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CRA137 -- Samuel C. Evett Papers


7.50 Linear Feet
June 1984
Revised February 2000


Mr. Samuel C. Evett, former director of USWA District 31, donated the Samuel Evett Papers to the Calumet Regional Archives on March 21, 1983.

Property rights in the collection are held by the Calumet Regional Archives; literary rights are dedicated to the public. At the request of the donor, the oral history interview transcripts will remain closed until 1990. In addition, the election series records will remain closed until January 1, 2000. There are no additional restrictions on access to the collection.

Linear feet of shelf space: 7.50 linear feet.
Number of containers: 15 boxes.
Calumet Regional Archives Collection 137
Processed by: Stephen McShane
Date: June, 1984

Scope and Content

These records document the history of the United Steelworkers of America in Northwest Indiana from 1936 to 1974. Mr. Samuel C. Evett, Assistant to the Director of District 31 for nearly forty years, compiled the collection. Correspondence (1936-1944) furnishes information on the organizing efforts of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee during the labor struggles of the 1930s. The series details rules for administration of SWOC lodges, including dues collection and financial management. In addition, notices of meetings, progress of negotiations, and updates on national labor legislation are described in the series. Correspondents include John L. Lewis, Philip Murray, and David McDonald, as well as District 31 Directors Nicholas Fontecchio and Joseph Germano. Among the highlights of the correspondence are references to the 1937 "Memorial Day Massacre" during the Republic Steel strike in South Chicago and John L. Lewis' support for Wendall Wilkie against Franklin Roosevelt in 1940.

Photographs, (1942-1973) offer a visual record of the activities of the USWA in the Calumet Region during the period of strong unionism after World War II. While the series contains some photographs of strikes in Gary (1952), most of the photographs portray labor leaders at conventions, meetings, and banquets. Several images capture Mr. Evett with famous personalities such as Philip Murray, Senators Birch Bayh and Paul Douglas, and former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Also, the photographs include Joseph Germano and Orval Kincaid, along with presidents of various locals in the Region.

Although the records relating to the disputed District 31 director elections (1973-1974) have been closed until January 1, 2000, researchers should note that a series of newsclippings and campaign leaflets reveal issues and the intensity of the campaign. Legal briefs and depositions provide data on the views and actions of labor officials supporting both candidates.

Supplementary information on the history of the USWA on the local and national level is located in a series of printed material, including wage agreements and proceedings of constitutional conventions since 1942. Finally, a series of newsletters, programs, and printed material from the Munster Lion's Club yield information on the action and concerns of a local service club.

The Samuel Evett Papers offer useful documentation of local steelworkers union activities from the formative New Deal era, through the boom years of World War II and the post-war period, and into the beginnings of rank-and-file disillusionment in the 1970's. Researchers should note that historical information on Samuel Evett is located in Box 1, File Folder 1. Other labor history collections in the Calumet Regional Archives include United Steelworkers of America Collection (CRA 013), the U.S. Steel Photograph Collection (CRA 042), the Hammond Teachers Federation Records (CRA 072), the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers, Local 210, Records (CRA 081), the Orval Kincaid Papers (CRA 092), the USWA Local 1010 Records (CRA 115), the John Oglesby Papers (CRA 119), the USWA Local 1011 Records (CRA 121), the William Kranz Papers (CRA 122), the Peter Calacci Papers (CRA 138), the John Howard Collection (CRA 141), the USWA Local 1066 Records (CRA 144), the Gary Newspaper Guild Records (CRA 148), the USWA Local 3008 Records (CRA 159), and the John Mayerik Papers (CRA 168).

