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Thomas C. Mathieu, Sr. papers

 Collection
Identifier: Collection 388

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of a wide variety of material relating to Mathieu's political career. The newspaper clippings, press releases, speeches and campaign material provide detailed information about his career and the projects he worked on. The collection is particularly strong in material relating to the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps, the Michigan Veterans Facility and senior citizen legislation. The photographs include a number of state and local politicians, particularly Governor Blanchard. A notable item in the collection is a program signed by President Gerald Ford and Betty Ford, from the groundbreaking for the Ford Presidential Museum.

Dates

  • 1968-2010

Creator

Biographical / Historical

Thomas C. Mathieu was born on December 2, 1936 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin to Clement and Florence Mathieu. The Mathieu family moved to Grand Rapids in the early 1940s and lived on the West Side. They later moved to a 40-acre farm on Knapp Street in Grand Rapids Township. After graduating from Catholic Central High School in 1954, Mathieu briefly attended Aquinas College. He left school to work at Leitelt Iron Works, where he became involved in the United Auto Workers union. Mathieu was elected Vice President of the Kent County Labor Council, was assistant to the editor of the Grand Valley Labor News and was awarded Labor's Man of the Year award in 1968.

Beginning in the 1960s, Mathieu was active in the West Side Advisory Council. He became director of the West Side Complex and in 1971 was promoted to Director of Community Development for the Kent Community Action Program. He resigned from that position on June 1, 1974 to run for State Representative in the 92nd district.

Mathieu served as a legislator in the Michigan State House of Representatives from 1975 through 1998. Mathieu was active during his time in the House and was involved in numerous bills, including the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (1976), the Mathieu-Gast Home Improvement Act (1978), the Home Heating Assistance Act, the Senior Prescription Drug Program and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Act.

Mathieu helped to secure funding for a number of local organizations, including the Ford Presidential Museum, the Michigan Veterans Facility, the Grand Valley State University Eberhard Center, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Mathieu was involved with community colleges across the state, and especially Grand Rapids Junior College (later Grand Rapids Community College). He also played a vital role in the reinstatement of the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps program and the establishment of the Michigan CCC Museum.

For more information about Mathieu, see his autobiography,“An Impelling Desire to Serve,” (Box 10 Folder 12)

Extent

9.75 Linear Feet (18 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

Thomas C. Mathieu, Sr. (1936-) was a Michigan State Representative from 1975 to 1998. He is known for his work with the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps, the Michigan Veterans Facility and Grand Rapids Community College. In addition, Mathieu secured funding for many local organizations, including Grand Valley State University, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Grand Rapids Public Museum. He also authored numerous bills, including the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (1976), the Mathieu-Gast Home Improvement Act (1978), the Home Heating Assistance Act, the Senior Prescription Drug Program and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Act. This collection contains papers, newspaper clippings and photographs relating to Mathieu's political career.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Thomas C. Mathieu, Sr., Accession Number 2011.042
Title
Finding Aid for the Thomas C. Mathieu, Sr. papers
Status
Completed
Author
Julie Tabberer
Date
April 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Grand Rapids History and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids Michigan 49503 USA