William E. Jenner and Indiana Politics 1971-1974

A Guide to the Collection of Oral History Interviews at Indiana University Bloomington

Finding aid prepared by the staff of the Center for the Study of History and Memory with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access, 2000-2002

Creator: Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory
Title: William E. Jenner and Indiana Politics
Collection No.: ohrc103
Dates: 1971-1974
Quantity:

Quantity: 18 Interviews

(Audio files, transcripts, and collateral materials )
Abstract: This collection of interviews primarily delves into the Republican view of Indiana politics from the nineteen twenties to the early nineteen sixties. Major emphasis is placed on both state and national elections and conventions from 1940-1948. The project contains discussions of political campaigns (including finances), the patronage system, and legislation battles. The interviews also reflect on William Jenner by describing his character, beliefs, and influence on Republican politics in Indiana.
Location: Interviews are housed in Franklin Hall, Room 0030A. Contact ohrc@indiana.edu for more information. Copies of interview transcripts are also held by the IU Libraries University Archives. For other locations housing the interviews from this project, please contact the Center for Documentary Research and Practice office.
Language: Materials are in English .
Repository: Center for Documentary Research and Practice
Franklin Hall 0030B
601 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Business Number: 812-855-2856
ohrc@indiana.edu
URL: https://cdrp.mediaschool.indiana.edu/

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains eighteen interviews conducted over four years. The interviews range from 25 to 180 minutes. All interviews consist of audio tapes and typed transcripts.

Restrictions

Usage Restrictions:

The archive of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice at Indiana University is open to the use of researchers. Copies of transcript pages are available only when such copies are permitted by the deed of gift. Scholars must honor any restrictions the interviewee placed on the use of the interview. Since some of our earlier (pre-computer) transcripts do not exist in final form, any editing marks in a transcript (deletions, additions, corrections) are to be quoted as marked. Audio files may not be copied for patrons unless the deed of gift permits it, and a transcript is unavailable for that interview. The same rules of use that apply to a transcript apply to the audio interview. Interviews may not be reproduced in full for any public use, but excerpted quotes may be used as long as researchers fully cite the data in their research, including accession number, interview date, interviewee's and interviewer's name, and page(s).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[interviewee first name last name] interview, by [interviewer first name last name], [interview date(s)], [call number], [project name], Center for Documentary Research and Practice, Indiana University, Bloomington, [page number(s) or tape number and side if no transcript; if digital audio and no transcript, cite time when quote occurs].

Acquisition Information

Oral history interviews conducted by the Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory from 1968 to the present, with particular focus on the history of twentieth-century America and the Midwest.

Collection Inventory

Billings, Claude , January 8, 1971

No(s): 71-002

Physical Description: 56 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 135 minutes; index

Scope and Content Note: Claude Billings, born 1904 and died 1985, owned and operated the Republican Akron News in Akron, Indiana from 1932 until 1962. During that time he served in several positions in the Republican state committee and the Indiana Republican Editorial Association. He speaks about Indiana politics during that time, particularly Senator William Jenner's run for governor in 1948. He discusses several other election years during that period and gives insights into his own involvement. After he sold the newspaper in 1962, he worked for several papers and ends the interview describing his duties as advisor to the Indiana State University student paper.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • journalist
    • state committee secretary
  • Places:
    • Akron, Indiana
    • Fulton County, Indiana
    • Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Subjects:
    • 1940 Republican National Convention
    • 1948 Indiana gubernatorial election
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Akron News
    • Indiana Republican Editorial Association
    • Indiana State University
    • Ku Klux Klan (1915- )
    • Republican Party
  • People:
    • Capehart, Homer Earl, Jr.
    • Creighton, Hobart W.
    • Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
    • Gates, Ralph F.
    • Hillis, Glenn
    • Lyons, Robert W.
    • Morris, Ernest
    • Schricker, Henry F.
    • Willkie, Wendell L.

Access Status: Open

Brokenburr, Robert L. , May 7, 1971

No(s): 71-013

Physical Description: 16 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 40 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Robert Brokenburr, born 1886 and died 1974, was a Republican state senator for twenty years. He speaks about his political experience during that time, particularly his involvement in integrating the IHSAA. He also discusses his dealings with William Jenner during their time serving together.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • state senator
  • Subjects:
    • 1958 Indiana Right to Work Bill
    • athletic association integration
    • racial discrimination
    • racial inequities
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Bull Moose Party
    • Indiana High School Athletic Association
    • United Nations

Access Status: Open

Cast, Alvin C. , August 30, 1971

No(s): 71-042

Physical Description: 20 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 50 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Alvin Cast, born 1901, entered politics somewhat reluctantly in 1950 by becoming precinct committeeman. By 1954, he was elected state chairman for the Republican Party. He speaks about how he was elected to these positions, and the opposition he received from William Jenner. He describes Jenner as vindictive towards his opponents.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • Indiana Republican chairman
  • Places:
    • Newton County, Indiana
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Indiana University
  • People:
    • Capehart, Homer Earl, Jr.
    • Craig, George N.
    • Halleck, Charles A. (Charles Abraham), 1900-1986
    • Handley, Harold W.
    • Parker, Crawford F.

