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Jesse Lee Dickinson Oral History Interview
December 30, 1976 to October 31, 1978
Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library
Finding Aid by: Erica Sgroi, April 2013
Jesse Lee Dickinson was born in Oklahoma, March 11, 1906 and his family moved to Kansas. He graduated from Newton Kansas High School. Dickinson married Helen Bledsoe in 1924 and they had four sons, one son Valjean, served one term in the Indiana House of Representatives. The Dickinson family moved to South Bend, Indiana in 1928 where Dickinson opened a shoe repair shop. He took several college courses though the LaSalle Extension School of Law in Chicago and the Indiana University extension school in South Bend. In 1942, Dickinson was elected as a state representative. He was an advocate for health, education, civil rights, and welfare improvement. In 1958, Dickinson was elected to the State Senate. He resigned from the Senate in 1961, to work as the executive director of public housing in South Bend. Dickinson was awarded Sagamore of the Wabash. He died on June 5, 1982 after a long illness.
Information Found within Collection
Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, Vol. 2, Indiana Historical Bureau, Indianapolis, 1984, pg.108
“Former state senator Jesse Dickinson dies.” South Bend Tribune. June 5, 1982.
This collection contains an interview with Jesse Lee Dickinson and F. Gerald (Jerry) Handfield of the Indiana State Library, which takes place over the course of five interview sessions, between December 30, 1976 and October 31, 1978. In interview one Dickinson details his family and his background, his hobbies and musical interests. The second interview discusses his family, various jobs, and the Ku Klux Klan. The third interview consists of information about the Depression and the businesses in South Bend. The fourth interview is of Dickinson’s recollections of his time in public office. The fifth interview covers the topic of Dickinson’s role as a State Senator.
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Folder and Item Listing:
Oct. 1981 Jesse Lee Dickinson Oral History Transcript
Size of Collection: 1 Transcript
Collection Dates: Interview Dates: Dec. 30, 1976, Oct. 5, 1977, Dec. 14, 1977, June 29, 1978, and Oct. 31, 1978
Provenance: Indiana State Library
Access: The Collection is Open for Research Use
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in: English
MA BA 5-7-2013