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Governor Records - Hall, 1955-1957

January 10, 1955 - January 3, 1957

The records of Kansas Governor Fred L. Hall consist of correspondence, appointments, state agency files, proclamations, subject files and oversized materials during his term as governor from 1955 to 1957.

Scope and Content Note

The arrangement and description of the correspondence of the Governor's office is structured according to the arrangement, duties, functions and responsibilities of the Governor and the Executive branch of the Kansas state government.

The Correspondence Series is subdivided into an Alphabetical File; an Appointments File (because the Governor spent a great deal of time appointing people to official government boards, departments and other government offices); a State Agencies File; and a Subject File.

The Alphabetical File contains routine correspondence from either the common, concerned citizen about unimportant subject matter; or from important correspondents, arranged by name.

The State Agencies File contains routine correspondence to and from nearly all of the bureaus of the state government. This is the appropriate subseries for research of state agency activities and history. Some of the entries listed in the State Agencies File are followed by a superscripted number (1, 2, 3, or 4). This denotes that the file is stored in another record series: the Annual Reports of State Agencies. The locations for these records are as follows:

1: 28-03-06-02
2: 28-03-06-03
3: 28-03-07-01
4: 28-03-07-02

The Subject File contains a wide array of files on any and every important subject matter at the time. Researchers investigating important issues of any given era in Kansas' history (or national history) should examine the Subject Files of the Governors' Correspondence.

In all record groups of Governor's Correspondence, there are oversize items. Oversize items are inventoried in the back of each register, giving their original folder location and the oversize storage location where they have been transferred. When examining the folders that held oversize items, the researcher will find a transfer form, identifying the item, and giving information on its oversize location.

Agency Sketch

The office of the Governor of the State of Kansas was established by the State Constitution of 1859 (the Wyandotte Constitution).

According to constitutional mandate, some of the more important duties, functions, responsibilities and bailiwicks of the Kansas Governor are as follows:

The supreme executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor, who shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.

The Executive Department shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, and Superintendent of Public Instruction, who shall be chosen by the electors of the State at the time and place of voting for members of the Legislature, and shall hold their offices for the term of two years from the second Monday in January, next after their election, and until their successors are elected and qualified.

He may require information in writing from the officers of the Executive Department upon any subject relating to their respective duties.

He may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the Legislature by proclamation, and shall, at the commencement of every session, communicate in writing such information as he may possess in reference to the condition of the State, and recommend such measures as he may deem expedient.
All commissions shall be issued in the name of the State of Kansas; signed by the Governor, counter-signed by the Secretary of State, and sealed with the great seal.

For a complete list of gubernatorial duties, see the Kansas State Constitution (1859), Article I -- Executive.

Biographical Sketch

Frederick Lee Hall was born to Fred L. and Etta (Brewer) Hall in Dodge City, Kansas on July 24, 1916. He attended Dodge City High School, where he distinguished himself on the school's debate team. That, combined with his exemplary academic performance earned him a four year National High School Achievement Scholarship. He applied this scholarship at the University of Southern California. While at U.S.C. he majored in political science. In addition, he served there on the school's debate team, which traveled through the United States, Great Britain and Europe. Hall graduated from U.S.C. in 1938 with a B.A. degree. He stayed there to earn a law degree at U.S.C.'s law school, earning an LL.B. degree in 1941.

Not long after graduation, he married Leadell Schneider, and with her, had one son, Frederick Lee Hall III.

With the outbreak of WWII, Hall tried to enter the military, but could not pass the physical examination. Instead, he worked as the assistant director of the Combined Production and Resource Board for the Combined Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C. from 1942 to 1944. Afterwards, he returned to Kansas to work for the law firm of Lillard, Eidson, Lewis and Porter in Topeka, remaining there for a two year period. In 1946, Hall returned to his home town of Dodge City where he served as County Attorney of Ford County. Beginning in 1949, he engaged in a general law practice in Dodge City.

Since his college days, Hall was active in Republican Party activities. While at U.S.C. he was the president of the Collegiate Young Republican Club, and while in Ford County he served as the chairman of the Ford County Young Republican Club.

