ERNEST D. ACKER PAPERS
1934-1983

East Tennessee State University
Archives of Appalachia
Box 70295
Johnson City, Tennessee 37614

E-mail: archives@etsu.edu
Telephone: (423) 439-4338


INTRODUCTION

Title: Ernest D. Acker Papers
Collection Number: Accession No. 161
Physical Description: 7.5 linear feet, 12 boxes
Creator: Ernest D. Acker
Repository:
Archives of Appalachia, East Tennessee State University


ADMINSTRATIVE INFORMATION

Provenance: The papers of Ernest D. Acker were donated to the Archives of Appalachia on June 1, 1983 in accordance with Acker's "Last Will and Testament." Jane Smith, Vice-President and Trust Officer, Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, Tennessee arranged the donation.

Restriction: The collection is restricted to use with the permission of the archives director, and the manuscripts are not to be copied.

Processing Information: Betti Davis completed processing and the papers were opened for research in 1987.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Ernest D. Acker was the youngest of three sons born to Martha B. and Dave C. Acker on October 1913 in Rockingham County, Virginia.

In 1939, with only a high school education, Acker established a walnut buying and processing business that in its first year did an estimated $100,000.00 in transactions.

Acker volunteered for military service in August of 1943. He was shipped overseas on October 1, 1944 and eventually saw action at Iwo Jima in February of 1945. The pressures of war and a failing business at home led to a mental breakdown and subsequently to a discharge for Acker on October 6, 1945.

When Acker returned home he began to rebuild his floundering business, and by the early fifties his company was doing as much as a half million dollars in business in good seasons. But then he began to have health and financial problems and was forced to sell his business at a loss. He moved to Florida where he supported himself by driving a cab.

Acker's father died in December 1959 and in his will left him only $100.00. Acker's attempt to break his parents' will led to a confrontation between Acker and his oldest brother, Ike. At one point Acker was arrested on a complaint sworn out by Ike. In November 1960 after spending one week in a Virginia jail, Acker was sent to a mental institution in Virginia; and on April 17, 1961 Acker was transferred to the main mental hospital at Chattahoochee, Florida. It was only through the intervention of the then governor of Florida, Ferris Bryant, that Acker was discharged on February 10, 1962. The deplorable conditions and inhuman treatment at these mental institutions remained in Acker's memories for the rest of his life. The manner in which he was committed with no one to represent him also plagued him through his life.

Information about Acker may be found in the February 1938 issue of Nations Business and in Who's Who in the South and Southwest in 1956.


SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The Acker collection contains correspondence, newsclippings, medical records, service records and related materials, manuscripts and notes, Republican mailing lists and related materials, petitions and appeals, personal reference letters, photographs, disabled veteran materials, Roosevelt speeches, certificates of gratitude, materials related to atheism, sales brochures regarding invention protection, a canceled check from Reader's Digest, resumes, household bills, legal documents, survey maps, Veteran's Administration (VA) papers, and business and financial papers.

Many of the papers in this collection were created by Acker in his attempt to secure a service related disability pension. His papers also reflect his life long interest in the fight for veterans rights and in the struggle to change commitment procedures and to improve both treatment and facilities for the mentally ill. Acker's manuscripts were based on his life experiences including an unhappy childhood, commitment to a mental institution, and an attempt to break his father's will. The papers in this collection date from 1934 to 1983.

Important subject and persons covered in the collection include:

Acker Black Walnut Corporation
Acker, Ernest D., 1913-1983
Acker Family
Dixie Walnut Shelling Company
Forest products industry
Mentally ill--Care
Psychiatric hospital care
Veterans--Medical care

 

 

SERIES DESCRIPTION


Series I, SUBJECT FILES, 1940-1983, Boxes 1-3.

This series consists of correspondence, newsclippings, political mailing lists, materials related to Acker's black walnut business, materials related to mental health and mental institutions, petitions and appeals for Acker's release from a Florida mental hospital, certificates of gratitude, Roosevelt speeches, disabled veterans materials, materials related to atheism, personal reference letters, canceled check from Reader's Digest, sales brochures about invention protection, and resumes. This series is arranged alphabetically by subject, and each subject file is arranged chronologically.

Series II, ERNEST ACKER'S MEDICAL AND VA PAPERS AND NOTES, 1943-1980, Box 4.

This series contains Acker's medical papers, including psychiatric evaluations, notes, commitment papers, personal reference letters, petitions and appeals, and a copy of the hearing before the Board of the Veteran's Administration. These papers are arranged by Acker in numerical order. The notes are to be found at the beginning of the series.

Series III, MANUSCRIPTS AND NOTES, 1975-1982, Boxes 5-9.

