Holt, Rush Dew (1905-1955). Papers 1820-2014
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Collection Scope and Content Note


Initial Acquisition of 1963:

1851-1955; 71 ft. 1 in. (169 document cases, 5 in.; 1 flat storage box, 5 in.; 1 flat storage box, 3 in.; box numbers 170 and 171 are contained in the 5 in. flat storage box; the 3 in. flat storage box is unnumbered, and contains sound recordings on disk)

Papers of Rush Dew Holt of Lewis County, documenting his activities as a sports writer, teacher, West Virginia state legislator at various dates from 1931 to 1949, and U.S. senator from West Virginia, 1935-1941. Collection includes correspondence, clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, speeches, sound recordings, writings, press releases, political cartoons, and printed matter. The collection also includes the personal papers of Dr. M.S. Holt (1850-1939), father of Senator Holt, and Ralph K. Chase (1900-1947), brother-in-law of the senator.

Subjects include: state and national politics, 1920-1954; U.S. Senator Matthew M. Neely; the public utilities industry and investigations of it by the West Virginia House of Delegates; the Wheeler-Rayburn Holding Company Act; taxation and the cost of government; the National Recovery Administration; Huey P. Long; organized labor (including the United Mine Workers of America, the Congress of Industrial Organizations, the American Federation of Labor, the Progressive Miners of America, John L. Lewis, and Van A. Bittner); the Works Progress Administration; Harry L. Hopkins; Walter Thurmond; the Guffey Coal Act; the National Bituminous Coal Commission; the National Labor Relations Board; public education; the Supreme Court reorganization bill; the anti-lynching bill; social security and government relief; political patronage and graft; reciprocal trade agreements; the Roosevelt Administration's foreign policy; and the America First Committee.

Correspondents include: Michael L. Benedum, Van A. Bittner, Hugo L. Black, Harry F. Byrd, William G. Conley, Roy Bird Cook, Charles E. Coughlin, John B. Easton, Andrew Edmiston, James A. Farley, Hamilton Fish, John N. Garner, William Green, Walter S. Hallanan, Sigfrid Hauck, Homer A. Holt, Matthew S. Holt, Harry I. Hopkins, Harold Ickes, Anna Jarvis, Hiram Johnson, John Kee, Robert G. Kelly, H.G. Kump, Robert M. LaFollette, Jr., William Lemke, John L. Lewis, Huey P. Long, Sam Mallison, Clarence W. Meadows, H.I. Mencken, Matthew M. Neely, Gerald P. Nye, George N. Peek, Claude Pepper, Jennings Randolph, John E. Rankin, James Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair, Gerald L.K. Smith, Walter R. Thurmond, Hector B. Trujillo, Harry S. Truman, John R. Turner, Burton K. Wheeler, Walter White, and Aubrey Williams. There are processing notes for the correspondence during the years 1928-1942 which give a fuller description of the collection.

The papers of M.S. Holt, Sr., concern the newspaper business, horse breeding, local, state, and national politics, the Socialist Party of West Virginia, and the practice of medicine. There are also medical account books, an account book for the Weston REPUBLICAN, ca. 1879-1880, and two daybooks for the Weston REPUBLICAN, 1881-1893.

The papers of Ralph K. Chase include legal and personal correspondence, law school notebooks, and materials relating to the U.S. Maritime Commission; papers of Andrew E. Holt, brother of Rush D. Holt, and papers relating to the Weston Cash Grocery and other family matters.

Sound recordings on disk (located in an unnumbered oversize 3 in. flat storage box) were copied to tape; the tape copies are in the oral history collection, C589 R1805-R1817 (13 tapes). Tape one of this set includes a speech by Holt speaking out against the United States entering World War II (WWII); it was broadcast by the NBC network.

Sound recordings on tape were separated to the oral history collection also (see separation note under "access and use").

Paper copy of box-level container list available in control folder.

