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Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
THE PAPERS OF PAUL T. SCHWEITZER
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.
Gift of Mrs. Edna S. Schweitzer April 7, 1976
Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.
Three Hollinger Documents Cases and One Hollinger Drop-Front Print Box
MG - 16
Box 1 CORRESPONDENCE--LEGAL DOCUMENTS
Folder 1 Correspondence: March 1957-July 1958
Box 2 PUBLICATIONS--MISCELLANEOUS
Folder 1 Publications: Tidewater's Guardian, October 1957
Box 3 NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS - MISCELLANEOUS
Folder 1 Newspaper Clippings, February 1959
Box 4 OVERSIZED MATERIALS
two scrapbooks of newspaper clippings
Box 5 OVERSIZED MATERIALS
five campaign posters