This series consists of two manuscripts (unpublished) in various stages of completion. There are four copies of the manuscript under the title Educated Thieves which includes a handwritten first draft. There are three copies of Broadway! 3 Miles which is a revised version of Educated Thieves. The third copy of Broadway! 3 Miles is the final and complete version of Acker's manuscripts.

The manuscripts are arranged by the author. The manuscript notes are undated and unidentifiable as to a particular manuscript. These papers have been grouped together and placed at the end of the series.

Series IV, BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL, 1934-1983, Boxes 10-11.

This series contains a daybook, tax returns, receipts, stock book of the Dixie Walnut Shelling Company (Acker's company), bills of sale, insurance papers, a copy of Acker's father's will, a copy of Acker's mother's will, survey maps of property deeded to Acker, correspondence from Acker's father's lawyer (George Aldhizer), resignation letters from three directors of the Board of Directors of the Acker Black Walnut Corporation, customer account sheets, ledgers, contracts, household bills, and a certificate of incorporation. With the exception of the household bills and the customer account sheets, this series remains as received. Household bills were removed from the general subject files, and the customer account sheets were changed only by placing them in chronological and then alphabetical order by account name. Acker's personal financial papers are placed at the beginning, followed by his business papers and then by the bound volumes of financial records. The business papers and bound volumes are arranged alphabetically by record type.

Series V, PHOTOGRAPHS AND BOOKJACKET, UNDATED, Box 12.

This series contains 11 photographs and three copies of the jacket of Acker's manuscript, Broadway! 3 Miles.

 

BOX AND FOLDER LIST


Series I, SUBJECT FILES, 1945-1981, Boxes 1-3.

Box 1

1. A. Correspondence, 1962-1988.
2. Abbitt, W. M., 1966.
3. Acker, Clarence (Mark), 1960-1968.
4. Acker, Dave, Undated.
5. Acker, Dorothy May Moore, 1967.
6. Acker, Jim, Preston, Travis, 1980-1981.
7. Acker, Ike, 1956-1967.
8. Acker, Ike Correspondence with Dr. R. U. Jard, 1965-1967.
9. Aldhizer, George, 1960-1975.
10. Almond, H. H., 1965-1975.
11. American Civil Liberties Union, 1980.
12. Atheist Fraternal Society, 1977.
13. Atkins, George, 1980-1981.
14. Armbrister, R. H., 1963.
15. Aurora Publishers, 1975-1977.
16. B. Correspondence, 1962-1980.
17. Baker, M. D., 196l.
18. Barneby, H. L., 1964-1966.
19. Barnum, Bruce, 1962-1980.
20. Barrington, Carol A., 1963-1970.
21. Beeson. D. R. Attorney, 1980-1981.
22. Black Walnut Business, 1945-1981.
23. Bowker Company, 1975.
24. Bradshaw, V. Stephen, 1961-1967.
25. Bryant, Farris, 1961-1981.
26. Bryant, William, 1962.
27. Byrd, Harry F., 1945-1962.
28. Byrd, Terry, 1981.
29. C. Correspondence, 1945-1962.
30. Carter Letters, 1980.
31. Carter Mailing List, 1981.
32. Certificates of Appreciation, 1977, 1978.
33. Cline, Alfred Ray, 1980-1981.
34. Cline, Rufus F., 1966.
35. Church of Gospel Ministry, Inc., 1980-1981.
36. Congressional Letters and Correspondence, 1963-1967.
37. Congressional Representatives, 1950-1971.
38. D. Correspondence, 1962-1983.
39. D'Alemberte, Don Attorney, 1961-1962.
40. Davis, C. Frank Attorney, 1971.
41. Davis, Mary, 1981.
42. Department of the Army, 1944-1975.
43. Department of the Navy, 1944-1975.
44. Disabled American Veterans, 1965-1983.
45. Donaldson, Kenneth D., 1962-1980.
46. Dunsmore Business College, 1962-1963.
47. Dye, Jim L., Attorney, 1962-1963.
48. E. Correspondence, 1963.
49. Earman, Dan, Attorney, 1962-1965.
50. Eastern Innovation and Imperial Inventors International, 1973- 1974.
51. East Tennessee State University Archives, 1980.
52. East Tennessee State University, Political Science Department, 1981.
53. Emillio, D. J., 1945.

