor of Columbus
    21. George V. Denny, Jr., host of America’s Town Meeting on the Air
    22. Lew Valentine, host of Dr. I. Q.
    23. Thomas Dewey, Governor of New York (1943-1954), Republican presidential nominee (1944, 1948)
    24. John Foster Dulles, U. S. Secretary of State (1953-1959)
    25. James E. (Jim) Folsom, Governor of Alabama (1947-1951; 1955-1959)
    26. James Forrestal, U. S. Secretary of Defense (1947-1949)
    27. Henry Ford II, son of Edsel Ford, grandson of Henry Ford, head of the Ford Motor Company, succeeding his grandfather, who had returned to control after Edsel’s death
    28. Arthur Godfrey, radio and television presenter
    29. Barry Goldwater, U. S. Senator from Arizona (1953-1965; 1969-1987), Republican presidential nominee (1964)
    30. Invitation to Mikhail Gorbachev speech (no autograph)
    31. Red Grange, football player
    32. Alfred Gruenther, U. S. Army general, NATO commander
    33. Harry James, musician
    34. Charlie Justice, football player for the University of North Carolina and the Washington Redskins
    35. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada (1921-1926; 1926-1930; 1935-1948)
    36. Julius Krug, U. S. Secretary of the Interior (1946-1949)
    37. John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers of America and the C. I. O.
    38. Vera Lynn, singer
    39. Douglas MacArthur, U. S. Army general
    40. Connie Mack, baseball manager
    41. Alice Marble, tennis player
    42. George Marshall, U. S. Secretary of State (1947-1949), U. S. Secretary of Defense (1950-1951), U. S. Army general
    43. Joseph McCarthy, U. S. Senator from Wisconsin (1947-1957)
    44. Dimitri Mitropoulos, conductor, New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera
    45. Ralph McGill, editor and publisher, the Atlanta Constitution
    46. Richard Nixon, U. S. President (1969-1974), U. S. Vice President (1953-1951); U. S. Senator from California (1950-1953); U. S. Representative, California’s 12th District (1947-1950)
    47. William O’Dwyer, Mayor of New York (1946-1950)
    48. C. W. Nimitz, U. S. Navy admiral
    49. Artie Pew, football player, University of Georgia
    50. Jeanette Rankin, U. S. Representative, Montana’s District-at-Large (1917-1919) and Montana’s 1st District (1941-1943)
    51. James P. Richards, U. S. Representative, South Carolina’s 5th District (1933-1957)
    52. Roy Rogers, actor
    53. Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States (1933-1945), Chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (1946-1952)
    54. Kenneth Royall, U. S. Secretary of the Army (1947-149)
    55. Richard Russell, U. S. Senator from Georgia (1933-1971)
    56. Jane Russell, actor
    57. Babe Ruth, baseball player
    58. Archibald Rutledge, poet
    59. Eric Sevareid, journalist
    60. John Snyder, U. S. Secretary of the Treasury (1946-1953)
    61. Bob Steele, actor
    62. Robert T. Stevens, U. S. Secretary of the Army (1953-1955)
    63. Adlai Stevenson, Governor of Illinois (1949-1953), Democratic presidential nominee (1952, 1956), and U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1961-1965)
    64. Bill Stern, N. B. C. sports broadcaster
    65. Frank Sinkwich, football player, University of Georgia
    66. Lowell Thomas, journalist, writer
    67. Harry Stuhldreher, football player, Notre Dame
    68. Robert Taft, U. S. Senator from Ohio (1939-1953)
    69. M. E. Thompson, Governor of Georgia (1947-1948)
    70. Bess Truman, First Lady of the United States (1945-1953)
    71. Strom Thurmond, U. S. Senator from South Carolina (1954-1956; 1956-2003) and Governor of South Carolina (1947-1951)
    72. Arthur Vandenberg, U. S. Senator from Michigan (1928-1951)
    73. Henry A. Wallace, U. S. Vice President (1941-1945) and U. S. Secretary of Agriculture (1933-1940)
    74. Doak Walker, football player
    75. Lewis Schwellenbach, U. S. Secretary of Labor (1945-1948) and U. S. Senator from Washington (1935-1940)
    76. Ted Williams, baseball player
    77. Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court (1959-1963) and Governor of California (1943-1953)
    78. Edward VIII (Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor) and Wallis Simpson (Wallis Windsor)
    79. Invitation to 1945 inauguration luncheon at the White Hose, sent to Wilkins Horton, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor (1937-1941) who ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor in 1940 but lost and also served in the North Carolina Senate (not an autograph)
    80. Ticket for Andrew Johnson impeachment trial, May 18, 1868, signed by George T. Brown, Sergeant at Arms of the U. S. Senate (1861-1869)

    The following autographs are to be found in the Correspondence folder. They are arranged as such: first, autographs requested by Mendenhall (we do not know why these were separated from the rest of the collection); second, beginning with no. 11, autographs from secretaries and other individuals working for those receiving autograph requests; and third—not listed here—letters with autographs having been cut out of them.

    1. J Edgar Hoover; four letters
    2. Pierre Mendès France; letter
    3. Herbert Hoover, U. S. President (1929-1933), U. S. Secretary of Commerce (1921-1928); two letters
    4. Vigo Kampmann, Prime Minister of Denmark (1960-1962); letter
    5. Howard K. Smith; letter
    6. J. W. Fanning, Vice President for Services, University of Georgia (1965-1971), who was involved with Georgia’s Agricultural Extension Service as well as the Leadership Georgia and Leadership Savannah programs; scrap of paper
    7. Unknown; handwritten letter on WPIV (Philadelphia) stationery
    8. Leo D. McDermott, Democratic candidate for U. S. Representative, Pennsylvania’s 5th district, 1974, who lost to Richard T. Schulze (see above); letter
    9. John H. Ware III, U. S. Representative for Pennsylvania’s 9th District (1970-1973) and Pennsylvania’s 5th District (1973-1975); letter
    10. Buzz Aldrin, astronaut; letter
    11. William D. Hassett, secretary for U. S. President Harry Truman
    12. G. J. Matte, secretary for Prime Minister of Canada Mackenzie King
    13. O. H. Finney, Jr., secretary for Governor of Alabama James Folsom
    14. Nelson Newton, secretary for W. Averell Harriman
    15. W. H. McGrillis, secretary for Julius Krug
    16. E. Chance, secretary for Alben Barkley
    17. Patrick J. Gibbons, writing on behalf of Douglas MacArthur
    18. C. Craig Cannnon, aide to Dwight Eisenhower
    19. Ray Kiermans, secretary for U. S. Senator Joseph McCarthy
    20. Loretta Camp, secretary for Herbert Hoover
    21. Sidney L. Huff, writing on behalf of Douglas MacArthur
    22. Robert D. Ladd, secretary for Richard Nixon
    23. Yu Chang Jun, secretary for Syngman Rhee
    24. G. Frederick Mullen, Director of Public Information, Department of Justice
    25. John P. Meagher, Chief, Public Services Division, Department of State
    26. Paul P. Basco, secretary for Douglas MacArthur
    27. J. W. Ehrlich, lawyer

    Finally, the autographed Lewis Grizzard book is separate.

  • Arrangement

    The collection is organized in two series: I. Miscellaneous II. Autograph collection

  • Bibliography

    Fowell Mendenhall, Jr. obituary. Legacy, Originally published in the Athens Banner-Herald, 1 Jan. 2014. Accessed 26 Aug. 2019.