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MSS 57 – Anderson, Tom L., 1888-1966

Papers of Tom L. Anderson, 1907-1969

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives

Call No.: MSS 57

Creator: Anderson, Tom L.

Title: Papers of Tom L. Anderson, 1907-1969.

Quantity: 2.0 Linear Feet (4 document boxes) Abstract: The focus of this collection rests upon

Anderson’s presidency of the National Association of the Deaf and the Gallaudet College Alumni Association.

Note: This document last updated 2005 November 17.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: The Tom Lewis Anderson Papers were given to the Gallaudet University Archives by his wife, Effie Weseen Anderson. The gifts were made in December, 1988 and in November, 1989.

Processed by: Michael Olson, 1993 April 1.

Processing Note:

Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.

Related Material in the Archives:

SMSS
  • Papers of Thomas Lewis Anderson, 1960. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: SMSS
Films
  • Canada and Manitou Lodge [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 95-4
  • Leslie A. Elmer memorial [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, Call Number: Deaf Film 9-16

Biographical Sketch

Tom Lewis Anderson, known as “TLA”, was born on June 2, 1888 in Denison, Texas. He became deaf at the age of 12 from scarlet fever. In the fall of 1906, Tom entered the Colorado School for the Deaf. He passed the college entrance examination and the next year, he attended Gallaudet College. Tom graduated from Gallaudet in 1912. He worked various jobs: one was in Duluth, Minnesota where he was an editor of a magazine and agent of Acoustic Company; also he was a partner in a logging business; and he was a farmer. He married his college sweetheart, Anna Vaughn Johnson of Minden, Nebraska in 1912. They moved to Texas, and a daughter, Elizabeth and a son, John were born.

Tom got a job as a manual training teacher in a high school in Minden, Nebraska. In his spare time, he pursued outside studies and wrote a thesis on “Mental Training Through the Head” for which Gallaudet awarded him the Master’s degree in 1918.

A tragedy struck the Anderson family–Tom’s wife, Anna died as a result of the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1919. Tom placed his two children in the care of his sister in Dallas, Texas and started a new life. He met Effie Weseen, a native Nebraskan, at a banquet of the Mid-West Chapter of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association. Effie was a 1918 graduate of Gallaudet. In October, 1920, they got married and lived in Minden.

Mr. and Mrs. Tom L. Anderson, both got jobs as teachers at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs in 1921. The next year, Tom was appointed as a vocational principal of the school’s vocational department. He was an editor of the school publication, The Iowa Hawkeye. He founded and published The Vocational Teacher. They worked there for many years, until they moved to Texas where he worked as a vocational counselor in Austin for 6 years. He was credited with having placed 400 deaf war workers with the North American Aviation Company. His experience with human relations caught the eyes of California vocational authorities who lured him to San Francisco in 1948. His wife, Effie taught at the California School for the Deaf in Berkeley. Tom retired in 1952. His hobby was woodworking, which kept him very busy.

Tom was President of the National Association of the Deaf from 1940 to 1946. He was also President of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association from 1936 to 1943. In 1939, at its 75th anniversary convocation, Gallaudet College awarded him a honorary degree of Doctor of Pedagogy in recognition of his valuable service to his fellow men.

Tom died at his home in Oakland, California on September 16, 1966 and was buried in Sunset View Cemetery in El Cerrito on September 20.

Scope and Content

The Tom L. Anderson Papers consist of correspondence, clippings, printed materials, reports, speeches, articles, manuscripts, scrapbooks and yearbooks. Dr. Anderson was President of the National Association of the Deaf and was also President of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association. He was a well-known in the field of vocational training for the deaf.

The collection, which consists of approximately 3,400 pages, dates from 1907-1969. The bulk of the collection consists of articles, correspondence and publications. The bulk dates are mostly between 1936 and 1948, which was during his presidency of both organizations. The strength of the collection is centered mostly on concerns for the welfare of deaf people.

The largest subject in the collection is focused on the National Association of the Deaf issues. Dr. Anderson worked tirelessly for employment opportunities for the deaf people, such as, vocational training for the deaf people. The significant subject in the collection is about the employment of deaf people during the World War II. Another significant aspect of the collection is about the clash of correspondence between Dr. Anderson and Paul A. Strachan of the American Federation of the Physically Handicapped. The biggest accomplishment of Dr. Anderson’s career life was that he was chosen to be on the National Rehabilitation Advisory Council.

The collection includes Gallaudet College Alumni Association correspondence, of which he was President, general articles written by Dr. Anderson; and personal correspondence from his friends and colleagues.

