A Guide to the Papers of Paul T. Schweitzer 1955-1976 Schweitzer, Paul T. MG 16

A Guide to the Papers of Paul T. Schweitzer 1955-1976

A Collection in
Special Collections and University Archives
Collection Number MG 16


Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University

Special Collections
Perry Library
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
Phone: (757) 683-4483
Fax: (757) 683-5954
Email: libspecialcollections@odu.edu
URL: http://www.lib.odu.edu/special/

© 2001 By Rector and Board of Visitors of Old Dominion University.

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Special Collections and University Archives Staff

Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University
Collection number
MG 16
The Papers of Paul T. Schweitzer 1955-1976
Physical Characteristics
3 Hollinger Document cases, 1 Hollinger Drop-Front print box; 2.5 linear feet

Administrative Information


Collection is open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions on use.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Box [insert number], Folder [insert number and title], The Papers of Paul T. Schweitzer, Special Collections and University Archives, Patricia W. and J. Douglas Perry Library, Old Dominion University Libraries, Norfolk, VA 23529.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Edna S. Schweitzer, April 7, 1976

Accession No. A77-23

Biographical/Historical Information

Paul T. Schweitzer was born on August 1, 1903, on a farm near Malta, Illinois. Three years later the family moved to Arizona where his father became manager of a cattle ranch outside of Tucson. Several years later the elder Mr. Schweitzer moved into Tucson where he founded the Schweitzer Machine Company which specialized in water pumps. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1918 where the younger Mr. Schweitzer completed high school and went to work for a mortgage and loan company. He remained with the firm until its dissolution in 1935. He then traveled to Washington, D.C. where he opened a branch of Layne-Atlantic Company, a firm that develops and engineers large-scale water distribution systems. Joining company headquarters in Norfolk in 1939, he was made vice president and ultimately chairman of the board.

Mr. Schweitzer's contributions as a businessman and civic leader to the recent history of Norfolk were most distinguished. He was appointed to the Norfolk School Board in 1952, elected chairman in 1955 and served in this capacity until he was appointed to the Norfolk City Council in March 1960. During his years as chairman of the school board, Norfolk experienced the massive resistance crisis. From September 1958 until January 1959 three white high schools and three white junior high schools in the city were closed under Virginia law by order of Governor J. Lindsay Almond, Jr. because the schools were under court order to integrate. Schweitzer was in the forefront of those who worked to have the schools reopened. Mr. Schweitzer was re-elected as chairman of the reorganized Norfolk School Board in July 1959. In the following year he was appointed to the Norfolk City Council to replace George R. Abbott who resigned. Schweitzer was elected in 1960 and re-elected in 1964. He was defeated for re-election in 1968.

Mr. Schweitzer's civic activities were numerous. He served on the board of trustees of Lynchburg College from 1957 until May 1976. As chairman of the board he was involved in launching the college's Partnership for Progress development program in 1966. According to Dr. Carey Brewer, president of Lynchburg College, the Partnership of Progress program which raised more than $10 million was "perhaps the major advancement in the total history of the College." Mr. Schweitzer was also a member of the board of directors and the president of the Norfolk Central YMCA, a member of the National Council of the YMCA and chairman of the recreation and education division of the United Communities Council of Social Agencies. He was also vice president of the Tidewater Virginia Development Council, Norfolk region, a member of the board of directors of the Norfolk General Hospital and vice chairman of the board of trustees of Virginia Wesleyan College. He was also chairman of the board of deacons and elder emeritus of First Christian Church.

Mr. Schweitzer attained a respected position in the business community. In addition to his position at Layne Atlantic Company, Mr. Schweitzer was director of the Lakewood Water Company in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and of the Belvedere Water Company in Glen Burnie, Maryland. He was the author of several technical papers on ground water which were published in the Journal of the American Water Works Association. He was a member of the Society of American Military Engineers.

Mr. Schweitzer was married in 1940 to the former Edna Ilene Stillman of Alexandria, Virginia. They had three children, Mark, Betty Mae and Kay Marie.

Scope and Content Information

Paul T. Schweitzer was a Norfolk businessman who served on the Norfolk School Board from 1952 to 1960 and as a member of the Norfolk City Council from 1960 to 1968. His greatest prominence as a civic leader came during the "massive resistance" crisis when six Norfolk schools which were under court order to admit black students were closed by Governor J. Lindsay Almond, Jr. His papers consist of six series: correspondence dating from 1955 to 1968 concerned principally with Mr. Schweitzer's service on the school board during the massive resistance crisis and his service on the city council; legal documents including transcripts of court proceedings and oaths; publications dating from 1956 to 1961; newspaper clippings dating from 1957 to 1976; photographs including group pictures of the Norfolk School Board, Norfolk City Council and Norfolk Operation Understanding Group I; miscellaneous material including an outside proof of a newspaper advertisement-petition urging the reopening of the closed schools; and over-sized material including scrapbooks which contain principally newspaper clippings with some correspondence and political campaign materials.


