The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Richard T. Gosser Papers (1943-1974)

MSS-025

Size: 15 linear feet

Provenance: Ruth Ann Gosser Harrison donated the papers of her late husband to The Ward M. Canaday Center in 1981. She had removed and destroyed certain items from the collection which she felt were "too sensitive" before she made the donation.

Access: Open

Collection Summary: Collection includes Local 12 (Toledo) scrapbooks, with clippings from Toledo and Detroit general and labor newspapers, runs of United Auto Worker and Solidarity (1947-1963), interviews with long-time members of Local 12 (1963), and correspondence from the 1960s (primarily relating to a federal case against Gosser). Gosser's official UAW correspondence files and related items are housed in the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University, Detroit MI.

Subjects: Labor, Medicine and Health

Related Collections:  

Processing Note: None

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

Completed by: Paul M. Gifford, June 1986; reformatted by Arjun Sabharwal and Tamara Jones, October 2011; last updated: June, 2014

 

 

Biographical Timeline

 

1900, Dec. 13

born in Toledo, son of James E. Gosser, a railroad switchman and yardmaster, and Mary (Bradly) Gosser

1918

began working at Willys-Overland

1919-1921

served 30 months in Ionia (Michigan) reformatory

1921

resumed working as electrician at Willys-Overland

1924

promoted to assistant chief electrician (foreman)

1933-1934

involved in organizing union at Willys-Overland

1935

joined the United Automobile. Aircraft, Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW); demoted from his job

1937

elected union chairman of Willys-Overland

1938-1942

president of Local 12, UAW, Toledo

1942-1947

director of Region 2B, UAW-CIO; member of International UAW-CIO Board

1947

founded children's summer camp for Local 12 children

1947-1963

international vice-president for skilled trades, UAW-CIO/UAW-AFL-CIO

1950

married Ruth Ann

1954

an organizer of the Toledo Industrial Development Council

1955

founded Willys Unit Diagnostic Clinic

1955-1967

member of Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority

1959

testified before the McClellan Committee of the U. S. Senate in regard to his personal affairs and administration of the UAW

1962

indicted before grand jury on charges of conspiracy; Gosser had obtained a confidential Internal Revenue Service report on his personal finances

1963

Willys Unit Diagnostic Clinic became independent as Toledo Health and Retiree Center, Inc., with Gosser as consultant

1965

U. S. Supreme Court upheld his conviction

1965-1966

served a one-year term in the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, Missouri

1969

died in Toledo

Scope and Content Note

As local president, regional director and international vice-president of the United Automobile, Aircraft, Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW-CIO, UAW-AFL-CIO). Richard 'T. Gosser carried a lot of weight in Toledo. He forged alliances with Democratic Party figures and business leaders in Toledo. As a result, he found himself sitting on the wrong side of the political fence more than once. In his role as labor advocate, Gosser pursued negotiations with the Willys-Overland Corporation, yet maintained cordial relations with its chief officers. Henry J. and Edgar Kaiser.

The Gosser Papers, although they cover a range of thirty years, do not fully document Gosser's career. Internal UAW circular letters and Local 12 correspondence, for example, are conspicuously absent. On the other hand, the Local 12 scrapbooks, with clippings largely from Toledo and Detroit general and labor newspapers, do record the public activities of both local and international unions. Other UAW material deals with proposals for union-owned television stations with state political activity1 and with Gosser’s resignation. The series of international executive board minutes, of the proceedings of the constitutional conventions and the runs of United Auto Worker and Solidarity together form an invaluable.  If not unique, source for the union's international activity from 1947 to 1963. Finally, a group of interviews collected about 1963 from tong-time members of Local 12 recount the local's formation and earl y struggles.
Related to the UAW material are files from Gosser's service as consultant to the Toledo Health and Retiree Center, a clinic originally established by Gosser for Local 12 members but, since 1963, open to all -Other personal interests which are reflected in this collection are the advocacy of retirement at sixty, contained in the material on Sixty Now, and summer recreation for children of union members, exemplified by the material on the Children's Summer Camp in Onsted, Michigan.

The bulk of the material in the Gosser Papers dates from the 1900$. Prominent correspondents include Charles Ballard and Thomas Ludlow Ashley. During this period, the last decade of his life, Gosser's most troubling concern was a case against him, his assistant Donald J. Pincotti, and Toledo numbers racketeer Ted Maison, on charges of conspiring to take a confidential report of an investigation into Gosser's finances from the Internal Revenue Service. Toledo trade unionists made the case a cause célèbre in their efforts to obtain clemency and pardon for Gosser. Although the case estranged Gosser from Walter Reuther and the international leadership of the UAW, many other leaders of labor and other causes wrote letters in defense of Gosser to the President.

