Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


John Caskie Collet Papers

Dates: 1918-1957.

Judge, United States District Court, Western and Eastern District of Missouri, 1937-1947; Stabilization Administrator, Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion, 1945-1946; Director, Office of Economic Stabilization, 1946; Consultant in the White House, 1947-1952; Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 1947-1955.

The papers of John Caskie Collet consist of certificates, correspondence (letters, telegrams, and memoranda), expense accounts, get well cards, handwritten notes, legal documents, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, press releases, programs, reports, scrapbooks, speech drafts, and other materials related to his life and career.

[Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List]


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 6 linear feet, 2 linear inches (about 11, 200 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: The donor gave to the U.S. government his copyrights in this material and in any other material received by the U.S. government and maintained in a depository administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. Documents created by U.S. government officials in the course of their duties are in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Katie Smith, David Clark, and Doug McClellan (2013-2014).


[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1898 (May 25)Born John Caskie Collet, Keytesville, Missouri.
1914-1917Attended Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri.
1917 (March 1)-1918 (February 27)Secretary, Office of United States Congressman William W. Rucker (D-Missouri).
1918Served in the United States Army Air Corps.
1919-1920Read law in his father's, James A. Collet's, private practice.
1921 (January 7)Admitted to the Missouri bar.
1921 (November 9)Married to Hazel E. Bozworth.
1921-1929Private Practice, Collet and Son, Salisbury, Missouri.
1922-1924City Attorney, Salisbury, Missouri.
1925-1929County Prosecutor, Chariton County, Missouri.
1930-1933Assistant Counsel, Missouri State Highway Department.
1933-1935Chairman, Missouri Public Service Commission.
1935-1937Judge, Missouri Supreme Court.
1937 (March 20)-1947 (July 9)Judge, United States District Court, Western and Eastern District of Missouri.
1945 (October 1)-1946 (February 25)Stabilization Administrator, Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion.
1946 (August 6)-1946 (November 23)Director, Office of Economic Stabilization.
1947-1952Consultant in the White House.
1947 (July 9)-1955 (December 5)Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
1955 (December 5)Died, Menorah Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri.

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COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of John Caskie Collet document his public career as a lawyer, judge, and official in the administration of his friend, President Harry S. Truman. They also document his personal life and associations with other prominent persons. Arranged alphabetically in a single Subject File, Collet's papers consist of correspondence (letters, telegrams, and memoranda), certificates, expense accounts, get well cards, handwritten notes, legal documents, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, press releases, programs, reports, scrapbooks, speech drafts, and other materials.

Collet's early life through his college years is not well documented in this collection. There are a few documents relating to his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps and as secretary to United States Congressman William W. Rucker. The collection also contains some materials from Collet's law practice with his father, James A. Collet, and from his service as City Attorney for Salisbury, Missouri and County Prosecutor for Chariton County, Missouri. Documents relating to his tenure as Assistant Counsel for the Missouri State Highway Department are filed under "State Highway Department." Filed under "Public Service Commission" are letters of recommendation and congratulatory messages from Collet's service as Chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission. His brief service on the Missouri Supreme Court is the subject of some correspondence as well as newspaper clippings in his scrapbooks.

Collet's friendship with Harry S. Truman, which began when Truman was serving as Presiding Judge of the Jackson County (Missouri) Court, is reflected in correspondence and autographed items filed under "Truman, Harry S." and elsewhere in the collection. During the 1930s, Collet was also associated with the Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. Among the items filed in the collection under "Correspondence-Pendergast" is a rare note from Pendergast written in red pencil (a color indicating that the boss's request was imperative).

There are extensive materials in the collection relating to Collet's service as U.S. District Court Judge for the Western and Eastern District of Missouri, from 1937 to 1947. Filed under "District Judge" is information concerning President Franklin D. Roosevelt's appointment of Collet to the federal bench, as well as records of a few cases tried by Judge Collet. Also well documented in the collection is Collet's work with the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion and the Office of Economic Stabilization, which occurred while he was on temporary leave from the federal bench from 1945 to 1946. Related correspondence with John Steelman, John Snyder, and Chester Bowles; executive orders; handwritten notes; reports; speeches; and newspaper clippings are filed under "Stabilization Administrator" and elsewhere in the collection.

While serving the White House as an unofficial consultant, Judge Collet was elevated by President Truman to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in 1947. Materials relating to Collet's service on the Court of Appeals include congratulatory correspondence from friends and colleagues, memoranda, newspaper clippings, and the records of a few cases in which Collet was involved on the court. These materials are mostly filed under "Court of Appeals" or "Minot Docket, 1955."

This collection also has a significant amount of material regarding Judge Collet's family, including correspondence with his father, James A. Collet, and scrapbooks highlighting the early lives and college careers of his sons, William A. Collet and John C. Collet, Jr. Collet's family, friends, and personal life are reflected in correspondence, get well cards, newspaper clippings, and photographs throughout the collection.

Along with signed materials from President Truman and Tom Pendergast, the papers also include a candid, signed letter from then Senator Lyndon Johnson pertaining to Judge Collet's illness in late 1955. The collection also contains signed letters from University of Missouri head football coach Don Faurot, Anheuser Busch President Augustus Busch, St. Louis Browns President Bill Veeck, General Omar Bradley, Attorney General and Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark, Governor Guy Park, Governor Lloyd Stark, and Governor Forrest Donnell. Other individuals represented in this collection include but are not limited to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Matthew Connelly, Charles Ross, Jim Pendergast, Charles Aylward, James Aylward, William Bray, and the President of the St. Louis Cardinals, Sam Breadon.