Documents are arranged chronologically within the first 3 series: Series I: Correspondence; Series II: Legal Documents; Series III: Publications. Also included are Series IV: Photographs, Series V: Miscellaneous, and Series VI: Oversized Materials.

Contents List

Series I: Correspondence
  • Box 1, Folder 1
    Correspondence March 1957-July 1958
  • Box 1, Folder 2
    Correspondence August-September 1958
  • Box 1, Folder 3
    Correspondence September-October 1958
  • Box 1, Folder 4
    Correspondence January 1959
  • Box 1, Folder 5
    Correspondence February 1959
  • Box 1, Folder 6
    Correspondence March-May 1959
  • Box 1, Folder 7
    Correspondence October 1959
  • Box 1, Folder 8
    Correspondence February 1960
  • Box 1, Folder 9
    Correspondence March 1950
  • Box 1, Folder 10
    Correspondence May-June 1960
  • Box 1, Folder 11
    Correspondence July 1960
  • Box 1, Folder 12
    Correspondence July 1961
  • Box 1, Folder 13
    Correspondence December 1961-May 1966
  • Box 1, Folder 14
    Correspondence June-July 1968
  • Box 1, Folder 15
    Correspondence August-September 1968
  • Box 1, Folder 16
Series II: Legal Documents
  • Box 1, Folder 17
    Legal Documents 1958-1962
Series III: Publications
  • Sub Series A: Miscellaneous
    • Box 2, Folder 1
      Tidewater's Guardian October 1957
    • Box 2, Folder 2
      Business Week February 22,1958
    • Box 2, Folder 3
      Time September 22, 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 4
      Life September 22, 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 5
      Business Week October 4, 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 6
      Business Week November 15, 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 7
      Time February 2,1959
    • Box 2, Folder 8
      Time February 9, 1959
    • Box 2, Folder 9
      Better Schools February 1960
    • Box 2, Folder 10
      Virginia School Boards Association Newsletter March 1960
    • Box 2, Folder 11
      National Civic Review February 1961
  • Sub Series B: Newspaper Clippings
    • Box 2, Folder 12
      Newspaper Clippings February 1957
    • Box 2, Folder 13
      Newspaper Clippings July 1957
    • Box 2, Folder 14
      Newspaper Clippings August 1-20, 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 15
      Newspaper Clippings August 21-31, 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 16
      Newspaper Clippings September 1-7, 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 17
      Newspaper Clippings September 8-15, 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 18
      Newspaper Clippings September 16-30, 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 19
      Newspaper Clippings October 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 20
      Newspaper Clippings November 1958
    • Box 2, Folder 21
      Newspaper Clippings January 1959
    • Box 3, Folder 1
      Newspaper Clippings February 1959
    • Box 3, Folder 2
      Newspaper Clippings May 1959
    • Box 3, Folder 3
      Newspaper Clippings July 1959
    • Box 3, Folder 4
      Newspaper Clippings August 1959
    • Box 3, Folder 5
      Newspaper Clippings September 1959
    • Box 3, Folder 6
      Newspaper Clippings October 1959
    • Box 3, Folder 7
      Newspaper Clippings November 1959
    • Box 3, Folder 8
      Newspaper Clippings February 1960
    • Box 3, Folder 9
      Newspaper Clippings July-August 1968
    • Box 3, Folder 10
      Newspaper Clippings (copies) November 1976
    • Box 3, Folder 11
      Newspaper Clippings (undated)
Series IV: Photographs
  • Box 3, Folder 12
    Photographs: Norfolk City Council
  • Box 3, Folder 13
    Photographs: Norfolk Operation Understanding Group I
  • Box 3, Folder 14
    Photographs: Norfolk School Board
Series V: Miscellaneous
  • Box 3, Folder 15
    Miscellaneous Material: Program, Advertisement, Campaign Brochure, etc.
Series VI: Oversized Materials
  • Box 4
    Two Scrapbooks containing principally newspaper clippings
  • Box 4
    Two Newspaper tabloid sections
  • Box 4
    Two Certificates
  • Box 4
    One Print
  • Box 4
    One mounted newspaper article