Addendum of 1999:

1820-1999; 11 ft. 11 in. (28 document cases, 5 in.; 1 flat storage box, 3 in.); Records documenting the professional and personal activities of United States Senator from West Virginia, Rush D. Holt (1905-1955) , (Mrs.) Helen Holt, and their son, New Jersey Congressman Rush D. Holt Jr. The bulk of the collection pertains to Helen Holt, former West Virginia Secretary of State and Presidential appointee to HUD. Materials include correspondence, speeches, statistics, copies of congressional records, campaign ephemera, publications, clippings, financial records, photographs, newsletters, programs, and personal memorabilia. There is also information regarding the Holts' daughter, Helen Jane Holt Seale, Senator Holt's father, Dr. Matthew S. Holt, and other family members from Lewis County, West Virginia. Paper copy of folder-level container list available in control folder.

Notable items in the addendum of 1999 include:

several letters between David Goff of Randolph County and J.M. Bennett of Lewis County, ca. 1837-1870, both of whom were politically active in Virginia and later West Virginia governments. Most letters pertain to legislation, land speculation, and financial matters. In a letter to Goff of 1864/08/10, Bennett agrees with Goff's giving "aid" to Union officer Nathan Goff who was a prisoner. Bennett claims to hold no grudge against the Union general for removing Bennett's family from their home and confiscating Bennett property for the Union army. (located in box 201, folder 16 and Folder 10);

an 1841/06/15 command from the "Commonwealth Of Virginia to Tho. Jackson, Constable of Lewis County..." to execute a writ. Thomas (later known as "Stonewall") Jackson had just been sworn in as a minor sheriff of Lewis County four days earlier (11 June 1841). Jackson was only sixteen years old at the time. (located in box 201, folder 8); and

correspondence and several court papers (1820-1843) of prominent citizens of Lewis County, (West) Virginia. Many were close friends and sponsors of Thomas J. Jackson during his early life, such as Justice of the Peace, Minter Bailey, and Dr. William Bland. (located in box 201, folder 8).

Addendum of 2005/03/22:

1866-2004; 6 ft. 8 in. (16 document cases, 5 in.); Records documenting the professional and personal activities of Rush Dew Holt (1905-1955), (Mrs.) Helen Holt, and their son Rush Holt, Jr.; most records are about Helen Holt, who has served as Secretary of State for the State of West Virginia, in the West Virginia House of Delegates, and under the Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford administrations in the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Includes correspondence, clippings, newsletters, programs, invitations, photographs, etc. Bulk of records date from 1930-1990. Paper copy of folder-level container list available in control folder.

Addendum of 2005/06/03:

1993-2005; 2 1/2 in. (1 document case, 2 1/2 in.); Records documenting the professional and personal activities of Mrs. Helen Holt and her son Rush Holt, Jr.; most records are about Helen Holt and her activities in the vicinity of Washington, D.C. Includes correspondence, clippings, newsletters, programs, invitations, photographs, etc. Bulk of records date from 1993-2005.

Addendum of 2005/10/05:

1940-1990; 3 ft. 9 in. (3 record cartons); Records documenting the professional and personal activities of Mrs. Helen Holt; also includes some records regarding her daughter Helen Jane Holt. Includes correspondence, clippings, newsletters, programs, pamphlets, and photographs regarding the engagement and wedding of Rush Dew Holt and Helen Froelich, birth and christening of daughter Helen Jane Holt, Secretary of State (WV) and Federal Housing Administration activities of Helen Holt, speech notes of Helen Holt, Greenbrier College (Lewisburg, WV), Stephens College (Columbia, MO), and travel ephemera related to trains, planes, buses, and lodging (1940s-1960s), among other records.

