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Victor E. Wickersham Collection

Identifier: CAC-CC-056
The Wickersham Collection is comprised of 16.3 cubic feet of material. The materials date from 1938 through 1956 with the bulk covering the period 1950-1956. The collection contains numerous topics of interest for research, including water conservation, federal aid to Oklahoma education, and Indian affairs. There is also material on the growth of Clinton-Sherman and Altus Air Force Bases as well as work performed at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. A small number of photographs are included in the collection.


  • 1938-1956
  • Majority of material found in 1950-1956

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection (excluding the Oversized Series which is stored on-site), is stored off-site and requires prior notice to access. If you wish to view these materials, please contact the Congressional Archives staff to arrange an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use:

The University of Oklahoma asserts no claim of copyright over photographs in this collection taken by private citizens. Any publication of such photographs requires the consent of the copyright holder.


149.58 Linear Feet (293 containers)

Biographical Information:

Victor Eugene Wickersham was born on a farm near Lone Rock in Baxter County, Arkansas, on February 9, 1906. With his family, he moved to Greer County, Oklahoma, in 1915, where he attended public schools. At eighteen, he began two years' employment in the county clerk's office. He was elected Greer County clerk in 1926 and served in that capacity until 1935. In that year, he was named chief clerk for the state board of public affairs, serving for one year. He remained in the capital city as an Oklahoma City building contractor from 1937 to 1938, when he began selling insurance for the John Hancock Life Insurance Company.

After the death of Representative Sam Massingale, Wickersham won the special election to fill the Seventh District's congressional seat in 1941. Reelected in 1942 and 1944, he lost the Democratic nomination in the first post-World War II election to Preston E. Peden, a young attorney from Altus and returning war veteran. Wickersham remained in Washington, where he operated a real estate business and readied for a rematch. It came in 1948, and he defeated Peden by three thousand votes before winning the general election handily.

Re-elected in 1950, Wickersham became the last person to represent Oklahoma's Seventh District. The census of that year recorded a population decline of sufficient magnitude to cost the state two of its then eight congressional seats. In the redistricting that followed, Wickersham's district was folded into the new Sixth District. The vast district covered most of western Oklahoma and included portions of the old Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth districts. Wickersham, therefore, faced incumbent congressman Toby Morris, who had represented the old Sixth District. Wickersham won the 1952 contest for the new Sixth District seat and was reelected over much less serious opposition in 1954.

There then followed a series of tough campaigns with Morris. In 1956, Morris unseated him by a 5000-vote margin and won again in 1958--this time by 81 votes. In 1960, Wickersham reclaimed the Democratic nomination from Morris with a 402-vote edge. He then faced Republican Clyde A. Wheeler, Jr., in the heretofore dependably Democratic district. After what many regarded as partisan chicanery on the part of Democratic election officials, the official count favored Wickersham by fewer than a hundred votes. In 1962, Wickersham survived a close primary and general election (both against considerably weaker opponents) to earn his ninth congressional term. It was to be his last. Jed Johnson, Jr., the son of a former representative of the old Sixth District, beat Wickersham in the 1964 Democratic primary and did so again in 1966, finally ending his Washington tenure. This was not, however, the end of Wickersham's political career. His fellow citizens in Mangum, Oklahoma, sent him to the state legislature for eight years beginning in 1971. On his eighty-second birthday--February 9, 1988--he again took a seat in the state house. He occupied it only briefly as he died five weeks later on March 15, 1988, in Oklahoma City.

Arrangement of Materials:

This collection is arranged into 13 series. The Departmental Series is arranged alphabetically by the appropriate department then folder title followed by the date.The General Correspondence Series is arranged alphabetically.The Legislative Series is arranged chronologically by congress then alphabetically by committee name followed by the topic which is the remainder of the folder title.The Public Works Series is arranged alphabetically chronologically by congress then alphabetically by topic followed by chronologically by year.The Post Office Series is arranged alphabetically by town where the post office is located.The Legislative Correspondence is arranged alphabetically.The Personal Correspondence Series is arranged alphabetically by topic then chronologically by year.The Political Activity Series is roughly arranged into groups by material type.The Bills Series is arranged numerically by bill number as well as chronologically by date. The numbered bills are followed by more general legislation related materials.The Miscellaneous Series is grouped by material type and within material type groupings, some are arranged chronologically by year, alphabetically by folder title, and alphabetically by county. The Invitations and Printed Materials Series is arranged into two subseries: Invitations, Printed Material. The Invitations Subseries is arranged chronologically by year then grouped by invitation status: extended or accepted. The Printed Materials Subseries is roughly arranged into groups by material type. Some of the groups are arranged chronologically by year or alphabetically by geographic location.The Oversized Series is grouped by material type and then arranged chronologically by year.Many of the photographs in the Photograph Series are arranged into groups based on event or content.

Custodial History:

During the initial donation of the papers, the collection was split, with a substantial portion being donated to Wichita State University. In 2012 and agreement was reached between WSU and the Carl Albert Center to reunite the two halves of the collection at the University of Oklahoma.


Accruals and additions: October 20, 1981; June 2012. An addition to the collection was received in 2012 from Wichita State University.

2017 WSU Accural Metadata Integration

Lead Processing Archivist: Nathan Gerth

In 2017, Nathan Gerth integrated the WSU metadata into the finding aid as the "Addition" series.
Guide to the Victor E. Wickersham Collection
Finding Aid Authors: Robert Lay.
Language of description
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Revision Statements

  • Summer-Fall 2018: This revision statement applied new numbering and some adjusted description to all series of the collection. Archivist Rachel Henson consolidated, rehoused and renumbered the collection.

Repository Details

Part of the Carl Albert Center Congressional and Political Collections Repository

630 Parrington Oval
Room 202B
Norman Oklahoma 73109 United States