Frank D. McKay Papers: 1909-1965
Frank D. McKay Papers
McKay, Frank D., 1883-1965
3 linear feet
2 oversize volumes
Grand Rapids, Michigan businessman and politician; correspondence, business papers; scrapbooks, and photographs.
851800 Aa 2; AC
The material is in English
Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff
Ann Arbor, MI
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Access and Use
The collection came from the estate of Frank and Agnes McKay (donor no. 5176) in December 1971.
The collection is open to research.
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[item], folder, box, Frank D. McKay Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 4, 1883, Frank D. McKay left school to work in various manual labor jobs. He was a natural businessman however. As many of his fellow workers were foreign born, McKay set up a small foreign money exchange business for them. He also established a private banking and investing business for these workers. Later on, he became an agent for a number of steamship lines and then branched out into the construction and financing of homes in the Grand Rapids area.
Early in his career, Frank McKay became involved in politics, organizing his friends and associates to back local candidates. He sought no office for himself until 1906 when he was appointed deputy county clerk and assignment clerk for the local circuit court. With his organizational skills, McKay built up an organization that gained control of the Kent County Republican Party, eventually becoming county chairman. Based upon his performance and growing power as a politician, McKay was elected state treasurer in 1924. He was twice re-elected, but did not seek a fourth term in 1930.
McKay preferred working behind the scenes of party politics, using his influence throughout the 1930s at state party conventions. In 1940, he was named a delegate to the Republican National Convention where he was a floor manager for Wendell Willkie. Following the convention, he served as a member of the Republican Party National Committee. At this time, McKay began to face legal problems. He was indicted in federal court in Detroit on charges of graft and conspiracy in connection with purchases by the State Liquor Control Commission. Although acquitted in 1942, these charges were brought in state court in 1944. McKay was again acquitted. Even so, McKay's political fortunes waned. He was removed from the Republican National Committee in 1944. He also lost control of the Kent County Republican organization to a local independent Republican group who called themselves the Home Front. And in 1950, a Citizens Action movement wrested control of Grand Rapids city government away from McKay and his political allies.
McKay remained successful as a businessman, owning and adding on to the Grand Rapids National Bank building, operating an insurance and realty businesses, and founding the Grand Rapids Times newspaper and acquiring the Grand Rapids Chronicle which two papers later merged into the weekly Michigan Times. He also owned a hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. He died January 12, 1965.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Frank D. McKay collection is divided into the following series: Correspondence; Topical Files; Business and financial papers; Newspaper clippings and scrapbooks; and Photographs.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.
- Business records.
- Elections -- Michigan -- 1958.
- Grand Rapids (Mich.)
- Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1899-1916.
- Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1917-1921.
- Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1922-1928.
- Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1929-1938.
- Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1939-1945.
- Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1946-1960.
- Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1940.
- Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1952.
- United States -- Politics and government -- 1933-1953.
- United States -- Politics and government -- 1953-1961.
- Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1837-1950.
- Michigan -- Politics and government -- 1951-
- Buildings -- Michigan -- Grand Rapids.
- Business enterprises -- Michigan -- Grand Rapids.
- City and town life.
- Clothing and dress -- 1951-1960.
- Dining rooms.
- Grand Rapids (Mich.)
- Grand Rapids (Mich.) -- Buildings.
- Grand Rapids (Mich.) -- Business enterprises.
- Grand Rapids (Mich.) -- Street-railroads.
- Grand Rapids (Mich.) -- Streets.
- Hotels and taverns -- Florida -- Miami Beach.
- Manners and customs.
- Miami Beach (Fla.) -- Hotels and taverns.
- Street-railroads -- Michigan -- Grand Rapids.
- Streets -- Michigan -- Grand Rapids.
- Swimming pools.
- Green, Fred W. (Fred Warren), 1872-1936.
- McKay, Frank D., 1883-
- Michigan. Dept. of Treasury.
- Republican National Committee (U.S.)
- Republican Party (Mich.)
- Bal Harbour Hotel (Miami Beach, Fla.)
- McKay, Frank D., 1883-
- Adams, Sherman, 1899-1986.
- Brake, D. Hale, 1891-1979.
- Brucker, Wilber Marion, 1894-1968.
- Comstock, William Alfred, 1877-1949.
- Dewey, Thomas E. (Thomas Edmund), 1902-1971.
- Dickinson, Luren Dudley, 1859-1943.
- Farley, James A. (James Aloysius), 1888-1976.
- Fitzgerald, Frank Dwight, 1885-1939.
- Groesbeck, Alexander J. (Alexander Joseph), 1873-1953.
- Hart, Philip A. (Philip Aloysius), 1912-1976.
- Hoffman, Clare Eugene, 1875-1967.
- Jenkins, Guy H.
- Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
- Mapes, Carl Edgar, 1874-1939.
- Martin, Joseph William, 1884-1968.
- Osborn, Chase S. (Chase Salmon), 1860-
- Summerfield, Arthur Ellsworth, 1899-1972.
- Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951.
- Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944.
Additional Descriptive Data
Adams, Sherman, 1899-1986.
Brake, D. Hale, 1891-
- 1958, Dec. 28, 1959, Jan. 1960
Brucker, Wilber Marion, 1894-1968.Comstock, William Alfred, 1877-1949.Dewey, Thomas E. (Thomas Edmund), 1902-1971.Dickinson, Luren Dudley, 1859-1943.Farley, James Aloysius, 1888-Fitzgerald, Frank Dwight, 1885-1939.
- Nov. 29, 1954, Dec. 10, 1954
Groesbeck, Alexander J. 1873-1953.
- Jan. 4, 1935, Nov.12, 1936, Dec. 21, 1936, Aug. 29, 1938
Hart, Philip A. (Philip Aloysius), 1912-1976.
- Oct. 14, 1924, July 8, 1948
Hoffman, Clare Eugene, 1875-1967.
- Aug. 28, 1958, Sept. 12, 1958
Jenkins, Guy H.
- June 2, 1942, Mar. 27, 1944
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.Mapes, Carl Edgar, 1874-1939.
- May 28, 1952, June 9, 1952
Martin, Joseph William, 1884-1968.
- Jan. 12, 1918, Nov. 14, 1918, Nov. 21, 1934, Nov. 9, 1936
Osborn, Chase S. (Chase Salmon), 1860
- 1940, May 5, 1941, Feb. 13, 1942, June 3, 1942
Summerfield, Arthur Ellsworth, 1899-1972.
- Oct. 9, 1934, Mar. 16, 1935, Dec. 23, 1935, Sept. 26, 1938, Oct. 5, 1938, May 14, 1940
Vandenberg, Arthur H. (Arthur Hendrick), 1884-1951.
- June 6, 1952, Jan. 16, 1953
Willkie, Wendell L. (Wendell Lewis), 1892-1944.
- June 8, 1932, Dec 5, 1932, June 1936, June 2, 1942, Dec. 18, 1942, 1944, Nov. 22, 1949, Sept. 1950