John Leonard Pilcher Papers, Series IV: PersonalJohn Leonard Pilcher Papers, Series IV: Personal

John Leonard Pilcher Papers, Series IV: Personal

Descriptive Summary

Title: John Leonard Pilcher Papers, Series IV: Personal
Creator: Pilcher, John Leonard, 1898-1981.
Dates: 1946, 1953-1967, 1970
Extent: 8.0 boxes
Extent: (4 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL/131/JLP
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: This series reflects three aspects of Pilcher's life while a congressman: the financial, the invitations he received from both dignitaries in Washington and people in the Second District, and some of the routine tasks in running his office. The subject file is composed of cor­respondence (including congratulatory letters and thank yous), bills, re­ceipts, and forms, which are primarily concerned with financial matters-­insurance, paid bills, and the operation of Pilcher's businesses in Meigs by his son Charles.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

John Leonard Pilcher was born in a two-room log cabin near Meigs, Georgia on August 27, 1898. Although Pilcher's father died when he was five, and Pilcher had to support his mother and two young sisters, he completed seven grades of public school and graduated from Massey Business College. In 1922, he married Dorothy Covington of Moultrie, Georgia. They had two sons: John Leonard, Jr., who in 1946, at the age of seventeen, was killed in a plane crash while serving as an ROTC air cadet at the University of Georgia; and Charles, who handled the family business while his father was in Washington.

Pilcher started working at the age of fifteen, and by the time he was twenty he was operating a small business. Involved in agricultural pursuits most of his life, Pilcher not only owned a farm, but expanded his holdings to include a general mercantile business, a fertilizer manufacturing plant, feed mill, corn elevator, cotton gins and warehouses, and a syrup canning plant. He was involved in many business organizations, such as the National Cotton Council and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and served as the director of the Thomas County PEA (production and marketing). He also became president of the Bank of Meigs, Georgia.

At the age of twenty--one, Pilcher was elected mayor of Meigs. During the years 1921 through 1940, he also served as a councilman and a public school trustee. In 1940, he was elected to represent the Seventh District in the Georgia State Senate. After his term expired in 1943, he returned to Meigs and was elected to the post of county commissioner of roads and revenue for Thomas County, a position he held from 1943 to 1947. During this same period he also served as a member of the Agricultural and Industrial Board for the county (1944-1948). From 1948 to 1949, Pilcher was the Supervisor of Purchases for the state of Georgia, serving under Governors Thompson and Arnall. In 1953, Edward Eugene Cox, the congressman representing the Second District, died and a special election was held to fill his seat. In spite of a large field of candidates and his late entrance into the race for the position, Pilcher won the seat in a hardworking campaign by a 2,000 vote margin over his nearest competitor.

Pilcher was a member of Congress from February 4, 1953 to January 3, 1965. He started on the House Committee on Government Operations, serving on the committee from 1953 to 1954. After an attempt to gain a seat on the House Agriculture Committee failed, he accepted a seat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he served from 1955 to 1964. He was a member of the Subcommittee on the Far East and the Pacific and became chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Economic Policy. Twice, in 1959 and 1961, Pilcher went abroad with other members of the subcommittee on Special Study Missions to oversee U.S. economic and technical assistance programs.

Pilcher did not run for reelection in 1964. Instead, he retired from his congressional career and took the post of Southeastern Regional Director of the Office of Emergency Planning. Pilcher died on August 20, 1981, at the age of 82.

Scope and Content

This series reflects three aspects of Pilcher's life while a congressman: the financial, the invitations he received from both dignitaries in Washington and people in the Second District, and some of the routine tasks in running his office. The subject file is composed of cor­respondence (including congratulatory letters and thank yous), bills, re­ceipts, and forms, which are primarily concerned with financial matters-­insurance, paid bills, and the operation of Pilcher's businesses in Meigs by his son Charles.

Organization and Arrangement

This series is organized into three groups: A. Subject File, B. Invitations, and C. Office File.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Access Restrictions

VII. Academies and VIII. Case Files are closed. Restricted files have been removed from II. Meigs Office, III. Miscellaneous File, and VI. Post Office and are housed separately from the rest of the collection.

