Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Eldridge mss., 1941-1978, are the papers of James Anthony Eldridge, 1920-1978, lecturer, editor, and critic. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, he attended Cathedral High School and Butler University. His early career was that of a lecturer on literary subjects and as a WPA employee under State Administrator John Kaley Jennings. Following a year in the army at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin during World War II, he became active in the Democratic party and served as Executive secretary of the Young Democrats of Indiana. In 1946 he ran for State Representative from Marion County. From 1946 to 1953 he served in Chicago as Midwest Field Director of the American Association of the United Nations. From 1954 to 1959 Eldridge was a member of the editorial staff of the Indianapolis News . In 1956 and 1958 he worked actively in arranging the visit of Harold Macmillan to Spencer, Indiana, the girlhood home of his mother, Nellie (Belles) Macmillan. As a recipient of the John Winant Lecture Fellowship in 1958 Eldridge gave a series of lectures in Great Britain. In 1959-1960 he was employed as public relations director for Bobbs-Merrill Company in Indianapolis. In 1961 he became editor of The Carpenter, the official journal of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters of America (AFL-CIO) with offices in Washington, D.C. In 1964 Eldridge was selected as legislative assistant to Congressman William Singer Moorhead, Democrat of Pennsylvania. Active in preparation of legislation which led to the creation of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities, he was invited to the White House for the formal signing of the bill on September 29, 1966, and received one of the pens used in the signing. In 1967 Eldridge was appointed Director of Institutional Development for Chicago State College. His marriage to Mary Anne Schlegel took place in 1969. In 1970 he was living in Chillicothe, Ohio, and two years later his debut as columnist on the Opinion Page of the Chillicothe Gazette. A set of the columns from the newspaper for 1973-74 may be found in the Biographical material folder III (oversize). At his death in 1978 Eldridge had been public affairs director for Radio Station WMNI in Columbus, Ohio, for four years, hosting hour-long talk shows.

Correspondents include Harold Anthony Caccia, Baron Abernant, Dean Gooderham Acheson, Stafford Edward Douglas Barff, Joseph Walker Barr, Birch Evans Bayh, Fred F. Bays, Isaac Kelley Beckes, Francis Biddle, Barry Bingham, Sir Frederick Arthur Bishop, Aurelius Boberek, Raymond T. Bosler, Croswell Bowen, John Brademas, Benjamin Crowinshield Bradlee, Preston Bradley, Hilda Buchanan, David Randall Buckingham, Milton Bruce Byrd, Robert Host Canizaro, Elizabeth (Sutherland) Carpenter, Rosalynn (Smith) Carter, Richard F. Celeste, William Francis Claire, William Donaldson Clark, Winifred Crum Ewing, Charlotte Murray Curtis, Lady Margaret D'Arcy, Frank Ongley Darvall, H. Francis Davis, Sir Geoffrey Stanley de Freitas, Charles Stephen Dessain, Lovat Dickson, Paul Howard Douglas, George D'Arcy Edmondson, James Anthony Eldridge, Oliver Pearce Edgcumbe, Sir Francis Edward Evans, Sir Sidney Harold Evans, William Shirell Fox, Peter Fraenkel, James William Fulbright, Albert Lavenson Furth, Max K. Gilstrap, Nicholas Charles Gordon Lennox, William Howard Harsha, Russell Jay Humbert, John Kaley Jennings, Derek Jewell, Claudia Alta (Taylor) Johnson, Kenneth Kendall, Paul Ernest Klinge, Norman James Knights, Theresa Vinton (Pierce) Krull, Charles Marion LaFollette, Irving Leibowitz, Trygve Halvdan Lie, Eli Lilly, Walter Lippmann, Francis Aungier Pakenham, earl of Longford, Henry Robinson Luce, Louis Leon Ludlow, Marshall Edward Lumsden, Eugene Joseph McCarthy, John Gordon McClelland, John Bonnet McCoy, Alexander Macmillan, Harold Macmillan, Maurice Victor Macmillan, Sister M. Madeleva, Maureen (Hayes) Mansfield, Sister Maria Renata, Robert Whyte Mason, William Donald Maxwell, Frank Mitchell, Frank Montana, Jenny (McKean) Moore, Paul Moore, Jr., William Singer Moorhead, Henry Sturgis Morgan, William Morris, Sir David Francis Muirhead, Carl Mydans, Lawrence Francis O'Brien, Ann (Cooper) Penning, Katherine Anne Porter, Eugene Collins Pulliam, Leslie Reid, Charles Edwards Rhetts, Eleanor (Roosevelt) Roosevelt, Maurice O'Rear Ross, Frederick B. Routh, Kitty M. Russell, Rudyard H. Russell, Donald Jack Sager, George Andrew Beck, bishop of Salford, Anthony Terrell Seward Sampson, Dore Schary, Sir Roger Mellor Makins, baron Sherfield, Richard Updike Sherman, Herald Ramsbotham, viscount Soulbury, Adlai Ewing Stevenson, Arthur Sweetser, Frederick Van Nuys, Donald Emerson Weaver, Herman B. Wells, Theodore Perry Wesley, William Childs Westmoreland, John Stainton Whitehead, Raymond Eugene Willis, Gladys Willison, T. Howard Willoughby, Sir Denis Arthur Hepworth Wright, Robert Oscar Yoho, Marie-Louise (Windlesham) de Zulueta, Sir Philip Francis de Zulueta.

