M. R. Evans Papers
Size: 10 linear inches (about 1,200 pages).
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Milton R. "Bob" Evans was born in 1900 in Kansas City, where he lived until serving in the First World War as a private in Battery D of the 129th Field Artillery, under Captain Harry S. Truman. After the war, Evans moved to Louisville, Kentucky and remained friends with Truman throughout the president's political career and retirement. He was one of five trustees of the campaign committee for Truman's successful 1948 presidential campaign. Evans was employed at the Citizens Fidelity Bank and Trust Company of Louisville for forty years, and eventually was promoted to vice-president of the bank. Evans was also the commanding general of the Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels and a president of the World Boxing Association. Evans died in Louisville in 1976 at the age of 76.
The series, the Subject File, contains a variety of items but is mostly composed of correspondence between Harry S. Truman and M. R. Evans, newspaper clippings, and programs for various events and organizations. The letters are either from Truman's time in the White House or from his retirement years in Independence, and often are just notes of thanks or responses to requests to attend events such as the annual Battery D reunions. Also included is correspondence with Rose Conway, Mr. Truman's secretary, and with Bess Wallace Truman. The programs and pamphlets mainly come from Democratic Party events, the Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels, and other occasions or organizations. Invitations to events are included in the papers as well as tickets and other memorabilia. The photographs are mainly comprised of scenes with Harry S. Truman and M. R. Evans. Newspaper clippings in the collection concern important events of Evans's life, such as his promotion to vice-president of the bank, or the activities of Harry S. Truman. The contents of the scrapbooks consist of additional photographs, pamphlets, newspaper clippings and memorabilia from Evans's life, ranging from 1917 to 1960.
This collection is useful in understanding the life of a relatively close friend of Harry S. Truman as well as the workings of the Democratic Party around the middle of the twentieth century, especially in Kentucky.
Other collections at the Truman library that relate to personal friends of Truman from his World War I days include the papers of Vic H. Housholder, Edward V. Condon, and Verne E. Chaney. More correspondence with M. R. Evans can be found in the papers of Harry S. Truman, especially in President's Personal File 2185 and in the Name File of the Post-Presidential papers.