Summary Information
Title: Charles C. McGovern Papers
Collection Number: AIS.1982.08
Creator: McGovern, Charles C.

Collection Dates: 1893-1981
Extent: 6.87 linear feet (13 boxes; 1 oversized box)

Language: English

Abstract:
The Charles C. McGovern Papers focus on McGovern's military and political career and his personal life. The collection contains a variety of materials including certificates, correspondence, campaign materials, photographs, journals, programs, publications, newsclippings, speeches, court documents, address books, notebooks, bills and government and military records from 1893 to 1981.
Publisher:

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
412-648-3232
archives-ref@mail.pitt.edu
Date Published:

May 2011
Author:

Finding aid prepared by Eden Orelove.
Biography

Charles C. McGovern (nicknamed Salty or Buck) was an influential military figure and politician in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He was born March 6, 1873, in Pittsburgh’s First Ward, the Golden Triangle area, to Charles and Alice Gannon McGovern. He attended Holy Ghost College, now known as Duquesne University.

McGovern married Leticia Rogers, his first wife, in 1900. They had five children: Charles C. Jr., J. Roger, Josephine, Mary and Elizabeth. McGovern’s first wife passed away in 1953, and five years later, he married Rose Danahey on June 9, 1958. Ms. Danahey had worked with McGovern since 1902, as his secretary and co-worker in all of his political campaigns. McGovern had a long and acclaimed military career. He enlisted in the National Guard in 1888 and was in the relief group that went to Johnstown, Pa., after the massive flood there in 1889. He fought in the Spanish-American War, and in 1889 he was with the relief group in the Mexican uprising of 1911. He was at the Battle of Juarez, and commanded Troop H, First Pennsylvania Calvary, on the Mexican Border in 1916 and 1917. During World War I McGovern served with the Field Artillery and as a general intelligence officer. He continued to serve on military committees throughout his life, and was honored with the appointment to Brigadier General on the retired list of the Pennsylvania National Guard Reserve Army one year before his death.

In addition to his successful military career, McGovern held a vast number of jobs and political positions. He served Theodore Roosevelt in a confidential capacity, and helped with his campaign from 1912 to 1914. McGovern then became a member of the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society in 1915, and in 1941 was appointed a Trustee. This membership led McGovern to give weekly Sunday evening talks about Pennsylvania history on radio station WJAS for over a decade.

In 1922, McGovern was appointed Chief of the City Detective Bureau, but resigned the same year in order to direct the Western Pennsylvania campaign of Gifford Pinchot for Governor. In 1923, he was named a special agent in the State Department of Justice to investigate bank failures and was also appointed to membership on the State Board of Registration Commission. Following that, he was appointed to the Commission to Study Municipal Consolidation in Counties of the Second Class Report (1925) and became County Controller (1926). In 1927, McGovern was elected County Commissioner, and served on the board until 1935 and as head of the board from 1932-1935. During this period McGovern organized the first Allegheny County Fair.

McGovern was beaten for re-election in 1935 and ran unsuccessfully for the office of County Treasurer in 1939. He re-entered private business until 1940, when he was appointed a referee on the Unemployment Compensation Board. In 1947, he was named to the Liquor Control Board, and held that position until 1949, when he was appointed as referee on the Workmen’s Compensation Board by Governor James Duff, and served as a referee in the Department of Labor and Industry until the time of his death in 1962.


Collection Scope and Content Notes

This collection documents the military and political career and personal life of Charles C. McGovern (1873-1962). He served in the National Guard and held numerous political positions in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, including County Controller and County Commissioner. The materials in this collection range in date from 1893 to 1981 and include certificates, correspondence, campaign materials, photographs, journals, programs, publications, newsclippings, speeches, court documents, address books, notebooks, bills and government and military records.


Arrangement

The collection has been arranged into the following series:

Series I. Military, 1893-1965

Series II. Career, 1904-1953

Series III. Speeches, 1935-1948

Series IV. Personal, 1903-1981


Subject Terms

Topics
  • County government -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County
  • County officials and employees -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County
  • Politicians -- Pennsylvania -- Allegheny County

Corporate Names
  • Allegheny County (Pa.). Board of Commissioners.
  • Allegheny County (Pa.). Office of the Controller.
  • Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania.
  • Pennsylvania. Liquor Control Board.
  • Pennsylvania. National Guard. Cavalry Regiment, 1st. Troop H.
  • Pennsylvania. National Guard.
  • Pennsylvania. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.
  • United States. Civil Air Patrol.
  • Women's Political Educational Association of Allegheny County (Pa.).

Personal Names
  • Duff, James H. (James Henderson), 1883-1969
  • McGovern, Charles C.
  • McGovern, Rose Danahey
  • Pinchot, Gifford , 1865-1946
  • Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Locations
  • Allegheny County (Pa.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.) -- Politics and government

Category
  • Personal papers
  • Politics

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Preferred Citation:

Charles C. McGovern Papers, 1893-1981, AIS.1982.08, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Eden Orelove in March-April 2011.

