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William A. Waldron personal papers

Identifier: SCA-0237

Content Description

The William A. Waldron personal papers include records of his work for the New York State Assembly and Constitutional Convention, the War Labor Board, class notes taken while a student at Union College, state and federal government publications, materials prepared for a Union College class reunion and correspondence. A small amount of material from his father, Charles N. Waldron, is also included and contains photographs, printed materials and news clippings.


  • 1902 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical Note

William A. Waldron was born in Schenectady, New York on August 1, 1913. He graduated from Union College in 1935. Later, he earned degrees in Political Economy and Law from Harvard University. Before practicing law, Waldron served on the staffs of the New York State Assembly and Constitutional Convention in 1938. During the Second World War, William served in the Department of Justice as an Assistant Attorney (1942); as Mediation Officer (1942-1943) and as Regional Attorney for the National War Labor Board (1944-1945). In 1953 he succeeded former Congressman Thomas H. Eliot as executive director of the Massachusetts Special Commission on the Structure of State Government. Later he served as commissioner of administration for Governor Endicott Peabody, a special assistant attorney general, and a special counsel to the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives. In the town of Wayland, he was chairman of the School Committee and held other offices. In 1975, Mr. Waldron organized the legal affairs of the Massachusetts General Hospital and he joined the Hospital's staff as its first full-time general counsel. He retired in 1981. He was a trustee of Union College from 1959-1975 and was the receipient of the Union College Alumni Gold Medal. Active in alumni relations as well as planning class reunions, he maintained life-long bonds with Union College. He died in 2009.

Administrative History

During World War II, the Federal Government, in close cooperation with unions and employers throughout the country, undertook two vital functions affecting industrial relations: the settlement of labor disputes which endangered the war effort and the stabilization of wages as an integral part of the overall program to prevent inflation.

During most of its life, the National War Board functioned outside of the Department of Labor. Short after V-J Day, the President by Executive Order incorporated the Board within the Departmental structure. But throughout the war, various divisions of the Department played vitally important roles. The Conciliation Service worked on an intimate basis with the staff of the Board in the settlement of numerous disputes. The Wage and Hour and Public Contracts Division played a major role in both the administration and enforcement of the wage stabilization program. The Bureau of Labor Statistics was the primary fact-finding agency of the Board, furnishing, above all, the bulk of the wage data essential to the Board's dispute settlement and wage stabilization functions.

The principal factors that made possible the War Labor Board of World War II were the no-strike, no-lockout agreement of the December Conference, substituting peaceful adjudication by the War Labor Board for the picket line, and the tripartite composition of the Board. In the fall of 1940 and the early spring of 1941, labor-management disputes had resulted in numerous and serious strikes which were alarmingly impeding the defense effort then getting under way. It was in these circumstances that the national Defense Mediation Board initiated the idea of trying to get strikers back to work before the dispute was settled; asking for resumption of defense production on the understanding that the case would be submitted by the parties to the Board for investigation and that the conditions of employment would continue without change during the investigation.


6.68 Cubic Feet

8 Boxes

Language of Materials



The papers are arranged as four series and are arranged chronologically with the exception of War Labor Board series which is maintained in its original order.

Series 1: New York State Assembly and Constitutional Convention, 1935-1941.

Seriee 2: War Labor Board, 1941-1947.

Series 3: Union College, 1903-2000.

Series 4: Correspondence, 1902-2004.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by William A. Waldron in multiple donations between 1984 or earlier and 2004.

Processing Information

In 2018, collections 237, 238, 447, 464, and part of MSS 709 were combined with unaccessioned material to create SCA-0237.

William A. Waldron personal papers
Matthew Golebiewski
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Union College
807 Union Street
Schenectady NY 12308 United States