Hall entered politics in 1950 when he sought the Party's nomination for Lieutenant Governor. There were eight other republicans seeking the nomination; Hall was the only one from western Kansas. Hall, pugnacious, strong, aggressive, ambitious and fiercely independent, won the nomination, as well as the general election. Once in office, Hall gained a reputation as a trouble maker, even within his own party, and was constantly at odds with Gov. Edward Arn. In spite of his overbearing reputation, Hall was re-elected to the office of Lt. Governor (president of the senate) in 1952.

In 1954, Hall ran for the office of Governor, and won, defeating the Democratic candidate, George Docking. During the campaign, Hall's platform was one of reform. "Let's clean up Topeka as President Eisenhower has cleaned up Washington," was his campaign slogan.

Once in office, Hall turned out to be one of Kansas' most controversial governors. When he failed to win his bid for re-election in 1956, a rare thing for a republican governor in Kansas, Hall took advantage of the retirement of one of Kansas' Supreme Court justices by resigning from the governor's office, so that Lt. Gov. John McCuish could become governor, and appoint Hall to the Supreme Court, in place of the retiring justice. This entire exchange took only a few minutes. Though this action was within legal limits, many thought it was unethical.

In the spring of 1958, Hall resigned the bench to make another bid for governor. He was defeated in the primary by Clyde M. Reed. This finished off Hall's career in public service in Kansas. Afterwards, he moved to California where he became the director of Management Control of the Aerojet General Corporation, located in Sacramento. After two years, he picked up roots once again and re-located to Los Angeles to work for the the firm of Richards, Watson and Hemmerling.

After suffering s stroke in 1966, Hall returned to Dodge City to establish his own law practice. Not content to sit still, he moved to Wichita in October of 1968 and to Shawnee a year later.

Fred Hall died in Shawnee on March 18, 1970 and was buried in Dodge City.

Administrative Sketch

Fred Hall began his gubernatorial campaign in 1954, campaigning on a reform platform. His slogan was "Let's clean up Topeka as President Eisenhower has cleaned up Washington." In the primary election, Hall campaigned against against George Templar, who had been a State Senator. In spite of being Governor Edward Arn's preference, as well as receiving support of most of the leading newspapers, Templar lost to Hall.

In the general election, Hall defeated the democratic candidate, George Docking, by a sizable margin. Hall, thirty-eight years old at the time, was one of the youngest of Kansas' governors. Also, he was one of its most controversial.

Most of Hall's administration was fraught with difficulty and conflict, in spite of the fact that the legislature was dominated by republicans. Hall was frequently at odds with the legislature over appropriations and budget cuts.

In addition, Hall fired the director of the State Purchasing Agency, and then changed the membership of the State Civil Service Commission before the former director could make an appeal.

Hall's biggest controversy arose when he vetoed the "Right-to-Work" bill. The bill, which passed through both houses of the Kansas legislature, was meant to eliminate the requirement that laborers join a union to work in unionized factories and shops. Hall, who had a history of sympathizing with organized labor, favored a labor-management bill more amenable to organized labor. Hall vetoed the bill during the 1956 legislative session, a measure very much approved by William T. Gill of the Kansas City Typographical Union:

"Dear Governor Hall:

... Your stand on 'right to work' legislation has been of great benefit to both unorganized and organized workers in your state, as well as proving beneficial to the farmer and assisting materially in advancing the economy in the entire state.

Very Truly yours,

Wm. T. Gill. - Treas. & Bus. Rep.,
Kansas City Typographical Union 80"

Other issues of substance concern legislation for high school aid, a small loan law, the establishment of the Water Resources Commission, and the elimination of the Board of Review, which censored movies. The legislature, feeling that movie censorship was no longer necessary, eliminated this bureau in 1955, much to the objection of concerned citizens:

"Speaking for a wide circle of parents and grandparents located in this area may I express the hope that you will see fit to veto Senate Bill 222 repealing the Kansas State Board of Review for motion pictures. With all the filth on the magazine racks of the country today there is no assurance that the independent movie producers will not continue to use such filth on the movie screen it would be a great mistake to eliminate this safety valve and face the consequences of an unrestricted distribution of the stuff that comes out of the independent producers studios.