Addendum of 2007/02/28:

1934-2006; 2 ft. 1 in. (2 document cases, 5 in.; 1 record carton); Records documenting the personal and professional activities of Rush D. Holt and (Mrs.) Helen Holt. Most records are about Helen Holt, who served as Secretary of State for the State of West Virginia, in the West Virginia House of Delegates, and under the Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford administrations in the Federal Housing Administration and in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Includes scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, correspondence, programs, bulletins, manuals, pamphlets, newsletters, photographs, etc. Scrapbooks include: correspondence (1971) endorsing the appointment of Helen Holt to the post of United States Treasurer; records regarding the early development of nursing homes; and papers regarding Greenbrier College, Blackstone College for Girls, Zeta Mu Epsilon sorority, and Delta Delta Delta sorority. Newspaper clippings regard Portia Wagar Mashburn; the political careers of Rush D. Holt, Helen Holt, and Rush Holt, Jr.; the death of Rush Holt in 1955; Ken Hechler, West Virginia Secretary of State and U.S. Congressman; World War II; the Froelich family home; and National Park Seminary. Other records regard the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, specifically the issue of housing for the elderly; Delta Delta Delta sorority; The Gamma Chapter of Zeta Mu Epsilon sorority at Greenbrier College, including its pledge manual; the birth and marriage of Helen Jane Holt; the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts seminar; programs for the elderly and handicapped; Washington Home and Community Hospices; the Washington Club; the Presbyterian Church; and Helen Holt's memberships to various organizations. Paper copy of folder-level container list available in control folder.

Addendum of 2007/08/10:

1930-2007; 2 ft. 4 in. (5 document cases, 5 in.; 1 flat storage box, 3 in.); Papers of the Holt family; the larger part of the addendum is comprised of the personal papers of Helen Froelich Holt, former West Virginia Secretary of State, presidential appointee to a post in the Department of the Interior, and widow of U.S. Senator Rush D. Holt. Includes scrapbooks (2 items) focusing on Senator Holt's last year in the U.S. Senate and his campaign to keep America out of a European war, and Helen Froelich Holt's sorority memorabilia as an undergraduate and photograph in Life Magazine (1940) as a Biology teacher at the National Park College in Maryland; there are also clippings, congratulations, and keepsakes celebrating Senator Holt and Helen Froelich Holt's courtship, engagement and wedding. There are photographs of Senator Holt's 1952 campaign for governor of West Virginia and Dwight Eisenhower's 1952 "Whistle Stop" campaign for the presidency in West Virginia; personal letters and cards from family and friends; congratulations on the birth of their children; invitations (including several to Mrs. Holt for the National Prayer Breakfast at the White House, ca 1996-2003); ephemera and prospectuses from charities, political organizations, ministries, colleges etc.; and programs and bulletins (from concerts at the Kennedy Center for Fine Arts, church services, theater productions, and dinners and luncheons for nationally prominent officials). There are also autographs from Senators Bob Dole, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton; travel ephemera from Helen F. Holt's 1972 visit to New Zealand and Australia on behalf of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to tour long term care facilities and elderly housing, including a report with photographs from Mrs. Holt to a HUD official; and papers of Congressman Rush Holt, Jr., son of Senator and Mrs. Holt, pertaining to his political career, including campaign literature, clippings, and newsletters. Paper copy of folder-level container list available in control folder.

Addendum of 2008/03/05:

1952; 2 ft. 6 in. (6 document cases, 5 in.); Newspaper clippings by or about Rush D. Holt relating to West Virginia or national news and politics, arranged chronologically. Includes "Facts and Figures", a column written by Holt.

Addendum of 2008/06/27:

1912-2008; 2 ft. 11 in. (7 document cases, 5 in.); Professional and personal papers of the Holt family in four series, including those of Helen F. Holt, Senator Rush D. Holt, their daughter Helen Jane Holt Seale, and their son Rush D. Holt Jr. Professional papers include correspondence, clippings, photographs, and other material regarding their political careers in both state (West Virginia and New Jersey) and federal government.

Addendum of 2011/06/30:

ca. 1906-2011; 2 ft. 11 in. (7 document cases, 5 in.); Papers of the Holt family, mostly regarding Helen Holt and Rush D. Holt, Jr.