There is other material useful for the study of postwar economic development in Toledo. This includes publications of the Toledo Industrial Development Council (1939, 1949) and a handbook of the Toledo Area Development Corporation (1962). The relations between individuals in Toledo labor unions, party politics, newspapers, and business can be studied through the use of different items in this collection. Gosser was known as a man with both many friends and many enemies. His collection, although not comprehensive in the representation of his entire career, does reveal the political power he had in his community.

Note: Gosser's official UAW correspondence files and related items are housed in the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.

Folder and Box listing

Box

Folder

Description

     

1

 

United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Local 12, Toledo

               
 

1

 

Correspondence,  press releases, etc.

 

2

 

Historical articles

 
 

3

 

Reports and summary of International

       

Executive Board: Action re Toledo Situation, 1950

 

4

 

McClellan Committee subpoena of Gosser, 1959

 

5

 

Reports, correspondence and press releases on Gosser case, 1962-1963

 

6

 

Master plan for television station in Toledo, 1952

               
 

7

 

Master plan for television station in Detroit, 1952

               
 

8

 

Political program recommendation, 1961

   

Toledo Health and Retiree Center, Inc

 

9

 

Board of Governors - constitution and minutes, 

       

###

     
 

10

 

Charles Ballard, president - correspondence, 1965-1969

 

11

 

Annual reports, 1963-1973

     

Correspondence

 
 

12

   

March-September 1965

 

13

   

October 1965

 
 

14

   

November-December 1965

 

15

 

Financial reports, 1972-1973

 

16

 

Extended Care Center

 
 

17

 

Hill-Burton Program

 
 

18

 

Miscellaneous

   
 

19

Sixty Now, Inc.

   
 

20

Children's Summer Camp, Inc.

 

21

Richard T. Gosser Scholarship

   

Personal

       
     

Correspondence

 
 

22

   

1961-1964

   
 

23

   

1965-1967

   
 

24

   

1966 (while in prison)

 

25

   

1968-1969

   
               

2

1

 

Dick Gosser Day, Dec. 13, 1960

 

2

 

Testimonial dinner, June 18, 1964

 

3

 

Homecoming party, Dec. 4, 1966

 

4

 

Biography, 1963

   
   

Personal (cont.)

   
     

United States vs. Gosser et. al.

 

5

   

Indictment, orders, petitions and other documents

 

6

   

Lawyers' correspondence, 1963-1965

 

7

   

Memoranda, reports, etc.

 

8

   

Statements and affidavits (1)

 

9

   

(2)

     
 

10

   

Medical reports

 
 

11

   

Letters to the President and Congressmen regarding commutation

 

12

   

Motion for new trial, 1966

 

13

   

Parole

   
 

14

   

Civil Liberties Committee - correspondence 1963-1967

 

15

   

Toledo and Northwestern Ohio Civil Liberties Union

       

Trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Western Division, 1963

 

16

     

General entry for judgment and commitment

         

Transcript

 
 

17

       

Volume 1

 

18

       

Volume 2

 

19

       

Volume 3

               

3

1

       

Volume 4

 

2

       

Volume 5

 

3

       

Volume 6

 

4

     

Motion for a new trial, 1963

 

5

     

Oral arguments of counsel and sentencing of the defendants

 

6

     

Hearing on motion to suppress evidence and return of property

       

Trial in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit, 1964

         

Brief of appellant

         

Appellant's index

         

Reply brief of appellant Gosser

         

Petition for rehearing

       

Trial in the Supreme Court of the United States, 1964-1965

         

Petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit

         

Petition for rehearing of order denying certiorari

         

Brief for the U.S. in opposition

         

Petitioner's reply

 

7

 

Certificates, resolutions, etc.

 

*

 

Portrait

     
 

8

 

Photographs

   
 

9

 

Miscellaneous

   
     

Newspaper clippings

 
       

General

   
 

10

     

1953-1962

 
 

11

     

1963-1969

 
 

12

   

Sixty Now

   
 

13

   

From prison term, 1966

 

14

 

Scrapbook from prison term, 1966

   

Scrapbooks

     
     

Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. - Army-Navy "E" Award Program, Jan, 28, 1943

     

United Auto Workers - [AFL] - CIO

 

^

   

Political action literature - 1948 campaign

               

4

     

Local 12, Toledo

 
         

Mar. 1947-Feb. 1950

         

Mar. 1950-Apr. 1951

         

Dec. 1951-Mar. 1953

         

Mar. 1953-Oct. 1954

         

Jan. 1955-Nov. 1956

         

Nov. 1956-Nov. 1958

         

Dec. 1958-Sept. 1960

         

June 1960-Mar. 1963

         

June 1963-Sept. 1964

         

Oct. 1965-Apr. 1967

               

5

 

Published material

   
     

United Auto Workers - [AFL]- CIO

       

International Executive Board - Minutes

         

1947

   
           

June 9-13

           

Sept. 22-24

           

Nov. 7-8

           

Nov. 28-Dec. 1

         

1948

   
           

Jan. 15-16

           

Mar. 1-5

               

