Odum, Reathel Papers

Dates: 1925-1996

Secretary to Senator Harry S. Truman, 1936-1945; Secretary to Vice President Harry S. Truman, 1945; Personal Secretary to Mrs. Harry S. Truman, 1945-1953

The papers of Reathel Odum consist of appointment calendars, correspondence, handwritten notes, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, itineraries and schedules, diaries, photographs and scrapbooks related to her personal life, the Truman family, her secretarial work for Mr. and Mrs. Truman, and her career after the Truman administration.

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

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 5 linear feet, 3 linear inches (about 9,600 pages).
Access: Open.
Copyright: Reathel Odum donated her copyrights in these materials to the United States of America. Documents created by U.S. government employees in the course of their official duties are also in the public domain. Copyright interest in other documents presumably belongs to the creators of those documents, or their heirs.
Processed by: Dennis E. Bilger (1985, 1987, 1990, 2002); Martina Smith (2010).

The creation of this online resource was made possible in part by funding from the William T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank, Trustee.

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

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

1908 (September 29)

 

Born, Benton, Illinois

1926

 

Graduated from Benton High School

c. 1926-1927

 

Clerk, Franklin County Title Company

c. 1927-1933

 

Clerk, First National Bank of Benton

1933-1934

 

Secretary to Vice President, First National Bank at East St. Louis, MO

1934-1936

 

Assistant to President, Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis, MO

1936-1945

 

Secretary to Senator Harry S. Truman

1945

 

Secretary to Vice-President Harry S. Truman

1945-1953

 

Personal Secretary to Mrs. Harry S. Truman

1949-1951

 

Accompanied Margaret Truman on her concert tours

1951

 

Accompanied Margaret Truman to Europe

c. 1953-1954

 

Secretary to Senator Stuart Symington

1954-1985

 

Secretary to John W. Snyder

c. 1960-1975

 

Secretary, American Coke and Coal Chemical Institute

2006 (June 6)

 

Died, Benton, Illinois

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

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Reathel Odum consist of appointment calendars, correspondence, handwritten notes, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, itineraries and schedules, diaries, photographs, and scrapbooks related to her personal life, the Truman family, her secretarial role during the Truman administration, and her career after the administration. The collection is organized into a single Subject File, arranged alphabetically by folder title.

The collection primarily consists of Reathel Odum’s personal appointment books and calendars during the Truman Presidency, personal and professional correspondence, and clippings related to herself, the Truman family, and Washington politics. Included is personal correspondence with Bess, Harry, and Margaret Truman, both during the Presidency and after.

The collection also contains a 1945 appointment book for Vice President Truman and Mrs. Truman, an address book and itineraries from Margaret Truman’s concert tours, and Reathel Odum’s personal diary and scrapbook from her 1951 European trip with Margaret. Audiovisual materials, including a recorded interview with John W. Snyder and photographs, have been transferred to the Truman Library audiovisual collection.

Related materials at the Library include Odum’s oral history interview, the oral history interview of Matthew Connelly, the Records of Guggenheim Productions, Inc., the Greta Kempton Papers, and the Harry S. Truman Papers (Papers as U.S. Senator and Vice President, Official File, White House Office of Social Correspondence Files, and White House Social Office Files).

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

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

Container Nos.

 

Series

1-12

  SUBJECT FILE, 1925-1996
Appointment calendars, correspondence, handwritten notes, itineraries and schedules, memorabilia, newspaper clippings, photographs, printed materials, and scrapbooks. Arranged alphabetically by folder title.
[ Top of the page | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

FOLDER TITLE LIST

SUBJECT FILE, 1925-1996

Box 1

  • Address Books
  • Appointment Book, 1946 [1 of 3]
  • Appointment Book, 1946 [2 of 3]
  • Appointment Book, 1946 [3 of 3]
  • Appointment Book, 1947

Box 2

  • Appointment Book, 1948
  • Appointment Book, 1951
  • Appointment Book, 1952
  • Appointment Book, 1953

Box 3

  • Appointment Calendar, 1945
  • Appointment Calendar, 1947
  • Appointment Calendar, 1948
  • Appointment Calendars, 1949
  • Appointment Calendars, 1950
  • Audiovisual
  • Benton High School Yearbook, 1926
  • Books
  • Calling Cards and Place Cards
  • Christmas Cards, B-E
  • Christmas Cards, F-K
  • Christmas Cards, S-W
  • Christmas Cards, Truman Family
  • Christmas Tags
  • Christmas Tags, Truman Family
  • Clippings, No Date

Box 4

  • Clippings, 1925 – 1950
  • Clippings, 1951 – 1995
  • Clippings, Bess W. Truman
  • Clippings, Harry S. Truman, No Date – 1951
  • Clippings, Harry S. Truman, 1952 – 1995
  • Clippings, Margaret Truman Daniel
  • Congratulatory Letters
  • Correspondence, A-C

Box 5

  • Correspondence, D-G
  • Correspondence, H-L
  • Correspondence, M-P
  • Correspondence, R-W
  • Correspondence - Democratic National Convention
  • Correspondence - Ferrell, Robert
  • Correspondence – Fleming, Thomas
  • Correspondence – Helm, Edith
  • Correspondence – Horton, Drucie Snyder
  • Correspondence – Kempton, Greta
  • Correspondence - Mclean, Evelyn Walsh
  • Correspondence – McNeese, Mrs. O. W.
  • Correspondence – Mesta, Perle
  • Correspondence – Salsbury, Lt. Harry J.
  • Correspondence – Snyder, John W.
  • Correspondence – Thompson, Melvina C.
  • Correspondence – Truman Family

Box 6

  • Correspondence – Truman Library
  • Correspondence – Wallace Family
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Inaugural Ball Invitation, 1957
  • European Trip, 1951
  • Form Letters and Stationery
  • “Give ‘Em Hell, Harry!”
  • Guest Lists and Itineraries
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarship Awards, 1989
  • Heads of State, Visits to U.S.
  • Harry S. Truman Inauguration Program, 1949
  • Interview Questions
  • Invitations, A-B
  • Invitations, C-F
  • Invitations, G-L
  • Invitations, M-S
  • Invitations, T-W
  • Invitations – White House, 1945-1951

Box 7

  • Invitations – White House, 1952-1983
  • Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, 1948
  • Jimmy Carter Inauguration Information Packet, 1977
  • John F. Kennedy Inauguration Information Packet, 1961
  • John F. Kennedy Inauguration Programs, 1961
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Inauguration Information Packet, 1965
  • Memorabilia
  • Parks, Lillian Rogers
  • Passports
  • Personal
  • Philately
  • Photographs
  • Printed Materials, No Date
  • Printed Materials, 1948 – 1955

Box 8

  • Printed Materials, 1956
  • Printed Materials, 1963
  • Pr