Historical Sketch

Born on May 4, 1914, in Carterville, Illinois, Samuel Clinton Evett eventually developed one of the longest service records in organized labor. Following his father's example, in 1933 Evett began work as a coal miner in Southern Illinois' Williamson County in the Chicago, Wilmington, and Franklin Coal Company. After several years in the mines and service in the United Mine Workers Sub-District 9, District 12, UMW President John L. Lewis transferred Evett to the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) in 1936. He was assigned to the Chicago-Calumet District to establish SWOC lodges and later United Steelworkers of America locals. As the assistant to the District 31 director for thirty-seven years, Evett served on mediating committees, handled grievances, and aided in the administration of the USWA in Northwest Indiana. In 1973, he assumed the directorship of District 31 upon the retirement of long-time director Joseph Germano. In the official election for district director, however, Evett's victory was disputed by rival candidate Edward Sadlowski of the South Works Local 65 in South Chicago. After investigation by the USWA and the U.S. Department of Labor, the district held a second election in 1974. Although both sides waged intense campaigns, Evett failed to secure a second victory and lost the directorship. He retired in 1977 after forty years of service with the SWOC and USWA.

During his career, Evett served as a member of several government panels, including the Chicago Regional Wage Stabilization Board in World War II and the Korean War. In 1976, he acted as consultant to the U.S. Special Trade Representative, Orderly Marketing Agreement negotiations, Specialty Steel for Japan, Sweden, and the European Common Market. In addition, he had been an active member of the Munster, Indiana community and became well-known throughout the Calumet Region, both for his career in organized labor and his devotion to community service.

In late 1983, Evett left Northwest Indiana and returned to his native Southern Illinois. He had participated in the formation of the United Steelworkers of America and witnessed the growth and struggle of the twentieth century labor movement. The impact of Samuel Evett's contributions to local workingmen and women remains a significant aspect of the labor history in the Calumet Region.

Box File Description
1 1 Historical Information, Samuel Evett, 1950, 1970
2 Correspondence, Samuel Evett, (1939-1979)
3-7 Correspondence, Steel Workers Organizing Committee, (1936-1944)
8 SWOC Dues, Contracts, and Local Officers Manual, Indiana Harbor-Hammond, 1937-1942
9 Election Record, District 31 Director, 1942
10 Radio Addresses, Sam Evett-Joe Germano, ca. 1942
11 Convention Credentials, SWOC and USWA, (1942-1950)
12 Evett Campaign Pamphlets, 1974
31 Proceedings, 47th Annual District 31 Conference, 1973
32-33 Proceedings, 48th District Conference, 1974
34 District Director's Manual, District 31 Conference, 1974
35 "For a Full Measure of Justice", Civil Rights in Merrillville, n.d.
36 "Battle at South Chicago: The Chicago Memorial Day Massacre of 1937", 1978
37 "The Memorial Day Massacre of 1937 and its significance in the Unionization of the Republic Steel Corporation", 1975
38 Annual Reports of International Officers, 1936

Box File Description
2 1 Meeting and Negotiations, the Whiting Corporation and CIO, 1937
2 Wage and Benefit Handbooks, USWA, (1963-1974)
3 "Legislation...and You!", 1969-1976
4 Agreement, U.S. Steel Corp. and USWA, 1971
5 Agreement, Pullman-Standard and USWA, 1971,1974
6 International Election Report, 1973
7 Agreement, Inland Steel, (Indiana Harbor Works) and USWA, 1974
8 Manual, International Constitution, USWA, 1974, 1976
9 Audit Report, USWA, 1976
10 Steel Settlement, 1977

Box File Description
3 1 Historical Pamphlets, USWA, 1936-1975
2 Program of advanced labor studies for Union representatives, 1947
3 "CIO, 1935-1955 - Industrial Democracy in Action", 1955
4 "The Legend of Joe Cook: Union and Community Crusader", 1973
5 "Collective Bargaining Labor Relations in Steel: Then and Now", ca. 1974
6 On the Job, 1976
7 "Phil Murray - The Architect of Industrial Unionism", 1980?
8 Proceedings, First Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1942
9 Resolutions, First Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1942
10 Proceedings, Second Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1944
4 1-6 Proceedings, Third - Seventh Constitutional Convention, 1946-1954
5 1-4 Proceedings, Eighth - Eleventh Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1956-1962

