Skip navigation

Kenneth O. Warner Papers, 1933-1966

MC 720

Special Collections Department
University of Arkansas Libraries

365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-4002
Phone: (479) 575-8443
specoll@uark.edu

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD by Zachary Morgan, 2017

Materials are in English.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Creator
Warner, Kenneth O. (Kenneth Oren), 1904-
Title
Kenneth O. Warner Papers
Inclusive Dates
1933-1966
Identification
MC 720
Extent
4 linear feet (4 boxes)
Repository
Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email specoll@uark.edu at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Acquisition Information

The Kenneth O. Warner Papers was donated to the Special Collections Department by Kenneth Oren Warner of Mammoth Spring, Fulton County, Arkansas on September 24, 1986.

Processing Information

Processed by Janet G. Tucker, completed in February, 1988.

Preferred Form of Citation

Kenneth O. Warner Papers (MC 720), Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Favetteville.

Biographical Note

Born in Illinois in 1904, Kenneth Oren Warner received his A. B. from the University of Washington (1926); his M. A. (1927) and Ph. D. (1931) in political science were from the same institution. Warner was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington from 1929-31, where he came into contact with Charles Beard. Warner taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Arkansas from 1931-34, an experience reflected in his textbook, Arkansas State and Local Government. He was the author of other works as well, including An Introduction to Some Problems of Australian Federalism: A Study of the Relationship Between the Australian States and the Commonwealth, with a Special Reference to Finance; and Problems of Arkansas Government, and he was the editor of Management Relations with Organized Public Employees: Theory, Policies, Program. Further biographical information can be found in Who's Who in the South and Southwest for 1978-79.

Warner's specialty was state and local government, but it was in the arena of political action that he made his mark, and it is on this action that the present collection focuses.

A founder of the Arkansas Municipal League and its executive director in 1934-35, Warner was involved in writing the law that permitted the city-manager form of government in Arkansas. He also took part in the Arkansas Peoples' Conference (1933), as well as in the introduction into Arkansas of the city manager form of government . He participated as well in the Institute for County Officials (March 9-11, 1936). Warner later served as Executive Director of the Northwest Regional Council in Portland, Oregon, 1938-41, and was Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee, 1941-42. He has also held other significant administrative posts. But it was as the Director of Personnel of the Arkansas Civil Service Commission (ACSC) under Governor Carl E. Bailey that Warner enjoyed his greatest public achievement. Warner was responsible for translating the Arkansas Civil Service Law of 1937, repealed in 1939, into a workable and equitable system.

Scope and Content Note

The present collection contains material relevant to Warner's early work with the Arkansas Municipal League and other activities of local government, concentrating, however, on his work with the Arkansas Civil Service Commission. The collection which includes correspondence, financial data, and newspaper clippings, is particularly valuable as a primary source for the "inner workings" of Arkansas government.

Arrangement of the Papers

Material is arranged by format and described in 1 volume and three series:

  1. Correspondence, 1933-66
  2. The Arkansas Civil Service Commission, 1937-66
  3. State and Local Government, 1934-36
  4. Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings, c. 1937-39

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection

series I: Correspondence

Warner's central concerns during the early period of the correspondence in the collection (1933-36) were with the Arkansas Peoples' Conference and the Institute for County Officials at the University of Arkansas.

Because his duties as Personnel Director of the ACSC involved the cooperation of those serving under him, Warner left a voluminous professional correspondence. Letters pertaining to this and other aspects of his professional career, such as his letter of resignation from his post as Personnel Director and a body of correspondence with Brooks Hays, are included as well. Letters dealing with Warner's textbook, Arkansas State and Local Government constitute a portion of the collection. Warner's correspondence includes some letters that are professional, and others that are personal, such as those exchanged with his successor William Finan, who became Acting Personnel Director upon Warner's resignation from that post.

Box 1

series I Box 1 Folder 1

Correspondence, Jan-June, 1933

series I Box 1 Folder 2

Correspondence, July-Sept, 1933

series I Box 1 Folder 3

Correspondence, Oct-Dec, 1933

series I Box 1 Folder 4

Correspondence, Jan-Mar, 1934

series I Box 1 Folder 5

Correspondence, Apr-May, 1934

series I Box 1 Folder 6

Correspondence, July-Dec, 1934

series I Box 1 Folder 7

Correspondence, Jan-June, 1935

series I Box 1 Folder 8

Correspondence, July-Dec, 1935

series I Box 1 Folder 9

Correspondence, 1936

series I Box 1 Folder 10

Correspondence, Jan-June, 1937

series I Box 1 Folder 11

Correspondence, July-Sept, 1937

series I Box 1 Folder 12

Correspondence, Oct-Dec, 1937

series I Box 1 Folder 13

Correspondence, Jan-Mar, 1938

series I Box 1 Folder 14

Correspondence, Apr-June, 1938

series I Box 1 Folder 15

Correspondence, July-Sept, 1938

series I Box 1 Folder 16

Correspondence, Oct-Dec, 1938

series I Box 1 Folder 17

Correspondence, 1939-1966

series I Box 1 Folder 18

Correspondence, n.d.