Dr. Anderson wrote a manuscript called, “Vocational Training for the Deaf” which was published about 1942. Also included in the collection are publications, mainly on deaf people and organizations. He wrote an interesting and informative article “What of the Sign Language?”, and an interesting paper called “Rules and Regulations for “Ducks” (for Preparatory students at Gallaudet) written in 1907.

Series Descriptions

Series 1: National Association of the DeafBoxes 1-2

Tom L. Anderson was President of the National Association of the Deaf from 1940 to 1946. In this series are correspondence, publications, reports, clippings and speeches. Most of the collection is mainly on the welfare of deaf people.

Series 2: Gallaudet College Alumni AssociationBox 3

Tom L. Anderson was President of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association from 1936 to 1943. The bulk of the collection is mostly on correspondence. There are some publications and program books. Some of the collection are discussions on issues relating to Gallaudet College Alumni Association.

Series 3: GeneralBoxes 3-4

This series has articles written by Tom L. Anderson, as well as personal correspondence, clippings and printed matters. Manuscripts and speeches are included in this collection. Some items are from his early days as a student at Gallaudet.

Folders Lists

BoxFolderTitle of FolderDate
01 01 Clippings 1940-1945
01 02 Correspondence–Appointment to the National Rehabilitation Advisory Council 1947
01 03 Correspondence–Associations of the Deaf 1941-1942
01 04 Correspondence–Barnes, Harvey 1941-1942
01 05 Correspondence–Bjorlee, Dr. Ignatius 1941
01 06 Correspondence–Bjorlee, Dr. Ignatius re: Strachan, Paul A. 1941
01 07 Correspondence–Boatner, Edmund B. 1941
01 08 Correspondence–Brogan, William E. 1946
01 09 Correspondence–Burnes, Byron B. 1941-1942
01 10 Correspondence–Burnes, Byron B. 1946-1949
01 11 Correspondence–Burnes, Byron B. re:Strachan, Paul A. 1941
01 12 Correspondence–Communication to the Board 1941
01 13 Correspondence–Communication to the Board 1946-1948
01 14 Correspondence–Curtis, Sen. Carl re:Bill S666 and others 1941
01 15 Correspondence–Curtis, Hon. Carl re:Strachan, Paul A. 1941-1943
01 16 Correspondence–Deaf Drivers 1941
01 17 Correspondence–Deaf Peddlers 1941-1942
01 18 Correspondence–Deaf Workers in War Defense jobs 1941-1943
01 19 Correspondence–Employment Problems 1941-1942
01 20 Correspondence–First Official Communication 1940
01 21 Correspondence–First Official Communication re: Resignations of Mrs. Balis & Mrs. Cool 1940
01 22 Correspondence–Fusfeld, Irving S. 1941
01 23 Correspondence–General 1937-1947
01 24 Correspondence–General 1940-1941
01 25 Correspondence–General 1941-1944
01 26 Correspondence–General 1943-1944
01 27 Correspondence–General 1946-1947
01 28 Correspondence–Greenmum, Robert M. 1946-1948
01 29 Correspondence–Guild of American Deaf Writers 1941-1942
01 30 Correspondence–Hall, Dr. Percival re:Strachan, Paul A. 1941-1943
01 31 Correspondence–Hall, Dr. Percival, Marcus L. Kenner, & Byron B. Burnes re: Meeting with Paul A. Strachan 1941
01 32 Correspondence–Kannapell, Geo. Gordon re: NAD Convention 1946
01 33 Correspondence–Kenner, Marcus L. 1941-1942
01 34 Correspondence–Kenner, Marcus L. 1946-1947
02 01 Correspondence–Kenner, Marcus L. re: Paul A. Strachan 1941-1942
02 02 Correspondence–Lauritsen, Wesley 1941-1944
02 03 Correspondence–Martino, Rae 1940-1941
02 04 Correspondence–Miscellaneous re: Paul A. Strachan 1941-1944
02 05 Correspondence–National Rehabilitation Advisory Council 1943-1952
02 06 Correspondence–Nies, Dr. Edwin W. 1941
02 07 Correspondence–Northern, Thomas Y. 1941-1942
02 08 Correspondence–Office of Vocational Rehabilitation–Michael J. Shortley 1946
02 09 Correspondence–Orman, James N. 1941-1942
02 10 Correspondence–Orrill, Louis B. 1946-1947
02 11 Correspondence–Rice, Delight 1941-1942
02 12 Correspondence–Roberts, Arthur L. 1941-1942
