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Thomas Corwin Herndon Papers,1925-1977

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Processed by Dianne Bryant; machine-readable finding aid created by Hilary Writt


Thomas Corwin Herndon Papers




Eastern Kentucky University ArchivesRichmond, Kentucky 40475-3102

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Thomas Corwin Herndon Papers, 93A4, University Archives, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond.


1 cubic foot, 1,500 items, 3 boxes and 1 wrapped packet


Thomas Corwin Herndon was born on October 27, 1898, in Logan County, Kentucky. He was married on October 15, 1925, to Lucille Hays. Together they had one daughter, Nina Sue (Mrs.Edgar Louis Adams).

His educational experience consisted of an A.A. degree from Bethel College (Hopkinsville, Kentucky), in 1921; a B.S. degree from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, in 1923; M.A. degree from George Peabody College of Nashville, Tennessee, in 1926; attended the University of Chicago in 1928; and received his Ph.D. from George Peabody College for Teachers in 1930.

Dr. Herndon's work experience included teaching high school science in Bristol, Tennessee, during the spring term of 1923, and at Middlesboro, Kentucky, from 1923 to 1924. He taught chemistry at Bethel College from 1924 to 1926 and returned to teaching high school chemistry in Knoxville, Tennessee, from 1926 to 1927. He taught chemistry during the regular fall and spring semesters at Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College while teaching chemistry at George Peabody College during the summers from 1928 to 1930. He was hired on a permanent basis at Eastern

Kentucky State Teachers College, later to become Eastern Kentucky University, and remained there until his retirement in 1967. Dr. Herndon was named chair of the chemistry department in1947.

Prior to beginning his education, Dr. Herndon served in the U.S. Army from April 24, 1917, until July 29, 1919. He was overseas during World War I from October 2, 1918, to July 17, 1919.

Clubs and honor societies to which Dr. Herndon belonged included the Kentucky Academy of Science, American Chemistry Society, Phi Delta Kappa, Alpha Chi Sigma, Kentucky Civil War Roundtable, Richmond Torch Club, the Richmond Lions Club, and he was an Elder of the First Christian Church of Richmond, Kentucky. In 1948, Dr. Herndon was selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as one of six American educators to attend the UNESCO Seminar on the Education and Training of Teachers. The seminar was held at Ashridge College of Citizenship in Berkhamsted, Herts, England. The seminar was held from July 15 to August 25. During his stay, Dr. Herndon made many friends among the 47 educators selected from 24 countries. As reflected in the correspondence series, Dr. Herndon corresponded with several of these educators as late as 1977. Dr. Herndon died at the Pattie A. Clay Hospital on August 15, 1987.

Scope and Content

The Eastern Kentucky University Archives acquired the personal papers of Dr. Thomas Corwin Herndon in 1978. Unfortunately, the papers are rather incomplete and offer little information on Dr. Herndon's many years as a professor of chemistry at Eastern Kentucky University. Of particular interest is the documentation of his participation in a United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) education seminar held in England in 1948. Dr.Herndon devoted a great deal of time to his teaching and encouraging students to make a career in chemistry. He did little research and writing beyond his dissertation and an article in The Journal of Scientific Instruments (1945). From 1946 to 1977, Dr. Herndon served as Richmond's official weather observer. All of the weather observer records have been preserved and constitute a rich source of climatological data.

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to Eastern Kentucky University.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence Series
Scope and Content Note:

The correspondence series consists of two folders, the first of which contains personal correspondence from and to Dr. Herndon including a series of letters to and from Herman Lee Donovan (president of Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College, 1928 to 1941) regarding Dr. Herndon's employment with the college during January and February of 1930. The personal letters are arranged chronologically and date from the 1930 to 1973. The second folder contains Christmas correspondence dating from 1948 to 1977.

Personal correspondence - 1930 - 1973
[box: 1, folder: 1]
Christmas correspondence - 1948 - 1977
[box: 1, folder: 2]
Miscellaneous Series
Scope and Content Note:

The Miscellaneous Series includes various certificates, employment agreements, newspaper clippings, and items from Dr. and Mrs. Herndon's 1963 European tour. The items are chronologically arranged.