Preferred Citation

John Leonard Pilcher Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia 30602-1641

Processing Notes

Scrapbooks, photographs, and artifacts were physically separated from the papers for preservation. Photographs were removed from scrapbooks wherever possible and replaced with Xerox copies. One series has been sampled.

User Restrictions

Library acts as “fair use” reproduction agent.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, September 2008.


Related Materials

Access Points

Democratic Party (U.S.)
Photographs.
Press releases.
Speeches.
United States. Congress--Elections, 1953.
United States. Congress. House.

Related Collections in this Repository

Iris F. Blitch Papers

S. Ernest Vandiver, Jr. Papers

Carl E. Sanders Papers

Herman E. Talmadge Collection

August H. Turnbull Collection of Carl Sanders Speech/Press Files

E. L. (Tic) Forrester Papers

Stephen Pace Post Office Files

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Papers

Democratic Party of Georgia Records

Related Collections in Other Repositories

Georgia Government Documentation Project, Series F: Marvin Griffin oral history collection. Special Collection Department, William Russell Pullen Library, Georgia State University

Stellanova Osborn papers, 1916-1992. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

Griffin Bell Papers, Mercer University


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

IV. Personal

Extent: 8.0 boxes
Scope and Content: This series reflects three aspects of Pilcher's life while a congressman: the financial, the invitations he received from both dignitaries in Washington and people in the Second District, and some of the routine tasks in running his office. The Invitations File subseries (IV.B.) has been sampled --for a more detailed account of the method used, see the subseries description below.



A. Subject File

Extent: 2.0 boxes
Extent: (1 linear foot)
Scope and Contents note: Arranged alphabetically by subject, the subseries is composed of correspondence (including congratulatory letters and thank yous), bills, receipts, and forms, which are primarily concerned with financial matters-­insurance, paid bills, and the operation of Pilcher's businesses in Meigs by his son Charles. There is some purely personal correspondence, however, and this subseries holds the largest amount of material on Pilcher's son Charles and wife Dorothy, aside from series II. Meigs Office and some isolated pieces of correspondence in III. Miscellaneous File (which does cross-reference this subseries).
BoxFolder
IV.1 1Bank of Meigs Matters, 1961
IV.1 2Biographical Sketch - J.L. Pilcher, 1960, 1964, and undated
IV.1 3Contributions, 1955-1959
IV.1 4Donations, 1954-1958
IV.1 5FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Ship Radio Station License, 1964
IV.1 6Financial - "From the Desk", 1953-1954, 1958
IV.1 7Insurance File I, 1963-1964
IV.1 8Insurance File II, 1953, 1955, 1958-1963
IV.1 9King-Queen Rod and Gun Club, 1955-1957, 1959
IV.1 10Livestock Reports, 1956-1957
IV.1 11Lost Checks, U.S. Treasurer, 1959-1960
IV.1 12Memos for Mr. Pilcher to Take Home, 1958-1959
IV.1 13Mexican Trip (for Inauguration of Mexico's President), 1958-1959
IV.1 14Mileage File - Official Trips to Washington, D.C., 1963-1964
IV.1 15Miscellaneous - "From the Desk" 1956, 1953-1955, 1958-1959,, 1956, 1953-1955, 1958-1959, 1961, 1963 1967, 1970
BoxFolder
IV.2 1Pilcher, Charles C., 1958-1960, 1963
IV.2 2Pilcher, J.L., Paid Bills, 1955-1964
IV.2 3Pilcher, J.L., Patronage File, 1958-1964
IV.2 4Pilcher, J.L., Personal File I, 1958-1964, 1966
IV.2 5Pilcher, J.L., Personal File II, 1955-1958
IV.2 6Pilcher, J.L., Personal File III, 1953-1955
IV.2 7Pilcher, J.L., Pilcher, Mrs. J.L., 1955-1965
IV.2 8Pilcher, J.L., Receipts - "From the Desk", 1955, 1959
IV.2 9Pilcher, J.L., Retirement Information and Miscellaneous (Congratulations, Thank Yous, Etc.), 1953-1954
IV.2 10Pilcher, J.L., Security Investigation Data - J.L. Pilcher, 1953
IV.2 11Pilcher, J.L., Take Home - Pending, 1959
IV.2 12Pilcher, J.L., Transportation Expenses - J.L. Pilcher, 1963