Record Series include:
Biographical Information; 2009-2010, undated; box 1, folder 1
Newspapers and News Clippings; 1941-2011; box 1, folders 2-8
Rush D. Holt, Jr.; 2009-2011; box 1, folders 9-12
Incoming Correspondence; 1957-2011; box 2, folders 1-9
Announcements and Invitations; 1970-2011, undated; box 3, folder 1
Programs; 1975-2011, undated; box 3, folder 2
West Virginia University; 2004-2011, undated; box 3, folder 3
WVU Foundation Fund; 2003, 2006; box 3, folder 4
Photographs; 1938-2009, undated; box 3, folders 5-10
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; 1975, 1984, undated; box 4, folder 1
Speeches; 2011, undated; box 4, folders 2-4
Subject Files; ca. 1906-2011; box 4, folder 5 - box 6, folder 4
Scrapbook -- Stephens College and Northwestern University; 1930-1934; box 6, folder 5 - box 7, folder 1
Certificates; 2010; box 7, folder 2
Ephemera; 2009-2011, undated; box 7, folder 3
Miscellaneous; ca. 1945, undated; box 7, folder 4

Paper copy of folder-level container list available in control folder.

Addendum of 2013/11/04:

1863-2013; 2 ft., 1 in. (5 document cases, 5 in.); Papers of the Holt family, mainly regarding Helen (Froelich) Holt. Most of this addendum consists of correspondence, greeting cards, event related items (programs, invitations, etc.), clippings, publications, photographs, miscellaneous, and oversize.

There is a Civil War letter within the correspondence material from Confederate soldier J.B. Mairecolas dated 1863.

Miscellaneous items (located in box 5) include a book titled "How to be Smart and Charming" owned by Helen Holt while in college; a scrapbook containing advertisement cards, calling cards, and other paper ephemera kept by Helen (Froelich) Holt; and bound issues of "The West Virginia Taxpayer" by Rush D. Holt, Sr. with letter from Helen Holt.

Oversize material includes a color photocopy of a 1940 Time Magazine article that contains a photograph of Helen Holt and a study for an oil portrait of Alva Allegre dated 1939.

There is also material regarding Helen Holt's 100th birthday; speeches given by Mrs. Holt; schools attended by Mrs. Holt; a trip to China taken by Mrs. Holt; Rush Holt, Jr.; the National Presbyterian Church; and other material.

Addendum of 2014/03/14:

1993-2014; 5 in. (1 document case); Papers of Helen Holt, including correspondence and material regarding Rush D. Holt, Jr. Correspondence is mainly personal in nature and includes Christmas cards. Materials regarding Rush D. Holt, Jr. regard his political career and include news articles, clippings, and correspondence. Part of this material regards Holt's decision in 2014 to not seek re-election.

Addendum of 2014/09/29:

ca. 1900-2014; 5 in. (1 document case); Papers of Helen Holt, including photographs, biographical information regarding the Holt family, clippings, and publications.

Addendum of 2016/02/27:

1938-2014; 3 ft., 1 1/2 in. (4 document cases, 5 in.; 1 document case, 2 1/2 in.; 2 large flat storage boxes, 3 in.; 2 small flat storage boxes, 3 in.; 2 flat storage boxes, 1 1/2 in.); Papers of Helen Holt, including biographical information regarding Helen Holt and the Holt family; clippings; correspondence; publications; photographs; records of a speech by Rush Holt Sr., an artifact, a painting of Helen Holt; plagues, and other material.

box 1; contains a typescript biography of Helen Holt (2014), a Froelich family history (1966), and Helen Holt's zoology master's thesis (1938)
box 2; Clippings, correspondence, and miscellaneous material
box 3; Books
box 4; "Niceness" issues and artifact
box 5; Photographs
box 6; Oversize photographs
box 7; Records of speech by Rush Holt Sr.
box 8; Portrait painting of Helen Holt and copy of Helen Holt's diploma in rolled storage tube
box 9; Certificates regarding political offices held by Rush Holt Sr. and framed wedding photograph of Helen Holt
box 10; Plaques awarded to Helen Holt
box 11; Plaques awarded to Helen Holt