A Guide to the Mary Fessler Papers, ca. 1940-2001 Fessler, Mary. Papers, ca. 1940-2001 Ms2001-012

A Guide to the Mary Fessler Papers, ca. 1940-2001

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2001-012


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Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2003 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Processed by: Catherine G. OBrion, Special Collections Staff

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Collection number
Ms2001-012
Title
Mary Fessler Papers, ca. 1940-2001
Physical Characteristics
5.5 linear feet
Collector
Mary Fessler
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Mary Fessler Papers must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Mary Fessler Papers, Ms2001-012, Special Collections, University Libraries, Virginia Polytechnic and State University.

Acquisition Information

The Mary Fessler Papers were donated to Special Collections at Virginia Polytechnic & State University by the estate of Mary Fessler in May 2001 and April 2002.


Biographical/Historical Information

Mary McClintock Ryland Fessler (1912-2000) was active in Montgomery County Democratic Party, local government, and civic organizations from the late 1960s through the 1990s. She was a founding member of the Montgomery County League of Women Voters, organized in 1971, and Secretary of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She was appointed to the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors in 1977 and served from 1977 to 1985.

Fessler was born in Georgetown, Kentucky, on February 6, 1912. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Westhampton College (now the University of Richmond) in 1932. She taught in the North China American School in Tun Chow, China, and several American schools before moving to Blacksburg in 1951. Her husband, Donald R. Fessler, was a sociologist with the Virginia Tech Extension Service.

Sources: Jenn Burleson, "Library Advocate Will be Missed," The Roanoke Times, 9 December 2000, Current, page 1; Obituary, The Roanoke Times, 12 December 2000, page B3.

Scope and Content Information

The Mary Fessler Papers span the years ca. 1940-2001, with the bulk of the material dating from 1968-1984. They are arranged into the following series: Personal Papers, ca. 1940-2001; Montgomery County League of Women Voters, 1948-1980; Montgomery County Democratic Committee, 1967-1993; Ninth-District Democratic Committee, 1979-1981; Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, 1968-1998; and Blacksburg Library Building Committee, 1994-1999.

The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors series spans the period 1968-1998 (bulk 1977-1984) and is the largest series in the collection. It is comprised of the following subseries: Minutes, 1977-1984; Correspondence, 1978-1985; Financial Records, 1977-1995; Subject Series, 1968-1998; Annual Reports, 1976-1982; Publications, 1974-1984; Capital Improvements Program Committee, 1978-1987; Montgomery County Community Services Organization, 1974-1979; Montgomery County Planning Commission, 1976-1989; and Montgomery County Public Service Authority, 1969-1973.

Minutes contain Fessler's copies of the official minutes of Board of Supervisor meetings for the period 1977-1984; they also include copies of agendas and official reports submitted to the Board. Correspondence is comprised of letters Fessler received pertaining to county government issues. It is organized into Incoming Correspondence, Inter-office Correspondence, both arranged chronologically; and Correspondence Regarding, arranged alphabetically by subject. Financial Records are comprised of Fessler's copies of budget requests, county revenue projections, and financial reports and analyses. The Capital Improvements Program Committee, Montgomery County Community Services Organization, Montgomery County Planning Commission, and Montgomery County Public Service Authority series are comprised of copies of records of these agencies that were sent to Fessler when she was a member of the Board of Supervisors.

Subject Series, the largest subseries within the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors series, are comprised of materials Fessler collected and filed by subject and document issues of concern to her during her tenure on the Board. They files contain a variety of materials, including copies of county government documents, correspondence with the county government staff, reports, studies, and clippings. Notable subjects include construction of the Roanoke River dam, landfills, and planning for sewage, water, and refuse.

The Montgomery County Democratic Committee series spans the period 1971-1993 and documents the committee's work in support of local, regional, and state Democratic candidates from 1867 to 1971, 1979 to 1981, and in 1993, and Democratic Party conventions. The records are comprised primarily of correspondence, get-out-the-vote materials, and newspaper clippings. Included is a file of correspondence and clippings pertaining to the activities of the state legislature from 1971 to 1974, a file on the re-drawing of magisterial districts in Montgomery County in 1972, and a folder of statistics on the race of registered voters, by precinct, in Montgomery County, 1979 to 1981.

The Ninth-District Democratic Committee series dates from 1977-1981 and is comprised primarily of correspondence from officials of the state Democratic Party and members of the local and regional committees; it also includes ephemera from Democratic campaigns from the period 1980 to 1981. A frequent correspondent is state Democratic Party Chair Richard Davis.