Access Status: Open

Clark, Donald H. , June 23, 1971

No(s): 71-024

Physical Description: 16 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 40 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Donald Clark, born 1914, worked at the Indiana State Board of Accounts, and served as budget director under Governor George Craig. He speaks about the split in the Republican Party between the Craig and Jenner factions.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • budget director
  • Subjects:
    • party factions
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Indiana Board of Accounts
  • People:
    • Craig, George N.
    • Millis, Frank T.

Access Status: Open

Craig, George N. , November 30, 1973

No(s): 73-020

Physical Description: 1 open reel tape, 3 3/4 ips, 48 minutes, no index

Language: English .

Scope Note: George N. Craig, Born 1909, was the 39th Governor of Indiana, from 1953 to 1957. he discusses his time as Governor, details of the Republican Party of Indiana in the 1940s and 1950s, and election politics during that time. He briefly discusses his opposition to William Jenner and Jenner's allies within the Republican Party.

Indexed Terms:

  • Subjects:
    • Elections --Indiana.
    • law school
    • political elections
    • state politics
  • People:
    • Jenner, William E. (William Ezra), 1908-1985
    • Millis, Frank T.
    • Minton, Sherman, 1890-1965
    • Wright, Noland
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • The American Legion
    • Republican Party (Ind.)

Access Status : Open

Creighton, Hobart W. , July 20, 1971

No(s): 71-022

Physical Description: 31 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 75 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Hobart Creighton, born 1896 and died 1976, was nominated to nine terms in the Indiana House from 1932-1948, serving as speaker the last six years. In 1948, he beat out William Jenner to become the Republican nominee for governor, but lost to Henry Schricker. He speaks about his duties as speaker, and the committees and bills he worked on.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • Indiana House speaker
  • Places:
    • Kosciusko County, Indiana
  • Subjects:
    • 1948 Indiana gubernatorial election
    • Republican Party split
    • Ripper Bills
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • American Poultry Association
    • Indiana Budget Committee
  • People:
    • Burch, Alvan V.
    • Dewey, Thomas E.
    • Helmke, Walter E.
    • McNutt, Paul V. (Paul Vories), 1891-1955

Access Status: Open

Curtis, Carl T. , March 1, 1974

No(s): 73-015

Physical Description: 17 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 40 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Carl Curtis, born 1905 and died 2000, was a United States representative (R) and later served as United States senator (R) from Nebraska. He served in the senate from 1955-1979. The early part of his service was with William Jenner. He describes Jenner's personality, such as taking disagreements hard, and tells several stories that illustrate Jenner's wit. He also speaks about the types of issues Jenner favored.

Indexed Terms:

  • Places:
    • Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
  • Subjects:
    • Bricker Amendment
    • foreign aid
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • House Rules and Administration Committee
  • People:
    • Capehart, Homer Earl, Jr.
    • Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
    • Halleck, Charles A. (Charles Abraham), 1900-1986
    • Marshall, George M.
    • McCarthy, Joseph R.

Access Status: Open

Fleming, Charles F. , February 28, 1974

No(s): 74-001

Physical Description: 39 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 90 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Charles Fleming, born 1909, was a Democrat and served as the Indiana secretary of state during Henry Schricker's second term as governor. He speaks about the tension between Governor Schricker and William Jenner over the Ripper Bills. He also discusses Schricker's fiscal philosophy, his thoughts on political patronage, and the welfare problem regarding the secrecy of documents.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • Indiana secretary of state
  • Subjects:
    • fiscal policies
    • political campaigns
    • Patronage, Political
    • Ripper Bills
    • welfare controversy
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
  • People:
    • Branigan, Roger D.
    • Craig, George N.
    • McNutt, Paul V. (Paul Vories), 1891-1955
    • Schricker, Henry F.
    • Vermillion, Walter
    • Welsh, Matthew V.