Box 2

1. Fable, Robert C., 1967.
2. Fadley, Lonnie, 1966.
3. Fairfield, James, 1979-1980.
4. Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1962.
5. Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, 1962.
6. Florida State Hospital, 1960-1980.
7. Florida State Vocational Rehabilitation Board, 1965.
8. Foley, O. F., 1967.
9. Ford Foundation, 1963-1964.
10. Frankel, David, 1980-1981.
11. G. Correspondence, 1980-1981.
12. Glick Hotchkiss Clinic, 1962-1965.
13. Good, Ida, 1964.
14. Goodman, Jane, 1980.
15. Grossman, Dr. Mickey, 1982.
16. H. Correspondence, 1962-1981.
17. Hanger, Wallace C., 1962-1966.
18. Harman, Dr. Roy, 1980.
19. Harris, Bob R., 1979.
20. Hoover, Lawrence, Attorney, 1963-1965.
21. Industrial Flour and Abrasive Co., 1952-1956.
22. J. Correspondence, 1964-1981.
23. Johnson, Lyndon B., 1967.
24. Johnson, Richard, Attorney, 1980-1981.
25. K. Correspondence, 1962-1980.
26. Kline, Paul, 1962-1981.
27. L. Correspondence, 1962-1981.
28. Letters of Reference, 1943-1982.
29. Lewis, Evelyn Marselle, 1980-l981.
30. Lynn Jeffers Associates, l979.
31. M. Correspondence, 1962-1981.
32. Manuscript Returns, 1975-1976.
33. Marsh, John, 1963-1982.
34. McDaniels, Don, 1962-1967.
35. McGuire Veterans Hospital, 1962.
36. Mental Health, 1960-1967.
37. Mental Institutions, 1962-1967.
38. Meredith, Scott, Literary Agent, 1968.
39. Milford, Howard C., 1972.
40. Miller, Fred, 1964.
41. Missouri States Archives, 1980.
42. Mitchell, Walter, 1979-l980.
43. Mayers, Preston, 1980-l982.
44. Nicie, Dave, 1980.
45. Olson, Howard T., 1980.
46. P. Correspondence, 1965-1982.
47. Palmer, Rod (Mr. and Mrs.), 1968.
48. Paul, John A., 1966-1971.
49. Pepper, Claude, 1962.
50. Petitions and Appeals, 1961-1962.
51. Phillips, J. R. (Mrs. and Mrs.), 1961-1970.
52. Political Interests, 1966-1981.
53. Publishers Letters, 1976-1980.
54. Quillen, James H., 1980.

Box 3

l. R. Correspondence, 1962-1983.
2. Reader's Digest, 1967-1983.
3. Republican Party, 1967.
4. Rhea, Robert, 1965.
5. Richmond News Leader, 1967.
6. Riggs, Daniel, 1964.
7. Rockingham Memorial Hospital, 1963-1965.
8. Roosevelt, Franklin D., 1963.
9. S. Correspondence, 1962-1982.
10. Sellers, Frank, 1937-1981.
11. Sellers, J. S., 1980-1982.
12. Shark, D. Paul, 1962-1982.
13. Sherwood, Paul J., Attorney, 1978-1980.
14. Showalter, 1980-l981.
15. Shoun, Blaine, 1980.
16. Smith, Ruby Byrum, 1981.
17. Starke, Edward, 1962.
18. State Republican Headquarters, 1966.
19. T. Correspondence, 1967-1981.
20. Taylor, Ernest, Attorney, 1970-1980.
21. The Grafik Touch, 1980.
22. Thompson, John E., 1975-1977.
23. Thoreson, C. Douglas, Attorney, 1975-1977.
24. V. Correspondence, 1980-1981.
25. Veterans' Administration, 1956-1965.
26. Veterans of Foreign Wars, 1945-1981.
27. V. F. W. Political Action Committee, 1980.
28. Virginia Common Wealth Archives, 1981.
29. Virginia Employment Office, 1962.
30. Virginia State Library, 1981.
31. Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, 1965.
32. W. Correspondence, 1956-1981.
33. Welter, Alex, 1980-1981.
34. West Virginia State Archives, 1981.
35. Western State Hospital, 1956-1980.
36. White, Gerry, 1964-1966.
37. Who's Who in America, 1976.
38. Woods, Ruth Miller, 1983.
39. Z. Correspondence, 1980.

Series II, ERNEST ACKER'S MEDICAL AND VA PAPERS AND NOTES, 1943-1980, Box 4.

Box 4

1. Notes on Acker's Medical and VA Papers, 1943-1980
2. Ernest Acker's Medical Index, pp. 1-6, 1943-1980.
3. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 1-50, 1943-1952.
4. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 51-100, 1956-1961.
5. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 101-150, 1961-1962.
6. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 151-200, 1962-1963.
7. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 201-250, 1963-1964.
8. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 251-300, 1964.
9. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 301-350, 1964-1965.
10. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 351-400, 1965.
11. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 401-450, 1965-1966.
12. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 451-500, 1966-1970.
13. Acker's Medical and VA Papers, pp. 501-557, 1970-1980.

Series III, MANUSCRIPTS AND NOTES, 1975-1982, Boxes 5-9.