Miscellaneous pieces are the pen used in signing the bill creating the National Foundation on the Arts and on the Humanities, and an etching of Canterbury signed by Maud Sharpe. An oversize folder contains a miscellaneous assortment of pictures.

Photographs in the collection number 216, some of which are in an oversize folder. They portray: Dean Gooderham Acheson, Herbert Sebastian Agar, Joseph Walker Barr, John Brademas, Milton Bruce Byrd, Richard F. Celeste, Charlotte Murray Curtis, John Wesley Dean III, Paul Howard Douglas, James Anthony Eldridge, John Kaley Jennings, Claudia Alta (Taylor) Johnson, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Otto Kerner, James Jackson Kilpatrick, Walter Lippmann, Eugene Joseph McCarthy, Harold Macmillan, Nellie (Belles) Macmillan, Sister M. Madeleva, Jenny (McKean) Moore, Paul Moore, Jr., William Singer Moorhead, Chester William Nimitz, Claude Denson Pepper, Richard Reeves, Eleanor (Roosevelt) Roosevelt, Frederick B. Routh, Francis Bowes Sayre, Jr., Eric Sevareid, Paul Simon, Adlai Ewing Stevenson, Mooris King Udall, Earl Warren, Matthew Empson Welsh, Richard J. Wilson.

Among the printed items are an article written by Richard F. Celeste and inscribed to Eldridge, 21 July 1976; a speech by Paul Howard Douglas at the inauguration of Milton Byrd at Chicago Teachers College and inscribed to Eldridge, Sept., 1967; a small group of clippings related to John Kaley Jennings in 1944 as director of the Indiana War Manpower Commission; clippings related to Harold Macmillan's visits to Indiana, 1955-1968; Sister M. Madeleva and Saint Mary's College; Jenny (McKean) Moore and Paul Moore, Jr. In the correspondence with the letter of 3 March 1974 is Vol. 1, No. 1 of Revue de L'Association de Box Amateur which Rudyard H. Russell sent to Eldridge.

For several years Eldridge planned to write a biography of Nellie (Belles) Macmillan. Drafts of several chapters, notes for speeches about Winston Churchill and about Harold Macmillan, both by Eldridge, and the first chapter of Macmillan: a Study in Ambiguity, by Anthony Sampson, are located in Writings. Theresa Vinton (Pierce) Krull's article on Nellie (Belles) Macmillan is enclosed with her letter of Sept. 9 1956. The text of Harold Macmillan's address at Spencer Church on Sept. 23, 1956, is found with the Correspondence. Eldridge's Tribute to Adlai Stevenson is enclosed with his letter to Peter Fraenkel of March 12, 1970.

A box and folder list is available.

Gift. Mary Anne Schlegel, Chillicothe, Ohio. 1980

Collection size: 820 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.