Access Status: Open

Gray, Hugh , May 19, 1973

No(s): 73-007

Physical Description: 29 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 70 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Hugh Gray, born 1904, served as Martin County, Indiana Republican chairman from 1950 until 1964. William E. Jenner was also from the area, and Gray speaks about their close ties, including partnership in a log cabin retreat. He describes political patronage through the state and briefly discusses the 1940 gubernatorial campaign and the 1948 Republican convention. As county chairman, he knew and speaks about the local politics in Loogootee and the surrounding locales.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • Republican county chairperson
  • Places:
    • Bloomington, Indiana
    • Loogootee, Indiana
    • Paoli, Indiana
    • Shoals, Indiana
  • Subjects:
    • 1940 Indiana gubernatorial campaign
    • 1948 Republican National Convention
    • Catholicism
    • Democrats
    • local politics
    • Patronage, Political
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Indiana University
    • Loogootee School Board
  • People:
    • Capehart, Homer Earl, Jr.
    • Craig, George N.
    • Emmert, James
    • Fenton, Harry C.
    • McNutt, Paul V. (Paul Vories), 1891-1955
    • Schricker, Henry F.
    • Tucker, James M.

Access Status: Open

Halleck, Charles A. , July 22, 1971

No(s): 71-041

Physical Description: 9 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 25 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Charles Halleck, born 1900, was elected as United States representative (R) from Indiana in 1935 during a special election. He speaks about being a delegate to the 1952 Republican National Convention. He also briefly discusses his involvement in nominating Wendell Willkie.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • United States representative
  • Subjects:
    • Republican conventions
  • People:
    • Watson, James E.
    • Willis, Raymond E.
    • Willkie, Wendell L.
    • Springer, Henry Clark

Access Status: Open

Helmke, Walter E. , October 11, 1973

No(s): 73-013

Physical Description: 15 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 40 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Walter Helmke, born 1901 and died 1976, was a Republican who served as prosecuting attorney and county chairman from Allen County, Indiana. He speaks about his involvement in local politics, and the support he gave to various political personalities while he was active in politics. In 1948, he attempted to become the gubernatorial candidate for the Republican Party, but withdrew in support of Hobart Creighton. He speaks briefly about his decision and what effect it may have had.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • county chairperson
    • prosecuting attorney
  • Places:
    • Allen County, Indiana
    • Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Subjects:
    • local politics
    • Republican conventions
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Indiana University
  • People:
    • Burch, Alvan V.
    • Creighton, Hobart W.
    • Gates, Ralph F.

Access Status: Open

Hill, Herbert R. , February 18, 1974

No(s): 73-016

Physical Description: Not transcribed; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 180 minutes

Scope and Content Note: Herbert R. Hill, born 1900 and died 1985, speaks about Indiana politics between the nineteen forties and nineteen sixties.

Indexed Terms:

  • Subjects:
    • political campaigns
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Republican Party

Access Status: Restricted: Contact center staff for more information

Jackson, Nyle M. , March 3, 1974

No(s): 73-014

Physical Description: 42 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 100 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Nyle Jackson, born 1914 and died 1984, worked as administrative assistant to Earl Wilson and William Jenner. He speaks about the political friction that developed between Wilson and Jenner since they were both from the same home town. He discusses some of the committees Jenner worked on, and the types of situations they handled. Jackson also describes Jenner's wit and tells some anecdotes about him.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • administrative assistant
  • Places:
    • Bedford, Indiana
  • Subjects:
    • Bricker Amendment
    • committee hearings
    • Communism
    • party factions
    • political bribes
    • Patronage, Political
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • House Internal Security Subcommittee
    • Republican Party
    • Senate Rules Committee
  • People:
    • Adams, Sherman
    • Byrd, Harry F., Sr.
    • Capehart, Homer Earl, Jr.
    • Craig, George N.
    • McCarthy, Joseph R.
    • Nixon, Richard Milhous
    • Wilson, Earl

Access Status: Restricted: Contact center staff for more information

Manion, Clarence "Pat" , May 31, 1973

No(s): 73-017

Physical Description: 15 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 35 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Clarence Manion, born 1896 and died 1979, was the School of Law dean at Notre Dame University. He was heavily behind the Bricker Amendment and speaks about his involvement in delivering speeches in its support. He also speaks about William Jenner's role in the Bricker Amendment as well as the 1952 Republican convention.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • law school dean
  • Subjects:
    • Bricker Amendment
    • Communism
    • international treaties
    • World War II
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • House Internal Security Subcommittee
    • Notre Dame University
    • Republican Party
  • People:
    • Holman, Frank
    • McCarran, Patrick A.
    • Taft, Robert A., Sr.

Access Status: Open

Millis, Frank T. , May 5, 1971

No(s): 71-014

Physical Description: 29 pages; 1 tape, 3 3/4 ips, 70 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Frank Millis, born 1895 and died 1991, was a Republican who served in several positions in state government from representative to auditor and treasurer. He speaks about running William Jenner's campaigns for governor in 1940 and 1948. He discusses the charge to remove the 2 percent rule and wonders where the money for campaigns will now come from.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • state auditor
    • state representative
    • state treasurer
  • Places:
    • Paoli, Indiana
    • Washington County, Indiana
  • Subjects:
    • 1940 Indana gubernatorial campaign
    • Full Crew Bill
    • political campaign finances
    • political elections
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Republican Party
    • State Defense Council
  • People:
    • Capehart, Homer Earl, Jr.
    • Tucker, James M.

