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Guide to the


.3 linear ft.

Accession Number: 9899-54

Collection Number: 57

Prepared by Kevin Kendro
April 2008

CITATION: The United Community Candidates Collection, Collection 57, Box number, Folder number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Biographical Sketch

     The United Community Candidates was a slate of candidates selected by a group of Irving businessmen to run for the mayor’s office and all positions on the city commission (council) in the 1957 city elections.

     In 1955, the city of Irving had undergone a fractious debate over the firing of the superintendent of schools.  A highly charged atmosphere split the community.  In 1957, the rift was still running through the community, and there was concern that the hard feelings could spill over into the city commission election that spring.

     A group of thirty-six local businessmen formed an organization to nominate a slate of candidates to run for city offices.  The group sought to nominate candidates they thought were qualified and that also were not members of any group associated with the school district troubles.  The group advertised that their candidates represented a cross section of the city, had no axes to grind, and could work harmoniously together.  The group agreed not to write a platform and to disband after the election so people would not think the candidates were beholden to anyone.

     The city elections of 1957 attracted thirty-three candidates.  Seven candidates vied for the mayor’s position and twenty-six for the six commissioners’ seats. 

     The candidates for the United Community Candidates slate were
Mayor - Charles P. Schulze; Place 1 - Chet Gibbs (already appointed to the commission to fill a vacated seat); Place 2 - L. K. Long; Place 3 - Joe Rich (incumbent); Place 4 - John Darby; Place 5 - Robert Nelson; and Place 6 - Norman Sutherland. 

     Joe Rich was re-elected outright, and five other United Community Candidates were involved in runoff elections.  In the runoff, none of the United Community Candidates won election to office.


The United Community Candidates Collection.

Series Description

Series I. Newspaper Material, 1957.    .1 linear ft. (2 oversize folders).
Arranged chronologically.  Material includes articles about the city commission election of 1957; ads for various candidates; full page ads for the United Community Candidates slate; and a few articles on miscellaneous topics.

Series II. United Community Candidates Meeting Records, 1957.   
.1 linear ft. (1 folder).
Arranged chronologically. Material includes minutes and attachments from the meetings of the United Community Candidates group.

Series III. Election Material, 1957.    .1 linear ft. (4 folders).
Arranged by subject.  Material includes candidate campaign cards, election return sheets, advertisements and fliers, and general election material such as invitations to speak.

Scope and Content

     The United Community Candidates Collection is contained in one half-size manuscript box and space in the Newspaper Cabinet, Drawer 11.  The collection is arranged in three series and consists of five folders and two oversize folders.

     Series I. is made up of newspaper articles and advertisements relating to the city of Irving’s city commission election of 1957.  The newspapers and newspaper articles are brittle, so they have been photocopied for preservation purposes.  The originals have been retained, but will at some point be removed from the collection. 

     Series II. consists of minutes of the meetings of the United Community Candidates group.  There are minutes from three sessions beginning in late January 1957 through early February 1957.  The minutes spell out the purpose of the group and their plan for selecting their candidates to run for office.  Among the attachments to the minutes are a list of individuals invited to the meetings and a tally sheet listing the names of those the group nominated to run on the slate and the number of votes each received.

     Series III. consists of material relating to the campaign and elections of 1957.  The series contains items such as candidate campaign cards, election results broken down by polling station, and fliers and advertisements run by the United Community Candidates slate and other candidates during the campaign.  The series also contains a 1957 Irving Street map with notations made on it by candidate Robert Nelson, Sr.  The notations include polling station location, individuals’ names, and city subdivision names. 

Provenance Statement

     The United Community Candidates Collection, accession number
9899-54, was donated to the Irving Archives by Robert Nelson, Sr., on February 5, 1999.  Prior to its donation to the Irving Archives, the material was in the possession of Robert Nelson, Sr.  Mr. Nelson was secretary of the United Community Candidates group and also ran for office as one of the group’s candidates. 

Literary Rights Statement

     Permission to publish from the United Community Candidates Collection must be obtained from the Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Note to Researcher

     The Irving Archives Oral History Collection contains an interview with Robert Nelson, Sr. relating to the United Community Candidates and Irving politics in general.  It can be found on tape (180A).  There is also a transcription of the interview.  

Container List 

Series I.  Newspaper Material, 1957

Box 1


  1     Newspaper Articles and Newspaper Advertisements, 1957  Contains newspaper articles about the mayoral and city commissioners election of 1957; candidates’ campaign advertisements; advertisements run by the United Community Candidates slate; and some unrelated newspaper articles.  There is an ad from the 1955 campaign for W. H. “Boots” Roberts who ran for re-election to the city commission that year.

  2     Photocopies of Articles and Advertisements, 1957
Contains photocopies of the newspaper articles and candidates’ advertisements found in Folder 1.

Series II. United Community Candidates Meeting Records, 1957

  3     United Community Candidates Meeting Records, 1957
Contains the minutes from the meetings of the group of people that founded the United Community Candidates; list of invitees to the meetings; and candidate selection tally sheets.

Series III. Election Material, 1957

  4     Election Results, 1957
Contains campaign election results broken down by polling station and a list of candidates who ran for office.

  5     Campaign Cards, 1957
Contains cards from various candidates who ran for city office in the 1957 election and a card listing the slate of United Community Candidates.

  6     Campaign Fliers, 1957
Contains fliers put out by various candidates including one for the United Community Candidates.  Also include are some fliers relating to the school board election of 1957.

  7     General Campaign Material, 1957
Contains general campaign material such as invitations to speak; a list of runoff candidates; biography on candidate Robert Nelson, Sr.; telephone campaign scripts; and a 1957 Irving street map with notations on it by candidate Robert Nelson, Sr.