Copyright:

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.


Collection Inventory

Series I. Military, 1893-1965

Scope and Content Notes:

Series I is comprised of records relating to McGovern's military career. It contains correspondence, awards, photographs of McGovern and other military personnel, records of service, Troop H materials and information about the Shenango Recreational Committee. This series dates from 1893 to 1965 and is arranged chronologically.


Box 1
Folder 1 Certificates, 1899-ca.1962
Folder 2 Photographs of McGovern, 1918, 1954
Folder 3 Records of Military Service, 1923-1965
Folder 4 Registration Materials for Troop H, 1932
Folder 5 Troop H Meeting Correspondence, 1933
Folder 6 Troop H Annual Reunion Program and Correspondence, 1934
Folder 7 Troop H Rosters, 1935-1936
Folder 8 Troop H Member Lists, 1939-1948
Folder 9 McKinley Day Dinner & Dance Invitation and Speech, 1941
Folder 10 Troop H Military Correspondence, 1941-1944
Folder 11 Civil Air Patrol Board Correspondence and Speech, 1942-1947
Folder 12 Library Serviceman's Association Program, 1943
Folder 13 Shenango Recreational Committee Records and Correspondence, 1943
Folder 14 Photographs of Various Military Personnel, 1944-1945
Folder 15 Photographs of Military Personnel Graves, undated
Folder 16 Photographs of Various Military Personnel, undated
Folder 17 Photographs of Various Military Personnel, undated

Box 2
Volume 1 Military Journal, 1893-1898
Volume 2 Book of Troop H Orders, 1912-1917
Volume 3 War Department Publication, 1915

Box 14
Folder 1 Military Regiment Photographs, 1913- ca.1950s

Series II. Career, 1904-1953

Scope and Content Notes:

The Career series dates from 1904 to 1953 and is divided into two subseries: County Commissioner and Various Positions. The County Commissioner subseries contains records that span from the time McGovern was elected as Minority County Commissioner (1927) through the period he served as chairman of the Board of County Commissioners (1932-1935). The second subseries, Various Positions, contains records from many of McGovern's other careers covering the years 1927 to 1937.

Subseries 1. County Commissioner, 1927-1937

Scope and Content Notes:

The County Commissioner subseries contains records that span from the time McGovern was elected as Minority County Commissioner (1927) through the period he served as chairman of the Board of County Commissioners (1932-1935). It includes McGovern's County Commissioner certificate, 1927 audit records, booklets and programs, election results, personnel records, reports, a photograph of McGovern, correspondence and newspaper clippings, speeches and correspondence about the Allegheny State Fair. The County Commissioner subseries dates from 1927 to 1937


Box 3
Folder 1 County Commissioner Certificate, 1927
Folder 2 Audit Records, 1927
Folder 3 Assorted Booklets & Programs, 1929-1933
Folder 4 Election Results for the Chairman and Chairladies of City Wards, City of Pittsburgh, Independent Republican Party, Fall 1931
Folder 5 Election Results for Chairmen and Chairladies of Boroughs Allegheny County, Independent Republican Party, Fall 1931
Folder 6 Primary Election Results, September 15, 1931
Folder 7 Election Results for Chairman and Chairlady of Townships, Allegheny County, Independent Republican Party, Fall 1931
Folder 8 Election Results for Chairmen and Chairladies of Townships, Allegheny County, Independent Republican Party, Fall 1931
Folder 9 Primary Election Results, Fall 1931
Folder 10 Election Results for Chairmen & Chairladies of Boroughs, Allegheny County, Independent Republican Party, Fall 1931
Folder 11 Allegheny County Employee and Project Records, 1931-1935
Folder 12 Allegheny County Commissioners Book of Reports and Regulations, 1932-1935
Folder 13 Personnel Records, March-April 1933
Folder 14 Newspaper Clippings about the First Allegheny County PA Fair, 1933
Folder 15 Speeches given by McGovern at the First Allegheny County Pa. Fair, 1933
Folder 16 Personnel Records, ca. 1933-1934
Folder 17 Correspondence, 1930-1935
Folder 18 Personnel Records, January 31. 1934
Folder 19 McGovern Appointments, May 1, 1934
Folder 20 Personnel Records, July 1934
Folder 21 Assorted Booklets & Programs, 1934-1935
Folder 22 Correspondence, 1935
Folder 23 Correspondence, 1935-1936
Folder 24 Allegheny County Reports 1935-1936
Folder 25 Correspondence and a Poem about the 1936 Allegheny County Free Fair, 1936-1937
Folder 26 Photograph of McGovern, ca. 1930s
Folder 27 List of McGovern Appointments, undated