The Montgomery County League of Women Voters series spans the period 1948 to 1980 (bulk 1970-1980). Just one folder, it is comprised primarily of small publications put out by the League of Women Voters in the early 1970s promoting ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

The collection also includes a small series of Personal Papers that span the period ca. 1940-2001. They include a photograph of Fessler, ca. 1940, and a folder of thank-you letters from Virginia Governor Gerald Baliles, Lieutenant Governor Dick Davis, Delegate Rick Boucher, and Attorney General Mary Sue Terry.

Arrangement

The bulk of the collection is arranged, within series, either chronologically or alphabetically by subject, as indicated in the series descriptions.

Index Terms

    Persons:

  • Fessler, Mary McClintock Ryland (1912-2000)
  • Subjects:

  • Blacksburg (Va.)
  • Local/Regional History and Appalachian South
  • Montgomery County (Va.)

Contents List

Personal Papers ca. 1940-1993
Box-folder: 1:1-1:22
  • Box-folder 1:1
    Photographs ca. 1940, n.d.
    3 photographs and 1 letter

    The file contains a black-and-white studio photograph, ca. 1940, of Mary Fessler, and two color snapshots, n.d., of monuments to General Richard Montgomery in Quebec.

  • Box-folder 1:2-1:3
    Correspondence 1967-1985
    • Box-folder 1:2
      Correspondence with Preston Frazier regarding planning for a Virginia Museum Artmobile lecture in Blacksburg. 1967
    • Box-folder 1:3
      Personal letters from Virginia Democrats 1970-1985
      7 letters

      Letters from state Democratic leaders Delegate Gerald Baliles, Lieutenant Governor Richard J. Davis, and Attorney General Mary Sue Terry. Also included in the folder is a 1970 letter from Floydine Roberts of the Radford Women's Democratic Club.

  • Box-folder 1:4
    Clippings 1980-1985, 1991

    Newspaper clippings on Blacksburg issues. Includes a fund-raising letter from "Concerned Citizens for Nellie's Cave Community."

League of Women Voters 1948-1980
Box-folder: 1:5

This small series is comprised primarily of publications put out by the League of Women Voters in the early 1970s promoting ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Montgomery County Democratic Committee 1967-1993
Box-folder: 1:6-1:19

This series is comprised primarily of correspondence and newspaper clippings, but also includes speeches and writings, campaign literature, and campaign ephemera.

  • Box-folder 1:6
    Organizational Materials 1967-1969

    Includes an organizational charts, by-laws, and fund-raising information.

  • Box-folder 1:6-1:11
    Campaigns 1967-1971; 1993

    This subseries is comprised of newspaper clippings, correspondence, speeches and writings, and campaign literature.

  • Box-folder 1:12-1:16
    Conventions 1968-1980

    This subseries is comprised of clippings, Democratic party publicity and convention literature, correspondence, notes, and delegate lists.

  • Box-folder 1:17-1:19
    Subject Series 1974-1981

    This subseries is comprised of a file of newspaper clippings about State Senator Madison Marye from 1974; and two files of documents pertaining to redistricting in Montgomery County, 1979-1981, including statistics on race and registered voters in Montgomery County in 1981. Also included are campaign posters for Dick Davis, Chuck Robb, Gerald Baliles, Andy Miller, and Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale.

Ninth-District Democratic Committee 1979-1981
Box-folder: 1:20-1:22
Oversize: 1
Physical Location: Campaign posters in Oversize folder 1 are stored in the Reading Room Map Case, Drawer RR11.

This series is comprised of records of correspondence, financial records, by-laws, clippings, and campaign ephemera for Democratic candidates for statewide office in the early 1980s.

Montgomery County Board of Supervisors 1968-1998 (bulk 1977-1984)1977-1984
Box-folder: 1:23-5:29
  • Box-folder 1:23
    Directory of Montgomery County Offices, Authorities, Boards, and Commissions 1978-1984
  • Box-folder 1:24-1:31
    Board Meeting Minutes 1977-1984

    Copies of meeting minutes, agendas, and reports.

  • Box-folder 1:32-
    Correspondence 1978-1985
    • Box-folder 1:32-1:43
      Incoming Correspondence 1981-1985
      4 letters

      Includes a letter from Trans-Virginia Public Service Corporation in support of a proposed coal pipeline through Montgomery County and a letter pertaining to strained relations between the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors and the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library Board.

    • Box-folder 1:33
      Inter-office Correspondence 1978
      10 memoranda

      Memoranda from County Administrator Allan Williams to the Board of Supervisors pertaining to legal and personnel policy issues.

    • Box-folder 1:34-1:43
      Correspondence Regarding 1978-1985

      This subseries is comprised primarily of memos from the County Administrator's office to members of the Board pertaining to proposed actions of the Board.

      Alphabetically by subject of the correspondence.

