A. Travel Files and Diaries, 1944-1973, 29 lin. ft.
- The Travel Files and Diaries consists of materials concerning Congressman Poage's extensive travels throughout the world from the years immediately after World War II until the 1970s. Poage wrote in his autobiography that when he first went to Congress, he did not want to go on trips. However, near the end of WWII, he was given the opportunity to travel to England and then to France where he met Gen. Eisenhower. Thus began almost thirty years of travels as part of the Agriculture committee and the Interparliamentary Union. Nevertheless, after retirement, Poage wrote that he doubted that there was much value in any of these trips.
- Within the collection are brochures, printed material, correspondence,
and maps organized by country. In addition, Congressman Poage's
extensive and entertaining travel diaries are grouped here giving
detailed descriptions of daily events. The Travel Files and Diaries
break down into three sections:
- Travel Information
- Travel Diaries
- Interparliamentary Union files.
B. Speeches, 1937-1978, 8 lin. ft.
The speeches of Congressman Poage in their original typewritten form were preserved by his office in binders ordered chronologically. Consisting of approximately three lin. ft., these speeches have been boxed while retaining the organizational scheme used by Congressman Poage's office. Within each binder is a list of speeches, subjects, and venues of delivery. Page numbers have been assigned within each of the binders. The speeches cover an array of concerns and subjects and include all speeches given by Congressman Poage on the floor of the House as well as those read into the record. In addition, all other speeches given in the district and around the country are included. Following these loose files are 12 bound volumes of these speeches.
- C. Card Files, 1952-1978, 34 lin. ft.
Congressman Poage's Washington office staff maintained an alphabetical card file of correspondents. Each card gives the name and address, the date of the letter and what the letter was about. There are eight 3x5 card file files of "Out of District" correspondence and fifty-two boxes of District correspondence. However, there are no file numbers on the cards or letters so individual items cannot be readily retrieved from the current papers.
Due to the size of this collection, the number of people who have worked on it, and the number of years involved in processing, biographical materials about Poage are found in the Travel Diaries and in the General Office Files. However, the items found in this section did not fit into either of these series, or were set aside during the years, or were considered miscellaneous. Therefore, this series brings together a number of categories that just did not fit anywhere else or were previously left out. The title Biographical Materials is being used as an umbrella to shelter the following under one classification:
- Biographical Information
- Campaign Materials and Pins
- Guest Registers
- Library Development Council
- License plates
- Oral History
- Voting Records
1. Articles: 1 lin. ft.
The first box contains photocopies of news articles from the 1950s and 1960s. The second box contains copies of magazine articles including an issue of each magazine. Many of these contain cover photos of Poage. TOP
2. Biographical Information: .5 lin. ft.
This box is a collection of biographical materials that a researcher might find helpful if looking for an overview of Poage's life. TOP
3. Books: 15 lin. ft.
When Poage retired, he donated most of his personal library to Baylor. These books were cataloged and are part of the general collection in the BCPM. There is however, a card file of these books.
Another group of books came to the BCPM in 1993 which were part of Poage's study at his Waco home. These books, about 14 lin. ft., have not been cataloged at this time (Feb., 1995). Current plans are for these books to be added to the Poage Reading Room near Poage's desk.
The third set of books, 1 lin. ft., are texts Poage or his family used in school. TOP
4. Campaign Materials and Pins: 1 lin. ft.
One box contains campaign materials used by Poage in his early election campaigns as well as later elections. The second box contains campaign pins from presidential and congressional or persons other than Poage. Presidential campaign pins are included for candidates from Adlai Stevenson to Jimmy Carter. TOP
5. Cards: 1.5 lin. ft.
Poage kept many membership cards, individual calling cards, complementary passes, banquet tickets, credit cards, and place cards. These have been arranged by topic but not chronologically or alphabetically within each topic. TOP
6. Correspondence: 1 lin. ft.
The first box contains Poage's post-congressional correspondence for 1981 and 1982. These letters provided a look at the transition Poage went through from Congressman to retired Congressman. Additional letters from this period have not been found.
The second box contains letters between Poage and the Texas Collection from 1961 to 1979 discussing the transfer of his papers to Baylor which began in the early 1960s. TOP
7. Guest Registers: 1 lin. ft.
There were guest registers Poage's Washington office as well as at a number of special events. TOP
8. Library Development Council: 1 lin. ft.
The first box is general correspondence regarding the raising of funds for the Poage Building at Baylor. The second box contains board minutes and correspondence from the Development Council for the library. TOP
9. License plates: .5 lin. ft.
These license plates are from presidential inaugurations and Poage congressional plates. TOP
10. Manuscripts: 6 lin. ft.
After Poage retired, he spent much of him time writing five books. This section contains the rough drafts, photographs, and manuscripts for some of these. Copies of the published books are also included. TOP
11. Oral History, 5 vols.: 1 lin. ft.
Following Poage's move to his office at Baylor, Baylor's Oral History Department conducted a series of interviews with Poage about his long congressional career. The first four volumes were opened while Poage was still alive and contains an index. The fifth volume, sealed until Poage's death in 1987, is now available and is also indexed. TOP
12. Presentations: 3 lin. ft.
Poage was given a number of pens by presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter commemorating the signing of significant legislation. On Poage's many travels, he received several special presentation albums from local officials. TOP
13. Scrapbooks: 3 lin. ft.
Beginning in 1928 Poage maintained scrapbooks of news articles about his work. The last scrapbook in this set is 1965. In addition, Articles, Box 1572, contains news articles from the 1960s and supplemental materials contain news clippings from 1965 to 1969 in box 1643. TOP
14. Voting Records: 1.5 lin. ft.
Bound volumes record every vote by Poage during his congressional career from 1937 to 1978. TOP
Prior to Poage's retirement, a number of friends contributed to buy his desk as a gift for him. After his retirement, the desk was used by Poage in his office in the Poage Library building. Following his death, the desk was moved to the Poage Reading Room where it is arranged as Poage left it. Also stored in the drawers are a number of personal items. There are also two other desks in the library that were used by Poage earlier in his life. TOP
Congressman Poage collected over 1400 photographs. Some are in notebooks and others are in files. All of these have been incorporated into one alphabetical list with location codes. Some additional photographs are included in the supplemental materials while framed paintings and photographs not related to Poage but that were part of his collection are stored on the mezzanine.