Certificate of admission to the University of Chicago, November 11, 1927
[box: 1, folder: 1]
University of Chicago Record Card, Spring Term, 1928
[box: 1, folder: 2]
University of Chicago Record Card, Winter Term, 1928
[box: 1, folder: 3]
Three Memorandums of Agreement (employment contracts) from Eastern KY State Teachers College, Richmond, KY--March 26, 1930; March 14, 1931; July 19, 1932
[box: 1, folder: 4]
Newspaper clipping of Mountain Laurel Festival, Clear Creek, Kentucky. From the Louisville Courier-Journal, June 14, 1931
[box: 1, folder: 5]
Newspaper clipping of unknown children. From the Louisville Courier-Journal, June 14, 1931
[box: 1, folder: 6]
Pamphlet. UNESCO Seminar on Edu. & Training of Teachers. Reprinted from Forum of Edu., vol. VII, no. 2, Nov 1948, pp. 49-59. Signed by author, C.R. McRae, September 12, 1948
[box: 1, folder: 7]
Two copies of The Newsletter of the Council on Cooperation in Teacher Education.Containing information on the Ashridge Seminar, October 1948
[box: 1, folder: 8]
Newspaper clipping featuring Dr. Herndon, Prof. Meredith J. Cox, Dr. H.H. LaFuze, and Dr.J.G. Black in preparation for testing Kentucky high school science students. Source unknown, March 1961
[box: 1, folder: 9]
Eastern Kentucky State College news release pertaining to Dr. Herndon's weather observer position, January 25, 1962
[box: 1, folder: 10]
Photograph clipping from unknown source at Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College regarding visit to Dr. Herndon by Dr. Billy Gene Creech, head of Clinical Bio-chemistry Division, Lipid Research Center, at Baylor University Medical School in Houston, Texas. Fall 1962
[box: 1, folder: 11]
Itinerary of Dr. and Mrs. Herndon's European Tour, 1963
[box: 1, folder: 12]
Travel book/diary of Dr. and Mrs. Herndon's European Tour, 1963
[box: 1, folder: 13]
Newspaper clipping of Dr. Herndon and large gourd grown in his backyard. From the Richmond Daily Register, October 23, 1963
[box: 1, folder: 14]
Newspaper clipping announcing Dr. Herndon's appointment as acting head of the department of chemistry at Eastern Kentucky University. From the Richmond Daily Register, 1965
[box: 1, folder: 15]
Newspaper clipping of letter from Dr. Herndon to columnist Allan M. Trout. From the Louisville Courier Journal, July 21, 1966
[box: 1, folder: 16]
Commencement announcement from Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Kentucky. Dr.Herndon's "last commencement."
[box: 1, folder: 17]
Clipping from "Eastern"--Eastern Kentucky University Alumni Publication regarding naming of Thomas C. Herndon Lounge, October 15, 1971
[box: 1, folder: 18]
Clipping from the Richmond Daily Register, November 1, 1971, regarding Dr. Herndon's weather station gear
[box: 1, folder: 19]
Clipping from the Richmond Daily Register, July 15, 1977 announcing Dr. Herndon's retirement as official U.S. weather observer for Richmond
[box: 1, folder: 20]
Clipping from the Richmond Daily Register, July 15, 1977, showing Dr. Herndon and Charles T. (Turkey) Hughes being presented with 50-year certificates to Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity
[box: 1, folder: 21]
Clipping from the Richmond Daily Register, December 1, 1977, Richmond, Kentucky featuring article of Dr. Herndon's service as official U.S. weather observer
[box: 1, folder: 22]
Poem, "The Scientific Method," dedicated to Dr. Herndon, July 15, 1965
[box: 1, folder: 23]
Dr. Herndon's calling card with Christmas wish, date unknown
[box: 1, folder: 24]
Photograph Series
Scope and Content Note:

The photograph series consists of one box of black and white prints of personal photographs belonging to Dr. Thomas C. Herndon. There is one folder of grouped and numbered pictures.