Box 5

1. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 1-4, Undated.
2. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 5-8, Undated.
3. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 9-12, Undated.
4. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 13-16, Undated.
5. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 17-20, Undated.
6. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 21-24, Undated.
7. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 25-28, Undated.
8. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 29-32, Undated.
9. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 33-36, Undated.
10. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 37-40, Undated.
11. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 41-44, Undated.
12. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 45-48, Undated.
13. Educated Thieves, MS#1, Chapters 49-50, Epilogue and Finis, Undated.

Box 6

1. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 1-5, Undated, first typing.
2. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 6-10, Undated.
3. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 11-15, Undated.
4. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 16-20, Undated.
5. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 21-25, Undated.
6. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 26-30, Undated.
7. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 31-35, Undated.
8. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 36-40, Undated.
9. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 41-45, Undated.
10. Educated Thieves, MS#2, Chapters 1-5, Undated, second typing.
11. Educated Thieves, MS#3, Chapters 6-10, Undated.
12. Educated Thieves, MS#3, Chapters 11-15, Undated.
13. Educated Thieves, MS#3, Chapters 16-20, Undated.
14. Educated Thieves, MS#3, Chapters 21-25, Undated.
15. Educated Thieves, MS#3, Chapters 26-30, Undated.
16. Educated Thieves, MS#3, Chapters 31-35, Undated.
17. Educated Thieves, MS#3, Chapters 36-38 and notes, Undated.

Box 7

1. Educated Thieves, MS#4, Chapters 1-5, Undated.
2. Educated Thieves, MS#4, Chapters 6-10, Undated.
3. Educated Thieves, MS#4, Chapters 11-15, Undated.
4. Educated Thieves, MS#4, Chapters 16-20, Undated.
5. Educated Thieves, MS#4, Chapters 21-25 with revisions, Undated.
6. Educated Thieves, MS#4, Chapters 26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33 and 34, Chapters 28 and 31 were missing, Undated.
7. Educated Thieves, MS#4, Chapters 35-40, Undated.
8. Educated Thieves, MS#4, Chapters 41, 42, 44 and 45, Chapter 43 was missing, Undated.
9. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 1-5, Undated Final and Complete.
10. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 6-10, Undated.
11. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 11-16, Undated.
12. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 16-20, Undated.
13. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 21-25, Undated.
14. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 26-30, Undated.
15. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 31-35, Undated.
16. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 36-40, Undated.
17. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 41-45, Undated.
18. Educated Thieves, MS#5, Chapters 46-50 plus Epilogue and Finis, Undated.

Box 8

1. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 1-5 with notes and revisions, undated.
2. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 6-10, Undated.
3. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 11-16, Undated.
4. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 17-20, Undated.
5. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 21-25, Undated.
6. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 26-30, Undated.
7. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 31 and 32, Undated.
8. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 1-5, Undated.
9. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 6-10, Undated.
10. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 11-15, Undated.
11. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 16-20, Undated.
12. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 21-15, Undated.
13. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#1, Chapters 31, 32 and Finis.

Box 9

1. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#2, Chapters 1-5, Undated, Final and Complete Version of Manuscript.
2. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#2, Chapters 6-10, Undated.
3. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#2, Chapters 11-15, Undated.
4. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#2, Chapters 16-20, Undated.
5. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#2, Chapters 21-25, Undated.
6. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#2, Chapters 26-30, Undated.
7. Broadway! 3 Miles, MS#2, Chapters 32, 32 and Finis, Undated.
8. Manuscript Notes, Undated.
9. Manuscript Notes, Undated.
10. Manuscript Notes, Undated.
11. Manuscript Notes, Undated.

Series IV, BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL, 1934-1983, Boxes 10-11.

Box 10

1. Acker's Personal, Business and Financial Papers, 1940-1983.
2. Black Walnut Customer Account Sheets, 1953.
3. Black Walnut Customer Account Sheets, A-M, 1954.
4. Black Walnut Customer Account Sheets, N-Z, 1954.
5. Black Walnut Customer Account Sheets, 1955.
6. Black Walnut Customer Account Sheets, 1956.
7. Day Book, 1936-1937.

Box 11

1. Account Book, 1936-1937.
2. Account Book, 1937-1938.
3. Account Book, 1937-1938.
4. Account Book, 1938.
5. Corporation Record Book, 1940-1943.
6. Ledger, 1934.
7. Ledger, 1937-1938.
8. Notebook with customer's names and addresses, Undated.

Series V, PHOTOGRAPHS AND BOOKJACKET, UNDATED, Box 12.

Box 12

1. Five 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" probably of Acker, four 3 1/2" x 4 1/4" probably of Acker and his house, one 5" x 7" of man and woman, and one 8" x 10" of a graduating class.
2. Three copies of the jacket of Acker's manuscript, Broadway! 3 Miles.

 

 

 

 

MTC 11/00