- These materials were delivered to the BCPM in the fall of 1993, fifteen years
after the arrival of the bulk of the collection and after major processing
had been completed. Due to inadequate storage of these materials, many papers
had to be discarded because of weather, water, or vermin damage and "original
no longer existed. Therefore, rather than attempt to incorporate these items into
the existing files, the materials were grouped under the following supplemental
series : Congress, Law Practice, News Clippings, Poage Personal, and Texas Legislature.
Separate collection and series statements were created for these papers and the
papers were added to the end of the existing collection.
- Congress, 19361970, .5 lin. ft.
Most of these papers are from the 1930s with one from 1945, one from 1956 and three from the 70s. They cover an assortment of topics from Poage's first speech as a congressman to campaign accounts in the 70s. Of particular interest is one folder concerning FDR's inauguration in 1945 and a folder of letters from Poage's congressional office in Waco in 1937.
- Law Practice, 1928-1936, 4 lin. ft.
These papers are mostly from the 1930s when Poage was in practice with Pat Neff, Jr. A few dip back into the late '20s but none go beyond 1936 when Poage was elected to Congress. These appear to be the only papers left relative to Poage's law practice. Two boxes are related to Poage's relationship with Central Freight, a Waco based company, and their attempt to petition the state for wider coverage by their trucks. Another large group of papers chronicles the legal affairs of the Fred Frizzell family. Fred was an injured WWI veteran, one of nine children. However, he was the only child to assume financial responsibility for his elderly parents.
- News clippings, 1965-1969, .5 lin. ft.
These news articles do not duplicate those already in Poage's collection which end in 1964. These clippings fill in 1965 to 1969. There are also a few articles related to the driver's license law in 1935 when Poage was in the Texas Senate.
- Poage Personal, 18991978, 4 lin. ft.
Anything that relates to Poage more so than any of the other series is found here. It includes a number of cards : credit cards, membership cards, political cards, Christmas cards and Christmas card lists. Correspondence with Poage's family includes one letter from his father in the 1899 and one from his mother as early as 1900 reporting Robert's first tooth at eight months of age. Of special interest are two boxes of letters from Poage wife, Frances, beginning in 1934, prior to their marriage, continuing to 1967. These chronicle the events in both their lives while Poage was in Washington and Frances was in Waco as well as when Poage was off on one of his many travels.
Also included are four boxes of correspondence and documentation concerning Poage's many property holdings in Central Texas from the late 1920s until the 1970s. Other items include numerous insurance policy folders and information about passports, shot records and travels.
- Texas Legislature, 1930-1936, 1.5 lin. ft.
This series covers a short span of years from around 1930 to 1936 when Poage was a Senator in the Texas Legislature. While there is some general correspondence, most of the files deal with particular legislation such as the Motor Carrier Law. Other legislative topics represented include Old Age Pensions, Open Saloon Bill, Sales Tax Bill, and the Liquor Bill. The final file in this series deals with the Texas Centennial Committee in 1934.
- Recordings, 1950-1985, 3 lin. ft.
A variety of formats were utilized by Congressman Poage to record his speeches and campaign spots. This series includes fifty-two reel-two-reel tapes, four films, eight videos, five cassettes, and five long playing records. The finding aid includes the date, the subject, and the number of minutes for each recording.
- Historic Newspapers, 1960-1982 [bulk 1848-1982], 16 lin. ft.
Congressman Poage saved newspapers he believed had "historic" headlines. These 278 papers have been listed alphabetically by the city of publication but are filed the way Poage had them. The date, major headline and box number are also listed. While the majority of these papers are from the 1960s and 1970s, there are a few earlier ones. Two issues of the Woodville, Mississippi Republican are from 1848 and 1881 and one issue of the Jackson, MS Weekly Clarion is also from 1881. The Hindenburg tragedy is covered in the Philadelphia Record of May 7, 1937. The assassination of John F. Kennedy issues have been saved as well as those covering the death of Lyndon B. Johnson. Other issues cover city centennials and significant anniversaries of Texas towns. The headlines stories of most of these newspapers could be photocopies and the originals discarded or offered to the Texas Collection.
- As with any public official, Congressman Poage received numerous plaques, awards,
certificates, degrees, and presentation photographs. These have all been grouped
together under the generic designation: awards alphabetically by the organization
making the presentation as well as a numerical list.
A supplemental group of materials received in the fall of 1993 including some certificates and large photographs were filed with the existing awards on Range 14. "Awards." Some of these have been hung in the W. R. Poage Reading Room while others are on the walls of the BCPM. The remainder are filed on Range 14. The finding aid provides a list of these
I. Maps, 1935-1994, 60 lin. ft., 244 titles
One of Congressman Poage's hobbies was collecting maps. So much so that he endowed a special map room in memory of his wife in the Texas Collection at Baylor. He also donated a number of maps and funded the purchase of others. Nevertheless, there are still several hundred maps related to his work with American agriculture that remain a part of the BCPM. These maps have been combined with others that continue to arrive from the U.S. Forest Service into a general Map Collection housed in map cabinets with a separate finding aid.