Walter D. Myers Oral History
1 transcript, 1 reel-to-reel tape

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Processed by: Christina Baich, March 2006

Biographical Note:

Walter Dennis Myers was born on December 19, 1882, in Rye Township, Perry County, Pennsylvania. He received an A.B. degree from Yale University in 1905 and an LL.B. from Indiana University in 1907. He was admitted to the Indiana bar in 1907 and began practicing law in Indianapolis. On June 3, 1913, Myers married Katharine Lyons with whom he had three children, Walter, Jr., Joseph, and Kitty. From 1913 to 1937, Myers served in a variety of public offices including attorney for the Safety, Public Health, Park and Sanitary Boards of Indiana; assistant city attorney; Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives (1931-1933); and special counsel to a U.S. Senate Committee (1936-1937). In 1940, he was appointed Fourth Assistant Postmaster General by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Myers was very active in Democratic politics serving a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1920, 1924, and 1928. When FDR was up for the vice-presidential nomination, Myers delivered one of the nominating speeches at the National Convention. He ran for Mayor of Indianapolis in 1925 as an anti-Ku Klux Klan candidate, but was defeated by John L. Duvall. In 1928, he ran for the United States Senate, but was again defeated. In addition to his career of public service, Walter Myers was also an author. He wrote a number of articles and law books including The ‘Guv’: A Tale of Midwest Law and Politics. Myers died on August 4, 1973.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection contains the reel-to-reel tape and transcript of interviews with Walter D. Myers conducted by Randall Jehs on December 14, 1970 and January 20, 1971. In the first interview (p. 1-40), Myers discusses why he entered the political arena, his experiences as an attorney for the city and state and city departments, Thomas Taggart, the Federal Reserve Act, his involvement in the American Legion, the Warner Brothers company, Stought Fletcher, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jim Farley, running for Mayor of Indianapolis, and D. C. Stephenson.

In the second interview (p. 41-71), Myers discusses his attempt to run for the U.S. Senate in 1928, Paul McNutt, running for the Indiana House of Representatives, his book, Red Skelton, Thomas Taggart, the Ku Klux Klan, Albert Beveridge, the American Legion, various Indiana political figures, how Indiana changed over his lifetime, and the Balls of Muncie, Indiana.

Item Listing:

1970 Dec. 14, 1971 Jan. 20 Reel-to-reel tape
1970 Dec. 14 Transcript

Collection Information:

Size of Collection:

1 transcript, 1 reel-to-reel tape

Collection Dates:



ISL Oral History Project

Access: This collection is open for research.



Reproduction Rights:

Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library.  Possession of a reproduction from an Indiana State Library collection does not constitute permission for use.

Language Materials are entirely in English

Alternate Formats:


Related Holdings:

L115, Walter D. Myers Papers and Medals



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Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.