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A Guide to the Thomas Alva Yon Papers

Finding aid created by Kelly Chang

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
April 2008

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Yon, Thomas Alva, 1882-1971
Title: Thomas Alva Yon Papers
Dates: 1926-1937
Abstract: Thomas Alva Yon was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida (1927-1933) and a member of the U.S. Bureau of Commerce from 1933-1940. This collection mainly deals with his involvement with public work projects for the Florida Panhandle.
Extent: 0.2 Linear feet. 1 box.
Identification: MS 115
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Born in 1882, Thomas Alva Yon went to the Lanier Business College in Macon, Georgia, and graduated in 1903. He was a traveling salesman until 1927. He became a U.S. Representative from Florida and served from 1927 until 1933 as a Democrat. He also served on the U.S. Bureau of Commerce from 1933-1940 and the General Accounting Office from 1941-1949. He was appointed to the U.S. Bureau of Commerce by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Since Yon's constituents were in the Florida Panhandle, most of his time and effort as a congressman was spent promoting public work projects in the area. For example, he supported the building of the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. He died in 1971.

Source: Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1971. United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1971, p. 1966.

Scope and Content

The majority of the papers in the collection is from Yon's years in the U.S. Congress (1927- 1933). Content primarily concerns his efforts on behalf of various public works projects in Northwest Florida. Yon lobbied for projects like the Saint Andrews Bay canal, the Choctawhatchee Bay canal, and the Naval Air Station at Pensacola. The collection also includes some information about campaigns, committee appointments, and public speeches. The campaign materials include letters to constituents, correspondence to campaign staff, and advertisements for his reelection. The speeches are mostly personal drafts, records from Congress, or newspaper accounts of Yon's addresses to Congress. There is also a report for the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, a department Yon often dealt with in his efforts to improve the canals and harbors in his district, and an auditing report for the Department of Commerce.

There is some brief correspondence between Yon and Franklin D. Roosevelt, dating in part to before Roosevelt became president. Other correspondents include Ruth Bryan Owen and Governor David Sholtz.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

A scrapbook of newspaper clippings covering portions of Yon's political career is stored separately from the papers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Thomas Alva Yon Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Contents List

1 Campaign Material. 1928-1934
1 Speeches. 1926-1932
1 Public Work Projects. 1926-1929
1 Public Work Projects. 1930-1933
1 Miscellaneous Correspondence and Materials. 1927-1937
1 Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors Hearing Report. 1927
1 Department of Commerce Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce Auditing Section. Not Dated
1 Roosevelt, Franklin D: to T.A Yon on his election to Congress. 1928
1 Scrapbook (Stored separately). 1927-1928

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Florida -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950
United States Congress -- Florida delegation

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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