Breadcrumb

Sermon, Roger T., Sr. and Sermon, Roger T., Jr. Papers

Date Span: 1937-1991; Bulk dates: 1941-1949, 1983-1984

Roger T. Sermon, Sr., Mayor of Independence, Missouri, and Roger T. Sermon, Jr., Chairman of the Independence Truman Centennial Commission

The papers of Roger T. Sermon and Roger T. Sermon, Jr. primarily document the lives and careers of these two men and their connection with Harry S. Truman and with the Independence Truman Centennial Commission, respectively. The largest series in the collection is a correspondence file; smaller series contain printed materials and artifacts relating to Harry S. Truman as well as a scrapbook file and a subject file containing materials related to the Independence Truman Centennial Commission.

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


ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION

Size: 1.3 linear feet (about 3,600 pages)
Access: Open
Copyright: The Estate of Roger T. Sermon, Jr. has donated its copyright interest in these materials to the people of the United States. Documents prepared by U. S. Government employees in the course of their official duties are also in the public domain. Copyright interest in documents that do not fall into these two categories is presumed to remain with the creators of the documents or their heirs.
Processed by: Kathy Spears as part of the Internship Program at the Truman Library
Supervising Archivists: Randy Sowell and Amy Williams

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

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Roger T. Sermon, Sr.

1891 (November 2)

 

Born, Independence, Missouri.

1908

 

Graduated from Independence High School.

1910 (January 16)

 

Married Mary Estelle (Stella) Campbell.

1915 (February 8)

 

Initiated into the Independence Masonic Lodge #76.

1916-17

 

Joined the Missouri National Guard and served on the Mexican Border as a First Lieutenant.

1917

 

Captain in the 129th Field Artillery of the 35th Division, commanding Battery C.

1918 (October 8)

 

Son, Roger T. Sermon, Jr. born.

1919 (May 21)

 

Honorably discharged from duty.

1919

 

Started a grocery business with Sgt. Powell R. Cook of Battery E called Cook & Sermon.

1921-24

 

Councilman First Ward; Chairman of the City Light Department.

1924 (April 1)

 

Elected Mayor of Independence, Missouri.

1940

 

Organized the Eastern Jackson County Democratic Club.

1944

 

Unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party Gubernatorial nomination. (Defeated in primary by Phil M. Donnelly).

1950 (January 23)

 

In his twenty-sixth year as Mayor of Independence, Missouri, he accepted a nomination for another four year term.

1950 (January 23)

 

Died, Independence, Missouri.

Roger T. Sermon, Jr.

1918 (October 8)

 

Born, Independence, Missouri.

1936

 

Graduated from William Chrisman High School.

1936-38

 

Private, ROTC.

1940

 

Graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and Political Science.

1942

 

Received his post graduate degree in Law from the University of Kansas City.

1942

 

Private First Class, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he worked as a clerk in the Intelligence Office.

1942 (July)

 

Admitted into the Missouri State Bar Association.

1942 (October)

 

Admitted into the Federal Bar Association.

ca. 1943-44

 

Stationed at Altus Army Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

ca. 1945

 

Stationed at Camp Lee, Virginia at the Adjutant General School.

1949

 

Started an antique and interior design business called Sermon-Anderson, in partnership with Mitchell Anderson with a loan of $1,000 dollars from Roger T. Sermon, Sr.

1981

 

Accepted position as Chair of the 1859 Jail Operations Committee for the Jackson County Historical Society.

1984

 

Served as the Chairman of the Independence Truman Centennial Commission.

1998 (March 27)

 

Died, Independence, Missouri.

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

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

The papers of Roger Sermon, Sr. and his son, Roger Sermon, Jr., primarily document the lives and careers of these two men and their connections with Harry S. Truman and with the Independence Truman Centennial Commission, respectively. Roger Sermon, Sr., hereafter referred to as Sermon, was a personal friend of Harry S. Truman and the mayor of Independence, Missouri from 1924 until his death in 1950. Roger Sermon, Jr., hereafter referred to as Sermon, Jr., served as the chairman of the Independence Truman Centennial Commission which celebrated the centennial of Harry S. Truman's birth in 1984. The papers of Sermon and Sermon, Jr. include four series: a Correspondence File, a Printed Material and Artifacts File, a Scrapbook File, and a Subject File.

The Correspondence File contains letters, telegrams, newspaper clippings, and other enclosures documenting the careers and personal lives of Sermon and Sermon, Jr. from 1942 to 1991, with the bulk of the material dating between 1943 and 1949. This file includes both personal and official letters from Harry S. Truman to Sermon pertaining mainly to national and local politics. Also included in the Correspondence File are various letters pertaining to Sermon's career as mayor of Independence and a number of responses from officials in the Truman Administration regarding Sermon's attempt to obtain an appointment for his son in the Judge Advocate General's office. In addition, the Correspondence File contains letters to Sermon, Jr. from his parents from 1942-1945 while he was serving in the Army Air Force. The sole letter that does not pertain to the Truman era is a letter Sermon, Jr. received in 1991 from the National Park Service thanking him for his oral history. When the Library received the collection, the correspondence was roughly arranged in the following manner: correspondence from Harry S. Truman to Sermon, general correspondence to Sermon, and correspondence to Sermon, Jr. from his parents. The series reflects this order by correspondent and within this arrangement, the order is chronological.