Box 14
Folder 2 Photographs of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Grove, a Speech and the U.S. Madden County Police Sewickley Horse Show, ca. 1930s

Subseries 2. Various Positions, Bulk, 1930-1947 1904-1953

Scope and Content Notes:

The Various Positions subseries contains records from many of McGovern's other careers from 1904 to 1953. There are court documents and a photograph documenting his position of Alderman, publications from McGovern's Detective Service, a Finance Committee Report, a Commssion to Study Municipal Consolidation in Counties of the Second Class Report, a photograph taken with Governor Pinchot at the 1925 World Series, awards and certificates, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania correspondence and minutes, Prison Board Records, Republican Indexes, Citizens' Metro Committee Report and newspaper clipping, W.A. Magee Memorial Committee correspondence and programs, Unemployment Board correspondence and report, Treasurer of Allegheny County campaign materials, State Liquor Board newspaper clippings and a report on Point Park.


Box 4
Folder 1 Alderman Photograph and Records, 1904-1905
Folder 2 McGovern Detective Service Publications, ca. early 1920s
Folder 3 Finance Committee Report, November 24, 1924
Folder 4 Report of the Commission to Study Municipal Consolidation in Counties of the Second Class, March 10, 1925
Folder 5 Photograph of McGovern, Governor Pinchot and Senator Harris at the World Series, October 7, 1925
Folder 6 Various Professional Awards and Certificates, 1926-1947
Folder 7 Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania Committee Correspondence, 1935-1947
Folder 8 Prison Board Records, 1936
Folder 9 Republican Indexes, 1938-1940
Folder 10 Citizens' Metro Committee Newspaper Clipping and Report, 1939
Folder 11 W.A. Magee Memorial Committee Materials, 1939-1942
Folder 12 Assorted Business Correspondence, 1939-1947
Folder 13 Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania Meeting Minutes, 1941-1946
Folder 14 Unemployment Board Correspondence, 1942-1945
Folder 15 Treasurer of Allegheny County Campaign Pamphlets and Correspondence, 1943
Folder 16 Unemployment Board Reports, 1944-1945
Folder 17 State Liquor Board Newspaper Clippings, 1947
Folder 18 Report about Point Park December 23, 1953

Box 14
Folder 3 Photographs of Detective Tools, ca. 1920s
Folder 4 Photographs of Detectives Fitzgerald, Omara, Coulson and McQuaide, 1901-1903
Folder 5 Photographs of Detectives Egan, McKelvey and Shore, undated
Folder 6 Photographs of Chief Weasel Tail, U.S. Senators Penrose and Oliver, Governor Gifford Pinchot and Mackrell and Flinn, ca. 1920s- 1930s
Folder 7 Photographs of the Allegheny County Court House Tower and the County of Allegheny Hospital, ca. 1930s

Series III. Speeches, 1935-1948

Scope and Content Notes:

Series III contains transcriptions of speeches, and indexes of speeches made by and about McGovern from 1935 to 1948. It includes Square Deal Party speeches made during the McGovern/Barr for County Commissioners re-election campaign and WJAS weekly broadcast speeches made by McGovern. This series is arranged chronologically.


Box 5
Folder 1 Index of Speeches, A-G, 1924-1941
Folder 2 Index of Speeches, H-L, 1924-1941
Folder 3 Index of Speeches, M-Q, 1924-1941
Folder 4 Index of Speeches, R-V, 1924-1941
Folder 5 Index of Speeches, W-Z, 1924-1941
Folder 6 Index of Speeches, A-W, undated

Box 6
Folder 1 Square Deal Party Men's Speeches, Volume 1, 1935
Folder 2 Square Deal Party Men's Speeches, Volume 2, 1935
Folder 3 Square Deal Party Women's Speeches, Volume 1, 1935
Folder 4 Square Deal Party Women's Speeches, Volume 2, 1935
Folder 5 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 122, 126, 131, 164, December 3, 1939-September 22, 1940
Folder 6 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 171-179, November 10, 1940-January 5, 1941
Folder 7 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 180-185, 188-189, January 12, 1941-March 17, 1941

Box 7
Folder 1 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 213-225, August 17, 1941-November 9, 1941
Folder 2 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 226-232, November 16, 1941- December 27, 1941
Folder 3 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 233-241, January 4, 1942-March 1, 1942
Folder 4 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 242-251, March 8, 1942-May 10, 1942
Folder 5 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 252-258, May 17, 1942-June 28, 1942

Box 8
Folder 1 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 259-267, July 5, 1942-August 30, 1942
Folder 2 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 268-278, September 6, 1942-November 15, 1942
Folder 3 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 279-289, November 22, 1942- January 31, 1943
Folder 4 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 290-296, February 7, 1943- March 21, 1943
Folder 5 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 297-312, March 28, 1943- July 11, 1943