series I Box 1 Folder 19

Formal black and white portrait of Ewing P. Pyeatt, Vice-President and Cashier of the McIlroy Bank and Trust Company of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Warner asked Pyeatt, a member of the ACSC 1937-38, to submit the photograph., 1937 4 1/2" x 3 1/8"

series II: Arkansas Civil Service Commission

In 1937, Arkansas was the first state in the South to enact a Merit System, the Arkansas Civil Service Commission (ACSC), only to repeal that system in 1939. The spoils system which had been in effect until the creation of the ACSC had led to serious abuses, with turnovers of almost one hundred per cent in state offices common. Carl E. Bailey, an attorney from Missouri, made reform of the system a political issue when running for governor in 1936. With Bailey's victory, Dr. Kenneth O. Warner, consultant with the American Municipal Association, assisted the governor-elect with technical advice on how to set up the ACSC. Bailey named G. DeMatt Henderson, Louis McDaniel, and E. P. Pyeatt as commissioners on the ACSC, with Kenneth O. Warner as Personnel Director. The Plan became law on July 1, 1937.

The death of Senator Joseph T. Robinson in 1937 was to have a disastrous effect on the ACSC. Bailey wanted to inherit Robinson's seat, but the new law forbade state employees to donate money and to campaign. Bailey, defeated in a senatorial race by Congressman John E. Miller, resented the ACSC bitterly and was determined to have it repealed. It was in fact repealed in 1939.

Box 2

series II Box 2 Folder 1

Civil Service Law, Rules, 1937-1938

series II Box 2 Folder 2

Affidavits, Sept 7, 1938

series II Box 2 Folder 3

Classification  Plan  for the State of Arkansas, - April 1938

series II Box 2 Folder 4

Job Descriptions, ca. 1937-1938

series II Box 2 Folder 5

Report  to  the  Civil Service Commission - 1st Quarter, July 1, 1937-Oct 1, 1937

series II Box 2 Folder 6

Report  to  the  Civil Service Commission - 1st Quarter, July 1, 1938-Sept 30, 1938

series II Box 2 Folder 7

Report to the Civil Service Commission - 1st Annual Report, 1-Jul-38

series II Box 2 Folder 8

Report of the Organization and Installation of a System for Personnel Administration, June 1938

Box 3

series II Box 3 Folder 1

Financial Data, 1937-1938

series II Box 3 Folder 2

Decrees, ca. 1937-1938

series II Box 3 Folder 3

Minutes of Meetings, 1937-1938

series II Box 3 Folder 4

J. J. Donovan, draft of address re. ACSC, incomplete, ca. 1937-1938

series II Box 3 Folder 5

Louis McDaniel, "What Civil Service Means to Arkansas," draft of address, ca. 1937-1938

series II Box 3 Folder 6

Kenneth O. Warner, "The Arkansas Story," draft of address before Southern Region of the Public Personnel Association in Hot Springs, April or May, 1966

series II Box 3 Folder 7

Press Releases, ca. 1937

series II Box 3 Folder 8

Clippings, photocopies, 1937-1938

series III: State and Local Government

Warner's interest in state and local government is exemplified by his leadership in the ACSC and in the Institute for County Officials, in his teaching activities, and in the publication of his textbook, Arkansas State and Local Government.

Box 3

series III Box 3 Folder 9

Arkansas State and Local Government, Table of Contents, reviews, n.d.

series III Box 3 Folder 10

Institute for County Officials, tentative programs, 1936

series III Box 3 Folder 11

Projected, edited centennial history of Arkansas women, ca. 1936

series III Box 3 Folder 12

League of Wisconsin Municipalities, resolution, n.d.

series IV: Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings, c. 1937-39

This scrapbook is a collection of short articles and editorials from Arkansas newspapers relevant to the ACSC, with one clipping on Elizabeth Thompson Warner, at that time an employee of the Arkansas State Welfare Board, who married Warner during his tenure as Personnel Director of the ACSC.  The clippings are from newspapers from all over Arkansas.

The scrapbook was previously identified as Volume I

Box 4

series IV Box 4 item 1

Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings, 1937-39

END OF COLLECTION