Claud F. Pack, President of the Home State Bank of Kansas City, Kansas"2

One of the major issues plaguing Kansas politics was the Tuttle Creek Dam. Repeated flooding on the Kaw and Blue Rivers convinced Kansas politicians and policy makers at both the state and federal levels that some effort at flood control and water management had to be undertaken. Toward that end, plans had been under way for several years to construct a water reservoir. Kansans living in the area were absolutely opposed to this dam, as pointed out by Mr. Otto Hallers:

"Dear Gov. Hall:

...Tuttle Creek Dam, if completed, will not only destroy completely the Blue Valley but be the signal to continue the destruction of many other fertile valley of Kansas, we cannot help but feel that in your heart you have great concern for this cause which destroys forever so much of the best of Kansas.

Very Sincerely,

Otto Hallers"3

Another issue exerting a major influence, not only in Kansas, but nationally, was the Cold War against the Soviet Union. With the development of nuclear weapons at the end of World War II, technology which the Soviet Union eventually acquired, the United States developed a new strategy to deal with this threat -- Civil Defense.

Val Paterson, the head of the Federal Civil Defense Administration (and formerly the governor of Nebraska) sent a message to the governors of states and territories, which typified the feelings of the times.

"Dear Mr. Hall

May I propose for your agenda the newest duty of governor?
In the words of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, 'It is...declared to be the policy and intent of Congress that...responsibility for civil defense shall be vested primarily in the several States and their political subdivisions.'

I trust you will agree that so long as the United States remains the determined opponent of Russian domination of the world, our States and cities will have to prepare to survive a direct attack.
If an attack comes, survival will depend on what the citizens of each State and each city to do then. If they do not know what to do, it will be too late to learn.


Val Peterson"4

By 1956, as the next election approached, Hall found himself in a vulnerable position vis-a-vis Warren W. Shaw, the Republican Party challenger. Because of the controversy that Hall stirred up, combined with the fact that Hall broke links with the Republican Party chairman (who had also been Hall's campaign manager) Hall lost the party nomination in the 1956 election.

Just days before he was to leave office in January of 1957, Hall resigned from office, allowing Lieutenant Governor John McCuish to be sworn in as governor. Hall wanted to be appointed to a recently vacated seat on the state Supreme Court and orchestrated these unusual (and said by many, unethical) maneuvers in order to achieve this end.

1 27-15-06-03 f2, Jan. 4, 1956
2 27-15-06-02 f9, Apr 4, 1955
3 27-15-06-03 f7, Jun 18, 1955
4 27-15-05-07 f8, Dec 23, 1954

Series Outline

Series 1: Correspondence Files

Subseries A: Alphabetical File
Subseries B: Appointments File
Subseries C: State Agencies File
Subseries D: Subject File

Series 2: Proclamations

Series, Box, and Folder Listings

Series 1 Correspondence

Subseries A: Alphabetical File
Box 27-15-05-05
1: A-B
2: C
3: D-F
4: G
5: H
6: I-K
7: L-Mc

Box 27-15-05-06
1: Means-Moore
2: Morgan, Harry T.
3: Morgan-P
4: R
5: S
6: T-V
7: W-Z
8: Surnames missing or illegible

Subseries B: Appointments File
Box 27-15-05-07
1: Abstractors, Board of Examiners, 1955
2: Alcoholism, Commission on, 1955
3: Children's Commission, Crippled, 1956
4: Chiropractic Board of Examiners, 1955-56
5: County Coroner (Montgomery), 1955
6: Highway Coordinating Committee

Subseries C: State Agencies File
7: Adjutant General's Office, 1955-1956
8: Civil Defense, 1954-1956
Administration, State Department of, 1956 1
Administration, State Department of, 1956
Accounts and Reports Division, 1955 1
Auditor, State.
9: Division of Post Audit, 1955
Annual Reports, 1955, 1957 (oversized folder) 1
10: Budget Division, 1955-56
11: Executive Director, 1954-1955
12: Personnel Division, 1956
13: Agriculture, State Board of, 1954-1956
14: Alcoholic Beverage Board of Review, State, 1955
15: Alcoholic, Commission on, 1956
Alcoholic Beverage Board of Review, State, Office of Director of, 1955-1958 1
16: Antidescrimination Commission, 1955-1956
Architect, State, 1956 1
Architects, State Registration and Examining Board for, 1957 1
Bank Commissioner, State, 1957 1
Industrial School for Boys, State, Topeka, 1955 1
17: Children's Commission, Crippled, 1955
Children's Commission, Crippled, 1955 2
18: Civil Service Board -- Hearing, August 26, 1955