6

         

Mar. 30

           

Apr. 20

           

May 27-28

           

June 7-11

           

Sept. 13-15

           

Nov. 14-15

               

7

         

Nov. 29-Dec. 2

         

1949

   
           

Jan. 10-11

           

Jan. 12-13

           

Feb. 3, 19; July 16; Sept. 21, 27-29

           

Mar. 14-18

           

Apr. 28

               

8

         

May 3

           

June 6-10

           

July 7-9

           

Aug. 9-12

           

Oct. 24-28

         

1950

   
           

Jan. 23-27

           

Apr. 24-28; June 22

         

1950

   
           

Sept. 11-15

           

Nov. 17-18; Dec. 11-14

         

1951

   
           

Jan. 30-31; Feb. 1-2

               

9

         

Feb. 17-24; Mar. 29-30; Apr. 7

           

May 7-11

           

June 8-9

           

June 28; Aug. 27; Sept. 13

           

Oct. 8-12, 16

           

Dec. 4-5

         

1952

   
           

Feb. 4-8

           

Mar. 13-14

           

May 19-23

           

Aug. 12; Sept. 15-18

               

10

             
         

1953

   
           

Jan. 13-16; Feb. 12-13; Mar. 27; Apr. 17

           

Apr. 28-May 1

           

May 27, 29; July 7

           

Sept. 8-11

         

1954

   
           

Jan. 18-21

           

Feb. 22-23

           

Mar. 9-10; Apr. 8

           

May 3-7

           

May 26; June 8; July 23; Oct. 8

           

Sept. 20-24

         

1955

   
           

Jan 5-7, 10-11

           

Apr. 25-29

           

July 6-8

           

Sept. 27; Nov. 8

               

11

         

Oct. 3-7

         

1956

   
           

Jan. 9-11

           

Mar. 26; Apr. 9; June 15; July 2; Oct. 10; Dec. 9

           

May 1-4

           

Sept. 10-14

           

Nov. 26-30

         

1957

   
           

Jan. 18; Feb. 12, 19; Apr. 5, 12

           

Mar. 6-8; Aug. 16; Nov. 12

           

Apr. 17; May 3,6; July 1

           

May 13-17

           

Oct. 7-11

         

1958

   
           

Jan. 7-12

           

Apr. 22-25

               

12

       

1961

   
           

Jan. 21; Mar. 5-6; Apr. 22; June 3, 13, 25

         

1962

   
           

Dec. 4-6

       

Constitutional conventions

         

11th, Nov. 9-14, 1947 - Proceedings

         

12th, July 10-15, 1949

           

Proceedings

           

Report of the President

         

13th, Apr. 1-6, 1951

           

Proceedings

           

Report of the President

         

14th, Mar. 22-27, 1953

           

Proceedings

           

Report of the President

           

Resolutions and reports

         

15th, Mar. 27-Apr. 1, 1955

           

Proceedings

           

Report of the President

         

16th, Apr. 7-12, 1957

           

Proceedings

         

Special, Jan. 22-24, 1958

         

17th, Oct. 9-16, 1959

           

Proceedings

           

Report of the President

           

Resolutions

         

18th, May 4-10, 1962

           

Proceedings

           

Report of the President

             

Part 1 - UAW in action

             

Part 2 - Economic conditions

             

Part 3 - Departmental reports

               

13

       

21st, May 4-10, 1968 - Proceedings

     

Congress of Industrial Organizations

       

Proceedings of constitutional conventions

         

9th, Oct. 13-17, 1947

         

10th, Nov. 22-26, 1948

         

12th, Nov. 20-24, 1950

         

13th, Nov. 5-9, 1951

         

14th, Dec. 1-4, 1952

         

15th, Nov. 16-20, 1953

         

17th, Dec. 1-2, 1955

     

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations

       

Proceedings of constitutional conventions

         

1957 (2 volumes)

         

3rd, 1959 (2 volumes)

       

Industrial Union Department - Proceedings of 2nd constitutional convention, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 1957

     

Toledo Area Development Corp., Toledo Technical Handbook (1962)

     

Toledo Industrial Union Council (C.I.O.)

       

Year Books, 1939, 1949

     

Miscellaneous

   
               

^ SEPARATE

 

United Automobile Worker

   VOLUMES

   

1942

   
       

1943

   
       

1947

   
       

1948

   
       

1949

   
       

1950

   
       

1951

   
       

1952

   
       

1953

   
       

1954

   
       

1955

   
       

1956

   
       

1957

   
     

Solidarity: Michigan Edition

       

Dec. 16, 1957-Dec. 22, 1958

       

1959

   
       

1960

   
       

1961

   
       

1962

   
       

1963

   
               
               
               
               
 

*=oversize cabinet, drawer 1

   
 

^=oversize area

       
 

**=locked cabinet

       
 

R-4=range four

       

 

 

 

Last Updated: 6/19/14