      • Box-folder 1:34
        Appointments to Library and School Boards 1984
      • Box-folder 1:35
        Drainage, Secondary Roads, and Flood Insurance 1978-1979
      • Box-folder 1:36
        Flood Control 1988
      • Box-folder 1:37
        New River Community College 1978
      • Box-folder 1:38
        Reassessment 1978
      • Box-folder 1:39
        Roanoke Airport 1985
      • Box-folder 1:40
        School Boards, Special Town Districts, and other "sensitive issues." 1978-1985

        This file includes information pertaining to Block Grant applications, potential annexation by the Town of Christiansburg, Economic Development Commission Progress Reports, town representation on the School Board, and tensions between school administrators and the School Board.

      • Box-folder 1:41
        School Liaison, Vote on School Board, and Computer School 1978

        This file also contains correspondence pertaining to other subjects, such as dog-leash laws and the construction of a new fire substation on Price's Fork Road.

      • Box-folder 1:42
        Transportation 1976-1980
      • Box-folder 1:43
        Wyatt Industrial Park 1984
  • Box-folder 2:1-2:28
    Financial Records 1977-1995

    This subseries is comprised mostly of annual financial reports and audits; it also includes budget requests for fiscal year 1977-1978.

    • Box-folder 2:1-2:5
      Budget Requests, Budgets, and Revenue Projections 1977-1995
    • Box-folder 2:6-2:15
      Financial Statements, Analyses, and Reports 1970-1992
    • Box-folder 2:16-2:26
      Audits 1977-1984
    • Box-folder 2:27
      Accountant's Report on Special Study 1983
    • Box-folder 2:28
      Budget, County School Debt Fund 1982-1983
  • Box-folder 2:29-4:24
    Subject Series 1968-1988

    This subseries is comprised of subject files Fessler kept on issues pertaining to issues before the Montgomery County board of Supervisors. The files may contain clippings, documents, studies and reports, and correspondence.

    • Box-folder 2:29-2:35
      Adams Quarry/Harman Farms Conditional Use Permit 1977-1978
      7 folders
    • Box-folder 2:36
      Airports 1985

      "Comparison of Services Provided to the New River Valley by Roanoke Municipal Airport, Virginia Tech Airport, and the New River Valley Airport"

    • Box-folder 2:37
      Assessments 1980-1985
    • Box-folder 2:38
      Oversize 2
      Blacksburg, town of 1983-1985
      Physical Location: Oversize materials are located in the Reading Room Map Case, Drawer RR11.

      Proposed budget for fiscal year 1983 and 1984; a map of the Land Use Plan adopted by the Blacksburg Town Council on February 26, 1985; and a map, "Geology of the Blacksburg Quadrangle," created by M.J. Bartholomew and W.D. Lowry in 1979.

    • Box-folder 3:1-3:3
      Blacksburg City Status 1976-1982

      Includes a report, "The Fiscal Impact of City Status for the Town of Blacksburg," prepared for County of Montgomery, Virginia, an analysis of the report, and clippings.

      3 folders

    • Box-folder 3:4
      Blacksburg in the Eighties 1982

      Summary of reports.

    • Box-folder 3:5
      Bond Referendum, Montgomery County 1988
    • Box-folder 3:6
      CETA, Montgomery County, Annual Plan and Financial Report 1979
    • Box-folder 3:7
      Community Data, Montgomery County 1982-1984

      Promotional publications published by the Montgomery County Economic Development Commission.

    • Box-folder 3:8-3:10
      Community Services Board 1978-1985
    • Box-folder 3:11
      Drunk Driving, Montgomery County Task Force on; final report 1984
    • Box-folder 3:12
      Fairview District Home 1984
    • Box-folder 3:13
      Flood Insurance Study, Montgomery County 1978

      Report compiled by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Insurance Administration.

    • Box-folder 3:14
      German Club, construction of complex 1979
    • Box-folder 3:15
      Historic Preservation, Craig Cemetery, County Courthouse 1977-1982
    • Box-folder 3:16-3:20
      Human Resources Policies 1972-1978, n.d.
      4 folders
    • Box-folder 3:21
      Industrial Development Authority, Montgomery County 1985
    • Box-folder 3:22-3:23
      Oversize 2
      Industrial Sand Development Project 1978
      Physical Location: The oversize maps are located in the Reading Room Map Case, Drawer RR11.

      Materials pertaining to a proposed development; include five blue-lines of site-development plans.

    • Box-folder 3:24-3:44
      Oversize 2
      Landfills 1977-1985
      Physical Location: The oversize map is stored in the Reading Room map case, drawer RR11.

      This subseries is comprised primarily of materials documenting construction of the Mid-County Landfill; it includes a document prepared by Olver Incorporated, Consulting Engineers and Environmental Laboratories, "Operation and Development Manual for the Mid-County Landfill, Part III, Montgomery County, Virginia." Also included is a blue-line map, n.d., showing the proposed site for the landfill.

