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Monday - Friday:
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Other times by appointment

Location

The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library at the front of the 3rd floor.

Contact Information

Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-4483
fax (757) 683-5954

 

THE PAPERS OF PAUL T. SCHWEITZER

Biography

Paul T. Schweitzer was born on August 1, 1903, on a farm near Malta, Illinois. Three years later the family moved to Arizona where his father became manager of a cattle ranch outside of Tucson. Several years later the elder Mr. Schweitzer moved into Tucson where he founded the Schweitzer Machine Company, which specialized in water pumps. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1918 where the younger Mr. Schweitzer completed high school and went to work for a mortgage and loan company. He remained with the firm until its dissolution in 1935. He then traveled to Washington, D.C. where he opened a branch of Layne-Atlantic Company, a firm that develops and engineers large-scale water distribution systems. Joining company headquarters in Norfolk in 1939, he was made vice president, ultimately chairman of the board.

Mr. Schweitzer's contributions as a businessman and civic leader to the recent history of Norfolk were most distinguished. He was appointed to the Norfolk School Board in 1952, elected chairman in 1955 and served in this capacity until he was appointed to the Norfolk City Council in March 1960. During his years as chairman of the school board, Norfolk experienced the massive resistance crisis. From September 1958 until January 1959 three white high schools and three white junior high schools in the city were closed under Virginia law by order of Governor J. Lindsay Almond, Jr. because the schools were under court order to integrate. Schweitzer was in the forefront of those who worked to have the schools reopened. Mr. Schweitzer was re-elected as chairman of the reorganized Norfolk School Board in July 1959. In the following year he was appointed to the Norfolk City Council to replace George R. Abbott who resigned. Schweitzer was elected in 1960 and re-elected in 1964. He was defeated for re-election in 1968.

Mr. Schweitzer's civic involvements were numerous. He served on the board of trustees of Lynchburg College from 1957 until May 1976. As chairman of the board he was involved in launching the college's Partnership for Progress development program in 1966. According to Dr. Carey Brewer, president of Lynchburg College, the Partnership of Progress program, which raised more than $10 million was "perhaps the major advancement in the total history of the College." Mr. Schweitzer was also a member of the board of directors and the president of the Norfolk Central YMCA, a member of the National Council of the YMCA and chairman of the recreation and education division of the United Communities Council of Social Agencies. He was also vice president of the Tidewater Virginia Development Council, Norfolk region, a member of the board of directors of the Norfolk General Hospital and vice chairman of the board of trustees of Virginia Wesleyan College. He was also chairman of the board of deacons and elder emeritus of First Christian Church.

Mr. Schweitzer attained a respected position in the business community. In addition to his position at Layne-Atlantic Company, Mr. Schweitzer was director of the Lakewood Water Company in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and of the Belvedere Water Company in Glen Burnie, Maryland. He was the author of several technical papers on ground water which were published in the Journal of the American Water Works Association. He was a member of the Society of American Military Engineers.

Mr. Schweitzer was married in 1940 to the former Edna Ilene Stillman of Alexandria, Virginia. They had three children, Mark, Betty Mae and Kay Marie. Mr. Schweitzer passed away in 1976.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Paul T. Schweitzer date from 1955 to 1976 and relate to his service on the Norfolk School Board and the City Council as well as his many civic duties.  His papers consist of seven series: correspondence dating from 1955 to 1968 concerned principally with Mr. Schweitzer's service on the school board during the massive resistance crisis and his service on the city council; legal documents including transcripts of court proceedings and oaths; publications dating from 1956 to 1961; newspaper clippings dating from 1957 to 1976; photographs including group pictures of the Norfolk School Board, Norfolk City Council and Norfolk Operation Understanding Group I; miscellaneous material including an outside proof of a newspaper advertisement-petition urging the reopening of the closed schools; and over-sized material including scrapbooks which contain principally newspaper clippings with some correspondence and political campaign materials.

Provenance

Gift of Mrs. Edna S. Schweitzer April 7, 1976

Access

Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.

Size

Three Hollinger Documents Cases and One Hollinger Drop-Front Print Box

Collection Number

MG - 16

Container Listing

Box 1 CORRESPONDENCE--LEGAL DOCUMENTS

Folder 1 Correspondence: March 1957-July 1958
Folder 2 Correspondence: August-September 1958
Folder 3 Correspondence: October-September 1958
Folder 4 Correspondence: January 1959
Folder 5 Correspondence: February 1959
Folder 6 Correspondence: March-May 1959
Folder 7 Correspondence: October 1959
Folder 8 Correspondence: February 1960
Folder 9 Correspondence: March 1950
Folder 10 Correspondence: May-June 1960
Folder 11 Correspondence: July 1960
Folder 12 Correspondence: July 1961
Folder 13 Correspondence: December 1961-May 1966
Folder 14 Correspondence: June-July 1968
Folder 15 Correspondence: August-September 1968
Folder 16 Correspondence: Undated
Folder 17 Legal Documents:1958-1962

Box 2 PUBLICATIONS--MISCELLANEOUS

Folder 1 Publications: Tidewater's Guardian, October 1957
Folder 2 Publications: Business Week, February 22, 1958
Folder 3 Publications: Time, September 22, 1958
Folder 4 Publications: Life, September 22, 1958
Folder 5 Publications: Business Week, October 4, 1958
Folder 6 Publications: Business Week, November 15, 1958
Folder 7 Publications: Time, February 2, 1959
Folder 8 Publications: Time, February 9, 1959
Folder 9 Publications: Better Schools, February 1960
Folder 10 Publications: Virginia School Boards Association Newsletter, March 1960
Folder 11 Publications: National Civic Review, February 1961
Folder 12 Newspaper Clippings, February 1957
Folder 13 Newspaper Clippings, July 1957
Folder 14 Newspaper Clippings, August 1-20, 1958
Folder 15 Newspaper Clippings, August 21-31, 1958
Folder 16 Newspaper Clippings, September 1-7, 1958
Folder 17 Newspaper Clippings, September 8-15, 1958
Folder 18 Newspaper Clippings, September 16-30, 1958
Folder 19 Newspaper Clippings, October 1958
Folder 20 Newspaper Clippings, November 1958
Folder 21 Newspaper Clippings, January 1959

Box 3 NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS - MISCELLANEOUS

Folder 1 Newspaper Clippings, February 1959
Folder 2 Newspaper Clippings, May 1959
Folder 3 Newspaper Clippings, July 1959
Folder 4 Newspaper Clippings, August 1959
Folder 5 Newspaper Clippings, September 1959
Folder 6 Newspaper Clippings, October 1959
Folder 7 Newspaper Clippings, November 1959
Folder 8 Newspaper Clippings, February 1960
Folder 9 Newspaper Clippings, July-August 1968
Folder 10 Newspaper Clippings, November 1976 (copies)
Folder 11 Newspaper Clippings, Undated
Folder 12 Photographs: Norfolk City Council
Folder 13 Photographs: Norfolk Operation Understanding Group I
Folder 14 Photographs: Norfolk School Board
Folder 15 Miscellaneous Material: Programs, Advertisements, Campaign Brochures, etc.

Box 4 OVERSIZED MATERIALS

two scrapbooks of newspaper clippings
two newspaper tabloid sections
two certificates
one print
one mounted newspaper article

Box 5 OVERSIZED MATERIALS

five campaign posters

 

Revised: 8/3/12