Box File Description
6 1-2 Proceedings and Report of Officers, Twelfth Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1964
3 Proceedings, Thirteenth Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1966
4 Proceedings, Special International Convention, USWA, 1968
5-6 Proceedings and Report of Officers, Fourteenth Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1968
7 1-4 Proceedings and Report of Officers, Fifteenth - Sixteenth Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1970-1972
5-7 Proceedings and Policy Resolutions, Seventeenth Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1974
8 1-2 Proceedings and Material, Eighteenth Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1976
3-4 Report of Officers, Nineteenth and Twentieth Constitutional Convention, USWA, 1978-1980
5-7 Proceedings, Twentieth - Twenty-Second Constitutional Conventions, 1980-1984

Box File Description
9 1 Proceedings, Twenty-third Constitutional Convention, 1986
2 Labor in Exile, 1960-1963
10 1 Correspondence, Lions Club Site,1948
2-20 Munster Lions Club Materials,1948-83
11 1 Lions Club Awards, (1974-1978)
2-5 Membership Directories, 1949-1982
6 Printed Material, Munster, 1955-1973
7 Printed Material, Munster Community Park Association, 1951-1970
8 Printed Material, Munster Pool Corporation, 1957-1970

Box File Description
12 1 Joseph Germano Interviews, 1971?
2 Samuel Evett Oral History Interview 1971

USWA District 31 Election Materials (Closed Until January 1, 2000)
Box File Description
13 1 Correspondence, Samuel Evett Campaign, 1972-1974
2 Thank You Letters, Evett Campaign, 1973
3 Correspondence, International, 1972-1973
4 Letter to International Requesting Recording Secretaries' List, 1972
5 Correspondence and Mailing Lists Local Recording Secretaries 1972-1973
6 Press Releases, Evett Campaign, 1972-1974
7-8 Evett Campaign Materials, 1973-1974
9 Evett Campaign Headquarters Chairmen, 1973-1974
10-11 Sadlowski Campaign Material, 1972-1974
12 Sadlowski Radio Program, 1974
13 Nomination and Election Results, 1973
14 Election Results, 1974
15-42 Ballot Information, Sub-District 1-7, Nov. 12-15, 1974
43 Communist Lists, Names, Organization 1973-1974
44 Communist Papers, 1974
45 Observer Certificates, 1973
46 Order, Case of U.S. Dept. of Labor vs. United Mine Workers of America, 1972
47 Deposition, Samuel Evett, 1974
48 Deposition, I.W.Abel, 1974
49 Deposition, Danny J. Cifalia, 1974
50 Deposition, Bruno Josephs, 1974
51-53 Depositions, 1974
14 1-2 Depositions, 1974
3 Legal Briefs, District 31 Director Election, 1973-1974

Box File Description
15 1 Newsclippings, Experimental Negotiating Agreement and Contract Settlement, 1973-1974
2-4 Newsclippings, 1972-1974

Box File Description
16 1 Sound Recording, (1), USWA Special Luncheon (I.W. Abel and Hubert Humphrey), 1968
2-3 Sound Recording, (1), Sadlowski Radio Program, 1974? (USWA District 31 Election Materials - Closed Until Year 2000)

Drawer Description
Newsclippings, 1972-1973
65 News (USWA Local 65), Dec. 1973
Evett Campaign Poster, 1973 (USWA District 31 Election Materials Closed Until Year 2000)
Local 1014 Journal, July, 1974
Evett / Sadlowski Campaign Materials, 1974 (USWA District 31 Election Materials Closed Until Year 2000)

Artifacts (located in CRA artifacts cabinet)
Gavels and Stand, USWA Delegate
Medals and Buttons, Plaques and Awards, (1937-1980)

Subject Tracings

  • East Chicago
  • Evett, Samuel
  • Fontechio, Nicholas
  • Gary
  • Germano, Joseph
  • Industry
  • Inland Steel Company
  • Kincaid, Orval
  • Labor
  • Lewis, John L.
  • Memorial Day Massacre
  • Munster
  • Munster Lions Club
  • Murray, Philip
  • Pullman-Standard Company
  • Republic Steel Corporation
  • Sadlowski, Edward
  • Steel
  • Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC)
  • Strikes
  • United States Steel Corporation
  • United Steelworkers of America