    • Box-folder 3:45
      Local Government Volunteerism, Ad-Hoc Committee to Study 1985
    • Box-folder 3:46
      Mall, Montgomery County 1978
    • Box-folder 3:47-3:48
      New River Valley Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services Board Budget Requests 1981-1982
    • Box-folder 3:49
      Proco Garage 1977-1978
    • Box-folder 4:1
      Recreation Department 1978
    • Box-folder 4:2-4:10
      Roanoke River Dam 1978-1985

      This subject series is comprised of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water supply and flood management studies and a feasibility reports, handwritten notes, clippings, correspondence, and papers documenting the Upper Basin Public Assistance Committee.

    • Schools 1977
    • Box-folder 4:11
      Sewage, Failing Septic Tanks 1989

      Draft discussion paper produced by the State Water Control Board in response to passage of Senate Joint Resolution 161.

    • Box-folder 4:13
      Sewage, Water and Refuse planning, consulting engineers report for county comprehensive plan. 1968
      100-page report with charts and maps
    • Box-folder 4:14
      Sewer, Slate Branch Interceptor Line 1981
    • Box-folder 4:15
      Solid Waste Alternatives 1978
    • Box-folder 4:16
      Southwest Virginia Health Systems Agency, Emergency Medical Services 1978
    • Box-folder 4:17
      Spotlighting Deer Ordinance 1980
    • Box-folder 4:18
      Subdivision Ordinance 1976

      Progress report on the proposed revision of the ordinance.

    • Box-folder 4:19
      Tax Issues 1975-1977
    • Box-folder 4:20-4:21
      Virginia Association of Counties, Legislation 1977-1978
    • Box-folder 4:22-4:23
      Waste and Wastewater Facilities in Montgomery County, Countywide Study 1986

      Study by Anderson & Associations, Inc., Consulting Engineers.

    • Box-folder 4:24
      Women's Resource Center 1984-1985

      Budget Packet.

  • Box-folder 4:25-4:4:27
    Annual Reports 1976-1982

    Annual reports for Montgomery County Information and Referral Service, 1976-1977; the New River Valley Alcohol Safety Action Program, 1978-1979; and the Montgomery County Planning Commission, 1982.

  • Box-folder 4:28-4:31
    Publications 1974-1984
    • Box-folder 4:28
      "ABCs of School Finance," Virginia Education Association 1974
    • Box-folder 4:29
      "Beeks Big Book" 1985

      Book of writings by elementary school children, with a letter of appreciation addressed to Mary Fessler.

    • Box-folder 4:30
      Local Tax Rates, Tax Year 1979 1979
    • Box-folder 4:31
      Virginia Municipal League Newsletter 1984
  • Box-folder 5:1-5:6
    Capital Improvements Program Committee 1978-1987

    Recommendations to the Planning Commission, project request forms, and proposed capital improvement programs for fiscal years 1982-1983 and 1986-1987.

  • Box-folder 5:7-5:13
    Montgomery County Community Services Organization, Inc. 1974-1979

    By-laws, membership directory, minutes, reports, grant applications and correspondence, and audit.

  • Box-folder 5:14-5:20
    Oversize 2
    Montgomery County Planning Commission 1976-1989
    Physical Location: Oversize maps are located in the Reading Room Map Case, drawer RR11.

    Records documenting the work of the Montgomery County Planning Commission. Records are comprised of correspondence, reports, studies, budget requests, a 1976 draft of a proposed comprehensive plan, and a 1978 Planning Department evaluation of office space in the county. Also included is a map, "Environmental and Cultural Features of Montgomery County," prepared for the Commission in 1982.

  • Box-folder 5:21-5:29
    Oversize 3
    Montgomery County Public Service Authority 1969-1973

    This subseries documents Fessler's work, in her capacity as a member of the Board of Supervisors, managing the activities of the Montgomery County Public Service Authority, which was created by the Board in the early 1970s to manage public utilities in the county. Records include background information on the organization of the Public Service Authority, correspondence, meeting minutes, agendas, financial statements, subject files. Also included is an oversize publication, "Recommended Service Areas," 1975, prepared for the Board of Supervisors. It includes several maps showing existing and planned development and the demand it would create for expanded water and sewer lines.

Blacksburg Library Building Committee, Montgomery-Floyd Library Board 1994-1999
Box-folder: 5:30

Minutes, correspondence, and clippings.

Oversize Materials, 1975, 1980, n.d.
  • Folder 1
    Campaign Poster, 1980
  • Folder 1
    Proposed and Present Sewer Layouts, 1975
  • Folder 1
    Proposed Site Development in Montgomery County
  • Folder 2
    Geology of Blacksburg Quadrant (map)

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Fessler, Mary McClintock Ryland (1912-2000)