Box 9
Folder 1 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 313-323, July 18, 1943-September 26, 1943
Folder 2 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 324-334, October 3, 1943- December 12, 1943
Folder 3 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 344-350, February 20, 1944- April 2, 1944
Folder 4 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 351-361, April 9, 1944- June 18, 1944
Folder 5 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 362-372 and a "I Remember" Column, July 2, 1944- September 3, 1944

Box 10
Folder 1 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 335-343 and a Special Speech, December 19, 1943- February 17, 1944
Folder 2 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 373-381, September 10, 1944- November 5, 1944
Folder 3 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 382-390, November 12, 1944- January 7, 1945
Folder 4 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 391-400, January 14, 1945- March 18, 1945
Folder 5 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 401-414, March 25, 1945- June 24, 1945

Box 11
Folder 1 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 417-426, July 15, 1945- September 16, 1945
Folder 2 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 427-440, September 23, 1945- December 23, 1945
Folder 3 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 441-456, December 30, 1945- April 14, 1946
Folder 4 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 457-465, 467-472, April 21, 1946- August 4, 1946
Folder 5 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 483-485, 489-493, October 20, 1946- December 29, 1946

Box 12
Folder 1 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 473-487, August 11, 1946- November 10, 1946
Folder 2 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 488-493, 495-510, Thanksgiving Day, 1946- April 20, 1947
Folder 3 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 511-528, April 27, 1947- August 24, 1947
Folder 4 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 529-540, August 31, 1947- November 16, 1947

Box 13
Folder 1 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 541-549, November 23, 1947- January 18, 1948
Folder 2 WJAS Broadcast Speeches, nos. 549-550, 552, 554, 556, 561, 674-675, 680, 682-683, January 18, 1948- September 12, 1948

Series IV. Personal, Bulk, 1903-1939 1903-1981

Scope and Content Notes:

Series IV dates from 1903 to 1981(bulk dates: 1903 to 1939) and is divided into two subseries: Farm Records and Family. The first subseries contains records relating to McGovern's farm including court documents, correspondence, bills, photographs and leases. The second subseries includes material related to McGovern's family and personal life.

Subseries 1. Farm Records, 1903-1940

Scope and Content Notes:

The first subseries contains records relating to McGovern's farm including court documents, correspondence, bills, photographs and leases. The subseries covers the years 1903 to 1940 and is arranged chronologically.


Box 13
Folder 3 Bills, Correspondence and Court Documents, 1903, 1906-1908
Folder 4 Bills, Correspondence and Court Documents, 1909-1912
Folder 5 Bills, Correspondence and Leases, 1913-1915, 1918-1924
Folder 6 Bills, Correspondence and Court Documents, 1925-1926
Folder 7 Photograph of McGovern at His Farm, 1928
Folder 8 Bills, Correspondence, Court Documents and a Photograph, 1928-1929
Folder 9 Bills, Correspondence and Court Documents, 1930-1931, 1933, 1935-1936
Folder 10 Correspondence, Court Documents, Maps and Photographs, 1937-1940
Folder 11 Notebooks about Farm, undated

Subseries 2. Family, 1918-1981

Scope and Content Notes:

The second subseries, Family, which dates from 1918-1981, includes personal photographs, scrapbooks, parents' pension records, scenic photographs, biographical materials, Women's Political Educational Association materials, Charles C. McGovern Testimonial Dinner speech and program, personal correspondence, newspaper clippings and photographs of McGovern.


Box 13
Folder 12 Family Photographs, undated
Folder 13 Photograph of McGovern's Father, Charles McGovern, undated
Folder 14 Family Scrapbook, Part 1, 1918-1940
Folder 15 Family Scrapbook, Part 2, 1918-1949
Folder 16 Parents' Pension Records, 1919-1965
Folder 17 Scenic Photographs, 1927-1958
Folder 18 Biographical Materials Written and Compiled by Mrs. McGovern, 1931-1962
Folder 19 Family Photographs, 1934-1959
Folder 20 Women's Political Educational Association of Allegheny County Minutes and Roster, 1935
Folder 21 Program and Speeches of the Chas. C. McGovern Testimonial Dinner, January 4, 1936
Folder 22 Correspondence from Mrs. McGovern Concerning the Women's Political Educational Association of Allegheny County, 1936-1939
Folder 23 Personal Correspondence, 1937-1958
Folder 24 Correspondence with Ralph Flinn, 1942-1947
Folder 25 Photographs of McGovern, 1959-1962
Folder 26 Newspaper Clippings about McGovern, Published after his Death, 1965-1981

Box 2
Volume 4 Financial Receipt Book, 1935-1937
Volume 5 Address Book, 1944
Volume 6 Address Book, undated