B. Invitations File

Extent: 6.0 boxes
Extent: (3 linear feet)
Scope and Contents note: As the title of this subseries suggests, it contains invitations, in the form of letters, memos, notices, and formal engraved invitations, arranged chronologically. It must be noted here that Pilcher included notices of congressional committee and subcommittee meetings in this file. This subseries has been sampled, using the following scheme:
All invitations extended by J. L. Pilcher, those that have substantive personal correspondence, or resulted in speeches or televised appearances, have been kept. All invitations extended by the president or government officials of Cabinet rank have been retained. All notices of meetings of congressional committees and subcommittees, and those invitations, either formal or informal, to discuss congressional business (as opposed to the purely social) are in this subseries, as are all memoranda of invitations.Two to three engraved invitations in each of two categories-­declined and accepted-- have been retained per month for each year.Two to three invitations in each of two categories--declined and accepted --have been kept in each of the following divisions and their subdivisions per year: Political, Economic, Education, Civic Organizations and Events, Veterans, Military, and Personal. As a result of the sampling, 2.5 boxes (approximately one linear foot) of material has been discarded.
BoxFolder
IV.3 1Invitations, 1953
IV.3 2Invitations, 1954
IV.3 3Invitations, 1955
IV.3 4Invitations, File I, 1956
IV.3 5Invitations, File II, 1956
IV.3 6Invitations, File I, 1957
BoxFolder
IV.4 1Invitations, File II, 1957
IV.4 2Invitations, File I, 1958
IV.4 3Invitations, File II, 1958
IV.4 4Invitations, File III, 1958
IV.4 5Invitations, File I, 1959
BoxFolder
IV.5 1Invitations, File II, 1959
IV.5 2Invitations, File III, 1959
IV.5 3Invitations, File I, 1960
IV.5 4Invitations, File II, 1960
IV.5 5Invitations, File III, 1960
BoxFolder
IV.6 1Invitations, File I, 1961
IV.6 2Invitations, File II, 1961
IV.6 3Invitations, File III, 1961
IV.6 4Invitations, File IV, 1961
IV.6 5Invitations, File I, 1962
IV.6 6Invitations, File II, 1962
IV.6 7Invitations, File III, 1962
BoxFolder
IV.7 1Invitations, File I, 1963
IV.7 2Invitations, File II, 1963
IV.7 3Invitations, File III, 1963
IV.7 4Invitations, File IV, 1963
IV.7 5Invitations, File I, 1964
IV.7 6Invitations, File II, 1964
BoxFolder
IV.8 1Invitations, File III, 1964
IV.8 2Invitations, File IV, 1964



C. Office File

Extent: 1.0 box
Extent: (.25 linear feet)
Scope and Contents note: Filed immediately after IV. Personal B. Invitations File, this subseries is arranged alphabetically by subject. It consists of correspondence and material, primarily concerned with requests for photographs and the creation of photo-cards (calling cards with a photograph on it) and photographs.
BoxFolder
IV.8 3Allowance, 1958
IV.8 4Clerk of the House of Representatives, U.S. - Chair for Mr. Pilcher, 1964
IV.8 5Date Book for 1964, 1964
IV.8 6Franks, undated
IV.8 7Old Copies of Newspapers, (1904?)
IV.8 8Photo-Cards (3), undated
IV.8 9Photograph Mats and Plates, undated
IV.8 10Photograph Requests, 1953-1958, 1963-1964
IV.8 11Photographs, 1961
BoxFolder
IV.812Guest Book, 1963-1975