Marvin M. Meerse papers: 1943-1978
Summary Information
Title: Marvin M. Meerse papers
Creator: Meerse, Marvin M., 1910-1978
Inclusive dates: 1943-1978
Extent: 1 linear foot
Career army officer, speechwriter for military and political figures on army-related topics. Speeches, diaries, 1971 and 1973, copy of his mystery novel, and photographs.
Call number: 861116 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
Home Page:
Finding aid created by Christopher Leonard, May 1985

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was the gift of Mrs. Ada Sager (donor no. 7171), the sister of Marvin Meerse, 1985.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see:


Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Marvin M. Meerse papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Marvin M. Meerse (1910-1978) served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1970. After combat duty in the Philippines during World War II, much of his time was spent teaching public speaking and military psychology in the Adjutant General's School. From 1955 until his retirement, he was speechwriter for several of the Army's top generals in Europe and Korea. In June 1963, one of his speeches was read by President Kennedy to U.S. forces in Hanau, West Germany. Meerse was also a writer for several Army publications and editor of Gimmicks and Gadgets. Upon his retirement, Meerse had achieved the rank of Sergeant Major.

After he left the service, Meerse devoted much of his time to railroad clubs. He served as president and editor of the Cincinnati Railroad Club and in 1975 published Richmond Junction, a mystery novel with a railroad setting.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The papers of Marvin M. Meerse consist of one linear foot of material and cover the years 1943-1978. Though the collection includes both professional and personal papers, the vast majority of the papers are professional, mostly texts of speeches written by Meerse from 1955 to 1968.

As these speeches are often discussions of freedom, containment, and the threat of communism, they provide insight into the soldier's perspective on these topics. Included in the collection are speeches written by Meerse for generals: A.C. McAuliffe, Bruce C. Clarke, Paul Freeman, Dwight Beach, C.H. Bonisteel, Creighton W. Abrams, Jr., George T. Duncan, Louis W. Truman, and W.C. Garrison. There is also a speech written by Meerse and delivered by President John Kennedy and speeches by Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Secretary of the Army Wilber Brucker, presumably also written by Meerse.

Subject Terms

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.

  • Speech.
  • Germany.
  • Korea (South)
  • Military camps.
  • Military inspections.
  • Military officers.
  • Speechwriting.
  • Diaries.
  • Photographs.
  • Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
  • Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968.
  • Meerse, Marvin M., 1910-1978.
  • United States. Army.
  • Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
  • Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
  • Meerse, Marvin M., 1910-1978.
  • United States. Army.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Professional Papers [series]
Box   1  
Box   1  
General A.C. McAuliffe 1955-1956
Box   1  
Several persons 1957-1963

(includes speech for John Kennedy; also speeches by Wilber Brucker and Robert Kennedy)

Box   1  
Generals Truman, Duncan, and Garrison 1960-1961
Box   1  
General Paul Freeman 1960-1965
Box   1  
Generals Freeman and Bruce Clarke 1961-1964

(bound volume also contains 1963 speech by President Kennedy)

Box   1  
Several persons 1966-1968
Box   1  
Graduation and commencement 1950-1961
Box   1  
Box   1  
Aptitude tests and humorous bits
Greetings and congratulatory messages
Box   1  
Generals Clarke and Freeman 1961-1963
Box   1  
Generals Dwight Beach, C.H. Bonisteel, and others 1964-1968
Box   1  
Posters and flyers, NCO Club No. 1 1948-1951
Box   1  
Miscellaneous papers
Box   1  
Miscellaneous printed
Personal Papers [series]
Box   1  
Box   1  
Box   1  
Diaries 1971, 1973
Box   1  
Richmond Junction 1975

(railroad novel by Meerse)

Box   1  
Photographs (2 folders)