The Printed Material and Artifacts File includes brochures, periodicals, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, invitations, programs, and other printed material and artifacts relating to Independence, Missouri, Harry S. Truman, Sermon, and Sermon, Jr. The material dates from 1937 to 1983 with the bulk of materials dating from 1941 to 1954. Artifacts include an audio disc entitled "Tru-Man March" which has been removed to the audiovisual collection, as well as a lapel pin and seventeen coins from the Harry S. Truman Foundation, which have been removed to the museum collection. The folder titles in this series, which were provided by the processing archivist, are arranged in alphabetical order.

The Scrapbook File contains pages from a scrapbook that was created to document Sermon, Jr.'s service as chairman of the Independence Truman Centennial Commission. This file includes agendas, news releases, minutes, correspondence, invitations, postcards, newspaper clippings, programs, speeches, brochures, photos, and other printed material and memorabilia. The material dates from 1983 to 1987 with the bulk dating from 1983 to 1984. The creator of this scrapbook is presumed to be Sermon Jr. The material has been removed from its original scrapbook pages, but has been retained in the original order of the scrapbook. This scrapbook was arranged by the creator in approximate chronological order.

The Subject File dates from 1937 to 1987 with the bulk of material from 1983 to 1984. Most of the material in this series pertains to the Independence Truman Centennial Commission celebration with a few miscellaneous documents from Sermon and Sermon, Jr. The folder titles in this series, which were provided by the processing archivist, are arranged in alphabetical order.

Additional information relating to Sermon can be found in various sections of the Harry S. Truman Papers including: Papers as U.S. Senator and Vice President; President's Secretary's Files (Chronological Name File and Personal File) and in the White House Central Files: President's Personal File (PPF 1430). Additional information relating to Sermon, Jr. can be found in the records of the Harry S. Truman Centennial Collection. The Jackson County Historical Society in Independence, Missouri also maintains a collection of papers from Sermon, Jr.

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

 

Series Descriptions

Container Nos.

 

Series

1

  CORRESPONDENCE, 1942-1991 (Bulk 1943-1949)
Letters, telegrams, newspaper clippings and other enclosures documenting the careers and personal lives of Roger Sermon, Sr. and Roger Sermon, Jr. This series includes correspondence from Harry Truman to Roger Sermon, Sr., general correspondence to Roger Sermon, Sr. and general correspondence to Roger Sermon, Jr. Arranged as described above and within this arrangement, the order is chronological.

1-2

  PRINTED MATERIAL AND ARTIFACTS, 1937-1983 (Bulk 1941-1954)
Brochures, periodicals, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, invitations, programs, booklets, other printed materials and artifacts relating to the lives and careers of Harry Truman, Roger Sermon, Sr., and Roger Sermon, Jr. Artifacts include an audio disc, a lapel pin and 17 coins from the Harry S. Truman Foundation. Arranged alphabetically by subject or name.

2-3

  SCRAPBOOK, 1983-1987 (Bulk 1983-84)
Scrapbook pertaining to Roger Sermon, Jr.'s service as chairman of the Independence Truman Centennial Commission, including agendas, news releases, minutes, correspondence, invitations, postcards, newspaper clippings, programs, speeches, tickets, brochures, photos, and other printed material and memorabilia. Arrangement apparently by Roger Sermon, Jr., in roughly chronological order.

3

  SUBJECT FILE, 1937-1987 (Bulk 1983-1984)
Correspondence, minutes, agenda, brochure, programs, speeches, memorabilia, calendars, a music score, business cards, a promotional packet, invitations, maps, newpaper clippings, stationery, legal documents, and other papers mostly pertaining to the Truman Centennial Celebration. Arranged alphabetically by subject.
[ Top | Administrative Information | Biographical Sketch | Collection Description | Series Descriptions | Folder Title List ]

Folder Title List

CORRESPONDENCE, FILE, 1942-1991 (Bulk Dates, 1943-1949)

Box 1

  • Truman to Sermon, Sr., 1943-1945
  • Truman to Sermon, Sr., 1946
  • Truman to Sermon, Sr., 1947-1948
  • Truman to Sermon, Sr., 1949-1950
  • Sermon, Sr., 1942
  • Sermon, Sr., 1943
  • Sermon, Sr., 1944-1945
  • Sermon, Sr., 1946
  • Sermon, Sr., 1947
  • Sermon, Sr., 1948-1949
  • Sermon, Jr., 1942-1943
  • Sermon, Jr., 1944
  • Sermon, Jr., 1945
  • Sermon, Jr., 1948
  • Sermon, Jr., 1991

PRINTED MATERIAL AND ARTIFACTS FILE, 1937-1983 (Bulk, 1941-1954)
  • Artifacts [cross reference sheets]
  • Democratic National Committee--Publications and Newspaper Clippings, 1948-1949
  • Inaugural Address--January 20, 1949
  • Independence, MO--Tourism Publications and Articles
  • Invitation--Homecoming Dinner for Harry S. Truman
  • Jackson County Historical Society Journal, April-June, 1983