Other collections at the Truman Library containing materials related to John Caskie Collet include the papers of Harry S. Truman (President's Secretary Files, Official File, President's Personal File, and Post-Presidential Papers), Tom C. Clark, William Hillman, Charles S. Murphy, Charles G. Ross, Joseph H. Short and Beth Campbell Short, John W. Snyder, and John Steelman, and the Records of the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion: Records of John Steelman. Oral histories at the Truman Library that mention John Caskie Collet include the interviews of Eben A. Ayers, James Aylward, Tom L. Evans, Richard Farrington, Leon Keyserling, and Ted Marks.

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SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.Series
1-14SUBJECT FILE, 1918-1957
Correspondence (letters, telegrams, and memoranda), drawings, expense accounts, get well cards, handwritten notes, legal documents, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, press releases, programs, reports, scrapbooks, speech drafts, and other materials. Arranged alphabetically.

[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]


FOLDER TITLE LIST

    SUBJECT FILE, 1918-1957
Box 1
  • Annuity Correspondence
  • Battleship Missouri
  • Canada-Cabin Account
  • Clippings
  • Coleman, James A.
  • Collet, James A.-Estate
  • Condolence Letters
  • Conway Estate
  • Correspondence-A
  • Correspondence-B
      [1 of 2]
Box 2
      [2 of 2]
  • Correspondence-C
  • Correspondence-Collet, James A.
  • Correspondence-D
  • Correspondence-E
  • Correspondence-F
  • Correspondence-G
Box 3
  • Correspondence-H
  • Correspondence-I
  • Correspondence-J
  • Correspondence-Jones, Allen
  • Correspondence-K
  • Correspondence-L
  • Correspondence-M
  • Correspondence-Mc
  • Correspondence-Moore, Harry Raymond
  • Correspondence-N
  • Correspondence-O
  • Correspondence-P
  • Correspondence-Pendergast
Box 4
  • Correspondence-R
  • Correspondence-S
  • Correspondence-Sverdrup, L. J.
  • Correspondence-T
  • Correspondence-U
  • Correspondence-V
  • Correspondence-Vassar
  • Correspondence-W
  • Correspondence-X,Y,Z
  • Correspondence-Young, Howard
Box 5
  • Correspondence-1950
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Court of Appeals-Appointment
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Court of Appeals-Brady Case
  • Court of Appeals-Congratulations on Appointment
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
Box 6
  • Court of Appeals-Memos
  • District Judge-Cases
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • District Judge-Cases Not Reported
  • District Judge-Nomination
  • Eastern District of Missouri-Campaign for Additional Judge
  • Expense Accounts
Box 7
  • Farm-Keller, Fred
  • Get Well Cards-A
  • Get Well Cards-B
  • Get Well Cards-C
  • Get Well Cards-D
  • Get Well Cards-E
  • Get Well Cards-F
  • Get Well Cards-G
  • Get Well Cards-H
  • Get Well Cards-J
  • Get Well Cards-K
  • Get Well Cards-L
  • Get Well Cards-M
  • Get Well Cards-N-O
  • Get Well Cards-P
  • Get Well Cards-R
  • Get Well Cards-S
  • Get Well Cards-T
  • Get Well Cards-U-V
  • Get Well Cards-W-Z
  • Get Well Cards-Unknown
  • Governors Banquet
  • Graham Clinic
  • House-Salisbury
Box 8
  • Insurance Policies
  • Judicial Salaries
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Kansas City Bar Association Banquet, 1937
  • Kansas City Bar Association-Testimonial Dinner, 1948
  • Law Book Sales
  • Memorials-John C. Collet
  • Minot Docket, 1955
  • Personal
Box 9
  • Personal Library-Receipts
  • Photo Album
  • Photos
  • Public Service Commission-Congratulations of Appointment
  • Public Service Commission-Letters of Recommendation
  • Recommendations, A-L
  • Recommendations, M-Z
Box 10
  • Scrapbook, 1918-1949
  • Scrapbook, 1921-1939
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Scrapbook, 1924-1946
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Scrapbook, 1931-1955
Box 11
  • Scrapbook, 1939-1955
  • Scrapbook, 1947-1950
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Scrapbook, 1951-1956
  • Speeches
      [1 of 2]
Box 12
      [2 of 2]
  • Stabilization Administrator-Appointment
  • Stabilization Administrator-Calendar
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Stabilization Administrator-Chester Bowles
  • Stabilization Administrator-Congratulations of Appointment
  • Stabilization Administrator-Executive Orders
  • Stabilization Administrator-Handwritten Notes
Box 13
  • Stabilization Administrator-Jack Jones
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Stabilization Administrator-Memos
  • Stabilization Administrator-Publications
  • Stabilization Administrator-Statements
  • Stabilization Administrator-Steelman Memos
  • Stabilization Administrator-Title 32
  • State Highway Department
Box 14
  • Stidham, James W.
  • Supreme Court
  • Trip Log
  • Truman, Harry S.
      [1 of 2]
      [2 of 2]
  • Westport Medical Center and Foundation
  • World War II

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