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Prepared by James K. Stimpert, July 9, 1980; Revised by Gregory Bodwell, May 27, 1997; Updated February 2015
5 record storage boxes, 5 cubic feet, Storage
This collection is housed in a climate-controlled environment off site and requires at least up to three weeks for retrieval. Please call or email the department with requests for this material prior to planning your visit.
Scope and Content
Through the efforts of Patricia Burnett, Ohio Labor History Project, and Lawrence Kelley, Business Agent and Recording-Secretary of Local 438, Brotherhood of Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers of America (BPDPA), these records arrived on March 31, 1980, at the American History Research Center, Kent State University.
The BPDPA was organized at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1887, and incorporated in December, 1894, with its general offices located at Lafayette, Indiana. Local Union 68, at Bellaire, Ohio, was founded in the late nineteenth century and Local Union 158, at Martins Ferry, Ohio, came into existence at the turn of the twentieth century. Local Union 438, at Steubenville, Ohio, was formed in October, 1901, the records from which comprise the bulk of this collection. By 1913 the Brotherhood was affiliated with the American Federation of Labor but resisted all advances and intrusions of the rival Congress of Industrial Organizations until the AFL and the CIO merged in 1955. In 1968, Local Unions 68 and 158 merged into Local Union 438, located in Steubenville. The jurisdiction of this enlarged Local Union includes the counties of Jefferson, Harrison, Belmont, and part of Monroe in Ohio, and parts of Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia.
Most of the material in this collection covers the years 1898-1918 and 1930-1967, but concentrates on the late 1930's through the 1940's. There are also three bound volumes of minutes from Local Union 68 that, excluding the period from April, 1901 through April, 1905, run from 1898 through 1918. There is one volume of minutes from Local 158, covering May, 1943 through March, 1958, and several folders of minutes from Local 438, covering the years 1941 through 1948. There are also numerous ledgers and other bound volumes from both Locals 438 and 68. Materials from Locals 68 and 158 are located in the last nine folders of the collection. The remainder of the records are arranged into topical categories that include bylaws, conference proceedings, financial reports, correspondence sent and received, wage scale and work agreements, and other assorted papers bearing on Local Union 438 affairs. Subject files have been kept intact, where appropriate.
This collection, studied in conjunction with the records of BPDPA Local Union 476 in Youngstown, Ohio or those of other labor unions in the Steubenville area, would be of value to the researcher interested in the BPDPA itself, labor affairs in Steubenville, or local history. Several items of correspondence also help to document the rivalry between the AFL and CIO in Steubenville and surrounding areas.
Folder -- Contents