Box 27-15-06-01
1: Civil Service Board -- Hearing, August 26, 1955
Corporation Commission, State, 1955 2
2: Corporation Commission, State, 1956
Corporation Commission, State, 1957 2
Engineering Examiners, State Board of, 1956 2
Entomological Commission, State, 1955 2
Epileptics State Hospital for, 1955 2
[Feeble-Minded] Training School, Winfield State, 1955 4
3: Governor's Office, 1955
4: Health, State Board of, 1955-1956
5: Highway Coordinating Committee (Proposed), 1956
Horticulture Society, Kansas State, 1955 2
[Insane] Hospital, Larned State, 1955, 1957 2
[Insane] Hospital, Osawatomie State, 1955 2
[Insane] Hospital, Topeka State, 1955 2
Industrial School for Girls, State, Beloit, 1955 2
6: Juvenile Courts, 1955-56
Labor Department, State, 1955 2
7: Legislature, 1955
Medical Registration and Examintion, State Board of, 1956 3
8: Penal Institution, Board of, 1956
Printer, State, 1955, 1956 3
Real Estate Commission, Kansas, 1955-1957 3
Regents: Fort Hays College, 1955 3
Review, Board of, see Subject File: Movie Censorship -- Bill 222
Social Welfare, State Department of. Division of Institutional Management, 1955 2
Public Instruction, State Superintendent of, 1956 4
9: Technical Institute, Kansas, Topeka, 1955
Treasurer, State, 1955 (oversized folder) 4
Tuberculosis Patients, State Sanitarium for, Norton, 1955 4
Water Resources Board, Kansas, 1956-1957 4
Workmen's Compensation Commissioner, 1955 4

Subseries D: Subject File
10: Armories, 1955
11: Aviation, 1955
12: Blue Cross and Blue Shield, 1955
13: Bravery Medals, 1955
14: Breweries, 1955
15: Cowboy Capital of the World, Inc., 1955-1956
Draft -- see Selective Service
16: Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Design Features of (Proposed), Apr 25, 1956
17: Drought, 1956
18: Fort Riley, 1955
19: Grain Box Car Shortage, 1955-1956
20: India, 1955
21: Junior Colleges, 1956
22: Juvenile Delinquency, 1955-1956
23: Mental Health, 1956
24: Mental Health Conference, 1955-56
25: Missouri Basin Inter-agency Committee, 1954-1956

Box 27-15-06-02
1: Missouri Basin Inter-agency Committee, 85th Meeting, 1956
2: Missouri Basin Inter-agency Committee, 86th Meeting, 1956
3: Missouri Basin Inter-agency Committee, 87th Meeting, 1956
4: Missouri Basin Inter-agency Committee, 88th Meeting, 1956
5: Missouri Basin Inter-agency Committee, 89th Meeting, 1956
6: Missouri Basin Inter-agency Committee, 90th Meeting, 1956
7: Missouri Basin Inter-agency Committee, 91st Meeting, 1956
8: Missouri Basin Research and Development Council, 1955
9: Movie Censorship -- Bill 222
10: Pardon and Parole, 1956
11: Pardon and Parole, Commutations, 1955
12: Pardon and Parole, Executive Clemency, 1955-1956

Box 27-15-06-03
1: Race Relations, 1955-1956
2: Right-to-Work Bill, 1955-1956
3: Salk Vaccine, 1953
4: Selective Service, 1954
5: Social Security, 1955
6: Teacher Retirement, 1954-1955
7: Tuttle Creek Dam and Resevoir, 1955-1956
8: Unions, State Employees, 1956
United States.
9: Army. Corps of Engineers. Missouri River Division, 1954-1956
10: Committee on Aging (Federal-State), 1956
11: Federal Highway Program, 1955
12: Voting for Eighteen Year Olds, 1955
13: Wyandotte County, 1955
14: Proclamations, 1955

Hall Oversized Items

Chas. H. Tucker's Pension Crusaders (location: 72-02-10-01* f 10)
Boysen Reservoir/Management Map, Feb. 1953 (location: M-2-3-7-L f6)