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MS-088: Dillon Anderson papers

Download Finding Aid - Adobe PDF (119 KB)

MS-088:  Dillon Anderson papers

(7 boxes, 1.89 cubic feet)

Inclusive Dates: 1950-1980

Bulk Dates: 1956-1962

Processed by:  David Hadley

Summer 2007


            Dillon Anderson was born to Joseph and Besnie (Dillon) Anderson on July 14, 1906, in the town of Prosper, Texas. He was the first of three Anderson sons, growing up with his family in McKinney, Texas. He stayed in Texas for his first year at college, attending Texas Christian University, but he transferred to the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1928. He went immediately to Yale Law School and after a year of study was a awarded a law degree and passed the Texas Bar. He was employed at Baker, Botts, Parker, and Garwood of Houston. His diligent work there earned him partnership by 1940.

            Following America's entrance in the Second World War, Anderson entered the Army Specialist Corps as a Major. He was on the Justice staff until September of 1943, when he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and worked out of Egypt managing logistics, particularly oil, for the Allied Powers. For his efforts, he was awarded the Legion of Merit. Following his discharge in 1945 as a full colonel, Anderson returned to Baker and Botts as a managing partner.

Anderson participated as a consultant for the National Security Council, which Eisenhower was preparing to utilize. Following the departure of Benjamin Cutler as Special Assistant to the President for National Security, the de facto operator of the NSC, Anderson was selected to fill that role. As special assistant to the President, he held meetings, gathered intelligence, and was one of the delegates at the Geneva Summit with the Soviet Union. Due to illness and his substantial workload, Anderson stepped down in 1956, but continued to serve as a consultant, most notably touring through Indochina to report back on Foreign Aid in the late 1950's.

In addition to his service to the country and his work as a lawyer, Dillon Anderson wrote regularly in Atlantic Monthly, two good-hearted rogues traveling through an idyllic Texas. These stories were collected in the early 1950's in the collections I and Claudie and Claudie and His Kinfolk. He would later as write of another character in a collection entitled The Billingsley Papers. He was successful in the business world, being made a senior partner at Baker and Botts upon his return from Washington, and director at Federated Department Stores, Monsanto Company, Champion International, Westinghouse Electric Company, and Chairman of the Texas National Bank. He was involved in other organizations as well, becoming a Trustee of the Brookings Institute, the Foley Brothers Foundation, and the Carnegie Institute for International Affairs. He received Honorary Degrees in Law from Texas Christian University and Allegheny College, and was a member of the Independence Historical Society and the Texas Philosophical Society.

He retired to his home of Bug Hill with his wife Lena Carter Carol, with whom he had had three daughters with throughout the years. He died at the age of 67, on January 28, 1974.

Scope and Content

            The papers of Dillon Anderson consist of seven boxes arranged in five series. The series are organized by the type of material which they consist of: Series I is correspondence, Series II is speeches and documents, Series III is an interview, Series IV is miscellaneous materials, and Series V is newspaper articles. The collection is generally useful for researchers investigating the Eisenhower Administration, especially National Security Policy under his administration, and the National Security Council.  

Series Description

Series I: Correspondence:

  • Sub-Series A: Consists of Approximately 118 typed letters and 2 telegrams either between Dillon Anderson and Dwight D. Eisenhower or between either Dillon Anderson or Dwight Eisenhower with some third party that is somehow of interest to the other.
  • Sub-Series B: Consists of a folder containing correspondence between Dillon Anderson and the family of Dwight D. Eisenhower upon his death.
  • Sub-Series C: Consists mainly of letters between Lena Anderson and other parties concerning her husband, Dillon, with the exception of letter to Lena and Dillon's daughter Jill from another party. 
  • Sub-Series D: Consists of letters between Anderson and his friends or business associates concerning Dillon Anderson's literary career.
  • Sub-Series E: Consists of three letters involving government areas pertaining to Dillon Anderson not sent to Anderson himself. 

Series II: Speeches and Writing

  • Sub-Series A: Consists of 3 government documents written by Dillon Anderson.
  • Sub-Series B: Consists of 9 speeches or documents by Dillon Anderson concerning law and policy.
  • Sub-Series C: Consists of 5 speeches or addresses concerning Eisenhower given by Dillon Anderson.
  • Sub-Series D: Consists of 9 speeches given by parties other than Dillon Anderson concerning the Re-election of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Sub-Series E: Consists of 5 speeches or discussions by Dwight D. Eisenhower, from both during and after his presidency
  • Sub-Series F: Consists of 17 speeches given by Dillon Anderson given in Texas, most about Texas. Multiple copies of several speeches.
  • Sub-Series G: Consists of 10 poems or short stories written by Dillon Anderson.
  • Sub-Series H: consists of 2 introductions to speakers given by Dillon Anderson

Series III: consists of an interview given by James Luter, December 30 and 31, 1969.

Series IV: Miscellaneous

  • Sub-Series A: Consists of assorted papers, such as Dillon Anderson's book list of 1954 or his Curriculum Vitae.
  • Sub-Series B: Consists of bound materials, such as pamphlets, and a bound oversized document removed to vertical filing.
  • Sub-Series C: Consists of a packet of photographs from what appears to be a trip later in Dillon Anderson's life.
  • Sub-Series D: Consists of a scrapbook compiling newspaper articles on Dillon Anderson during his tenure as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
  • Sub-Series E: Consists of used envelopes and postcards.

 Series V: Newspaper Articles

  • Sub-Series A: Consists of 5 folders of newspaper articles concerning Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  • Sub-Series B: Consists of 5 folders of material covering Anderson's tenure with the National Security Council.
  • Sub-Series C: Consists of 4 folders of articles concerning Anderson's writing career.
  • Sub-Series D: Consists of a folder of articles concerning Anderson's business positions.
  • Sub-Series E: Consists of 3 folders of articles concerning Anderson's community activities.
  • Sub-Series F: Consists of two folders of articles on Anderson's death.
  • Sub-Series G: Consists of 3 folders of articles relating to Houston affairs.
  • Sub-Series H: Consists of a folder of miscellaneous articles.

 Download Finding Aid - Adobe PDF (119 KB)

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