02 13 Correspondence–Schowe, Benjamin M. 1941-1942
02 14 Correspondence-Schowe, Benjamin M. re: American Federation of Physically Handicapped 1944
02 15 Correspondence–Silent Worker 1946-1949
02 16 Correspondence–Stewart, Roy J. 1941
02 17 Correspondence–Strachan, Paul A. 1941-1942
02 18 Deaf Peddlers 1941-1942
02 19 Names & Addresses of NAD Members at Louisville, KY 1946
02 20 National Association of the Deaf Convention 1946
02 21 Pamphlet–The American Deaf 1944
02 22 Pamphlets–“The NAD at Work” n.d.
02 23 Position Letter n.d.
02 24 Public Statement–“What the Deaf of America Ask of Government” n.d.
02 25 Publication–The Nadic 1940-1941
02 26 Publication–The Underground re: AFPH 1944
02 27 Reports 1940-1942
02 28 Resolutions 1940
02 29 Speech–Address of Welcome at the NAD Convention, Louisville, KY 1946
02 30 Telegram to President Franklin D Roosevelt re: Deaf for War Role 1941-1942
02 31 Victory Fund–Clubmobiles (Sent to France) 1941-1943
03 01 Correspondence–Board Members 1936-1941
03 02 Correspondence–Drake, Harley D. 1938-1940
03 03 Correspondence–Draper, Ernest G. 1939
03 04 Correspondence–Elstad, Dr. Leonard M. 1946-1956
03 05 Correspondence–Hall, Dr. Percival 1936-1942
03 06 Correspondence–Hughes, Frederick H. 1937-1942
03 07 Correspondence–MacCono, Andrew 1936
03 08 Correspondence–Miscellaneous 1935-1947
03 09 Correspondence–Peikoff, David 1942
03 10 Correspondence–Pulver, Henry J. 1936-1944
03 11 Correspondence–Schowe, Benjamin M. 1937-1946
03 12 Gallaudet College Alumni Association–Clippings, Program books & Speeches 1937-1944
03 13 Program book–75th Anniversary Celebration of Gallaudet College 1939
03 14 Program book–75th Anniversary Program in honor of Edward Miner Gallaudet 1939
03 15 Publications–Presentation Day 1939
03 16 Articles 1937-1969
03 17 Articles written by Tom L. Anderson 1910-1927
03 18 Articles written by Tom L. Anderson 1926-1941
03 19 Calling cards (3) 1909-1910
03 20 Clippings 1917-1942
03 21 Clippings on “The Vocational Teacher” 1930-1933
03 22 Correspondence–California Association of the Deaf 1963-1964
03 23 Correspondence–Curtis, Sen. Carl T. 1955
03 24 Correspondence–Day, Herbert E. 1920
03 25 Correspondence–General 1933-1935
03 26 Correspondence–General 1941-1946
03 27 Correspondence–Hall, Dr. Percival 1935-1936
03 28 Correspondence–Handley Case 1941
03 29 Correspondence–Honorary Degree from Gallaudet College 1939
03 30 Correspondence–McClure, Dr. George M. 1936-1964
03 31 Correspondence–Peet, Elizabeth 1939-1954
03 32 Correspondence–Peikoff, David 1956-1962
03 33 “G” Book 1949-1950
03 34 Gallaudet College Athletic Association 1911
04 01 Hazel’s Handy Pocket Parliamentary Chart 1926
04 02 Kappa Gamma Fraternity 1908-1910
04 03 Kappa Gamma Fraternity Roster 1957
04 04 Kappa Gamma Fraternity Yearbooks 1926-1927
04 05 Manuscripts–Vocational Training for the Deaf 1942
04 06 Minutes of the Tenth Meeting of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association 1917
04 07 Memorandums–Criticisms of Gallaudet College 1963
04 08 Obituary 1966
04 09 Pamphlet–“The Physically Handicapped Under War Conditions” n.d.
04 10 Program book–Presentation Day 1912
04 11 Publication–The Buff and Blue 1933
04 12 Publication–Gallaudet Alumni Bulletin 1948-1950
04 13 Publication–Just Once A Month-Gallaudet Issue 1938
04 14 Publication–Postwar and The Adult Deaf 1944
04 15 Publication–The Vocational Teacher 1930-1933
04 16 Rules and Regulations for “Ducks” (Preparatory boys) 1907
04 17 Scrapbooks–clippings 1910-1911
04 18 Scrapbooks–clippings from The Buff and Blue 1939-1940
04 19 Speech–“Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet 1787-1937” 1937
04 20 Speeches 1936-1960
04 21 What of the Sign Language?–Articles, clippings & notes 1922-1939
04 22 What of the Sign Language?–Articles, clippings & notes commenting on TLA’s article 1938
04 23 Yearbook–The Cornerstone of the Class of Nineteen Twelve 1912

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