Lucille Hays and Thomas C. Herndon, July 1925, prior to their wedding in October 1925
[box: 1, folder: 1]
Dr. Herndon in doctoral cap and gown, August 25, 1930
[box: 1, folder: 2]
Head shot. Unidentified photograph inserted in Dr. Herndon's doctoral dissertation, ca. 1930
[box: 1, folder: 3]
Group photograph of Dr. Herndon, as sponsor, with Eastern Kentucky University Jr. Class Officers, R. Goodlet, Vice President, F. Flanagan, President, J. Trent, Secretary, and M. Walker, Treasurer, ca. 1941
[box: 1, folder: 4]
Col. Kearns, Thomas C. Herndon, ?, Lucille Hays Herndon en route, Cherbourg to New York, October 12 or 13, 1963
[box: 1, folder: 5]
Lucille Hays and Thomas C. Herndon sightseeing in Stockholm, September 1963
[box: 1, folder: 6]
Dr. Herndon with weather equipment. Newspaper shot for article appearing in the Richmond Daily Register, December 1, 1967
[box: 1, folder: 7]
Scrapbook Series
Scope and Content Note:

The scrapbook series consists of one large scrapbook which contains Dr. Herndon's memorabilia from the UNESCO Seminar on the Education and Training of Teachers held at Ashridge College of Citizenship, Berkhamstead, Herts, England. The seminar was held from July 15 to August 25, 1948, and included educators from several nations. Dr. Herndon was one of six educators selected to attend from the United States. Among the memorabilia are Dr.Herndon's telegraphs of notification of acceptance, plane tickets, numerous photographs and postcards, seminar schedules, and souvenirs from England.

Wrapped Packet
[box: 1, folder: 1]
Scrapbook: 1948
[box: 1, folder: 2]
Weather Observer Record Series
Scope and Content Note:

The weather observer record series consists of thirty climatological observers' meteorological records covering the years 1946 to 1977 in which Dr. Herndon compiled Richmond, Kentucky, weather data. These data were forwarded monthly to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Weather Bureau.

The June 1977 record includes Dr. Herndon's note regarding his retirement as official weather observer for Richmond after thirty-one plus years. Also included are miscellaneous weather items arranged chronologically.

Weather Observers' Records. May 1946 - September 1957
[box: 2, folder: 1]
Weather Observers' Records. October 1957 - January 1968
[box: 2, folder: 2]
Weather Observers' Records. February 1968 to June 1977
[box: 2, folder: 3]
Miscellaneous collection of correspondence with the U.S. Department of Commerce, Weather Bureau and weather record summaries dated 1950-1967. August, 1959
[box: 2, folder: 4]
Kentucky Climatological Data Report. April, 1961
[box: 2, folder: 5]
U.S. Department of Commerce Weather Bureau Cooperative Observer Cooperative Newsletter.February, 1962
[box: 2, folder: 6]
Writing/Speech Series
Scope and Content Note:

The writing/speech series consists of thirteen items-- four tributes and eulogies inclusive. The writings are generally from Dr. Herndon's own educational experience and range in date from 1926 to 1945. The writings are arranged in chronological order.

A Study of Calcium Acetate-Alcogel. Master of Arts Thesis, George Peabody College for Teachers, August 1926
[box: 3, folder: 1]
Francis Bacon. Term paper, Fall quarter, 1929
[box: 3, folder: 2]
Written preliminary examination in chemistry, December 2, 1929
[box: 3, folder: 3]
Written Preliminaries in Teachers College Education, December 4, 1929
[box: 3, folder: 4]
A Study of the Benzaldehyde Electrode. Original manuscript of Dr. Herndon's doctoral dissertation
[box: 3, folder: 5]
"The Administration of Chemistry in State Teachers' Colleges." Reprint from Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 9. no. 8, 1932
[box: 3, folder: 6]
"Refractometer." Reprint from The Journal of Scientific Instruments, vol. 16, no. 12, December,1945
[box: 3, folder: 7]
Tribute to W. A. Ault--date unknown
[box: 3, folder: 8]
Eulogy to Keen Johnson--date unknown
[box: 3, folder: 9]
Remarks concerning Miss Maude Gibson at dedication of the Gibson Building at Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College, Richmond, Kentucky, March 21, 1962
[box: 3, folder: 10]
"Dr. W. J. Moore--As I have Known Him," June 25, 1965
[box: 3, folder: 11]

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