Access Status: Open

Springer, Henry Clark , July 21, 1971

No(s): 71-023

Physical Description: 40 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 95 minutes; no index

Scope and Content Note: Henry Clark Springer, born 1894 and died 1980, served as De Kalb County, Indiana Republican chairman and chairman of the Indiana Republican Central Committee. He speaks about his involvement in Republican conventions, especially 1948. He talks about being a delegate to several national conventions, and discusses several prominent politicians in the state from the nineteen twenties to the nineteen fifties.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • attorney
    • county chairperson
    • organization chairperson
  • Places:
    • Bloomington, Indiana
    • De Kalb County, Indiana
  • Subjects:
    • 1948 Republican National Convention
    • independent voters
    • Republican conventions
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Indiana Republican Central Committee
    • Indiana University
    • Ku Klux Klan (1915- )
    • Republican Party
  • People:
    • Gates, Ralph F.
    • Lyons, Robert W.
    • Minton, Sherman
    • Schricker, Henry F.
    • Van Nuys, Frederick
    • Watson, James E.
    • Willis, Raymond E.
    • Willkie, Wendell L.
    • Yeager, John

Access Status: Open

Tucker, James M. , May 12, 1971

No(s): 71-012

Physical Description: 36 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 85 minutes; index

Scope and Content Note: James Tucker, born 1908 and died 1995, was active in the Young Republicans Organization, and was elected the Indiana secretary of state in 1938 and 1940. He speaks about some of the issues he dealt with as secretary, such as the Ripper Bills, McNutt Bills, and patronage. He talks about campaign funding, the 1948 gubernatorial campaign, and serving on the Conservation Commission, which was the precursor to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • attorney
    • secretary of state
  • Places:
    • Evansville, Indiana
  • Subjects:
    • 1948 Indiana gubernatorial election
    • McNutt Bills
    • party factions
    • political campaign funding
    • political campaigns
    • Patronage, Political
    • Ripper Bills
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    • Indiana Conservation Commission
    • Indiana University
    • Republican Party
    • Young Republicans Organization
  • People:
    • Capehart, Homer Earl, Jr.
    • Gates, Ralph F.
    • Harding, Warren G.
    • Holder Cale J.
    • Schricker, Henry F.
    • Watson, James E.
    • Willkie, Wendell L.

Access Status: Open

Wallace, Lisle L. , January 7, 1971

No(s): 71-001

Physical Description: 49 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 120 minutes; index

Scope and Content Note: Lisle Wallace, born 1902 and died 1991, was chairman of the Young Republican Organization and administrative assistant to Senator William Jenner. He speaks about Republican politics in Indiana, particularly campaign contributions, patronage, and conventions he remembers during his political career.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • administrative assistant
    • organization chairperson
  • Subjects:
    • 1940 Indiana gubernatorial campaign
    • 1944 Indiana senatorial election
    • 1948 Republican National Convention
    • party factions
    • political campaign contributions
    • Patronage, Political
    • World War II
    • World War II mortality list
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • Indiana Conservation Commission
    • Republican Party
    • Young Republicans Organization
  • Family Names:
    • Emison
  • People:
    • Ball, George A.
    • Craig, George N.
    • Gates, Ralph F.
    • Holder Cale J.
    • O'Brien, Cornelius
    • Millis, Frank T.
    • Schricker, Henry F.
    • Springer, Raymond S.
    • Tucker, James M.
    • Whitlock, Doug

Access Status: Open

Webb, Robert S. , June 17, 1973

No(s): 73-018

Physical Description: 41 pages; 2 tapes, 3 3/4 ips, 95 minutes; index

Scope and Content Note: Robert Webb was a Republican and eventually served as majority leader in the Indiana House of Representatives. He speaks about some of the earlier campaigns in Indiana, and the role of William Jenner in the welfare controversy after Indiana made the records public. He also talks about several other bills and the legislative failure of Governor George Craig, partly at the hands of Webb.

Indexed Terms:

  • Occupations:
    • Indiana House majority leader
  • Places:
    • Hamilton County, Indiana
  • Subjects:
    • 1948 Indana gubernatorial campaign
    • 1957 Indiana Right to Work Bill
    • committee appointments
    • labor
    • newspaper publicity
    • political campaign contributions
    • welfare controversy
  • Corporate Bodies:
    • American Legion
    • Purdue University
    • Republican Party
    • United States. Supreme Court
  • People:
    • Craig, George N.
    • Creighton, Hobart W.
    • Handley, Harold W.
    • Holder Cale J.
    • Mills, C. V.
    • Sayer, William
    • Sherwood, R. Hartley
    • Wallace, Lisle L.

Access Status: Open