Guide to the
Lambert C. Mims
Lambert C. Mims, 1984, from the League of
Women Voters Records
Creator: Lambert C. Mims, 1930-2008
Title: Lambert C. Mims Papers
Dates: 1820-2003 [Bulk 1965-1989]
Quantity: 136 cubic feet
Abstract: Papers related to Mims local political career, personal life, and
Lambert C. Mims was born in 1930 in Uriah, Alabama. He moved to Mobile, Alabama, in 1949
and worked as a salesman before co-founding, a year later, a feed company, and, in 1965,
branching out on his own. Lambert Mims was public works commissioner and rotating mayor of
Mobile from 1965 to 1985. During Mims time as mayor/commissioner, the city of Mobile
experienced the latter part of the modern civil rights movement, completed the Bayway, and
unveiled the George C. Wallace Tunnel. It opened Mobile Greyhound Park and saw the
Southern Market/City Hall designated a national historic landmark. It reconstructed and
opened Fort Condé and celebrated the nations bicentennial. It witnessed the
devastating destruction of hurricanes Camille and Frederic and saw the first oil well
drilled in the bay. It witnessed the completion of the I-65 link across the Mobile-Tensaw
Delta and celebrated the opening of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. When first elected,
Mims was the youngest city commissioner in Mobiles history. Upon leaving office,
Governor George Wallace appointed Mims as his ambassador to the Alabama Waterways
Development Agency, a position he held from 1985 until March 1987, and one in which he
promoted the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. In 1990, a federal jury convicted Mims on two
counts of extortion in connection with racketeering under the Hobbs Act. He served several
years in federal prison before being released. Prior to his conviction, Lambert Mims was
president of the American Public Works Association (1979-1980). He is also the former
director of the Mens Ministry for the Mobile Baptist Association, and the former
president of both the Alabama Baptist Brotherhood and the Alabama Baptist State
Convention. He has served as president of the advisory board for the Waterfront Rescue
Mission and of the Masonic Breakfast Club. In addition, he has been a member of the
Kiwanis Club of West Mobile and a deacon at Riverside Baptist Church. Mims has been
featured in Baptist Mens Journal, Contact, Moody Monthly,
The Deacon, Grit, APWA Reporter, Solid Waste Management, and
Vital Speeches. He is also the author of two books, For Christ and Country (Old
Tappan, N.J., 1969) and Mayor on Mission: From the Cotton Patch to City Hall (Coral
Springs, Fla., 2005).
Mims suffered a stroke in October 2007 and died in Mobile
in November 2008.
Scope and Content:
Contains agendas, audio tapes, books, campaign material, correspondence, flyers, legal
material, magazines, maps, negatives, newsclippings, notes, pamphlets, photographs,
plaques, reports, slides, speeches, and video tapes. Includes material on Mims
unsuccessful run for the United States Senate in 1972. Covers a multitude of local
subjects typically found within such political collections, including information on the
area airports, on housing, on the citys 275th anniversary celebration,
and on the aftermath of Hurricane Frederic. Of particular interest within the collection
are the files related to the devastating flooding that hit Mobile in 1981 and to local
events during Americas bicentennial celebration of 1976. Other material worthy of
note are documents related to Dads Against Dirt, a state-wide anti-pornography group
headed at one time by Mims. Other interesting files relate to civil rights, including a
1981 report discussing race relations in Mobile written by Mims; information on Wiley
Bolden v. City of Mobile, which changed the citys form of government; the Glenn
Diamond mock-lynching-police-brutality case; the Neighborhood Organized Workers; the
Mobile Area Committee for Training and Development; job discrimination; police profiling;
and free speech. In addition, includes material on Mims attempt to establish a
resort in the delta region of Mobile Bay, on the 2002 United States senatorial campaign of
Julian L. McPhillips Jr., on urban renewal, and on flood control. Also consists of files
regarding Mims 1990 indictment and conviction for violating the Hobbs Act in regard
to a proposed garbage-to-steam energy plant to be built in the city of Mobile.
Dads Against Dirt was a state-wide organization formed in
1970 by various church laymen. Its goals were to fight the spread of pornographic material
and to strengthen laws against pornographic distribution. The last correspondence from the
group is dated 1973.
More material related to Lambert Mims is available in Holy Spirit Association et al v. Lambert C.
Mims et al.
Arranged into 21 series and sub-series:
1. Mayor/Commissioner, 1965-1985 (28
cubic feet), arranged alphabetically by subject, with five sub-series:
scrapbooks, 1965-1981 (14 cubic feet), arranged chronologically
1968-1998 (2 cubic feet), arranged alphabetically
|C. Civil rights,
1967-1972, 1977, 1979, 1981 (1 cubic foot), arranged alphabetically by subject
|D. Mobile history,
1824-1965 [Bulk 1824-1924] (1 cubic foot), arranged chronologically by subject
|E. City property
survey, 1820-1967 (0.25 cubic feet)
2. Campaign material,
1969-2002 [Bulk 1969-1989] (2 cubic feet), arranged chronologically by campaign and
alphabetically by topic
3. Post-Mayoral, 1983-2001 [Bulk 1984-1989] (8.25 cubic feet),
arranged alphabetically by topic
4. Personal, ca. 1960-2003 (8
cubic feet), arranged alphabetically by subject, with two sub-series:
|A. Speaking Engagements, 1969-1989 (2 cubic
feet), arranged chronologically, when known
|B. Directories (.5 cubic feet), arranged
alphabetically by organization
5. American Public Works
Association, 1965-2001 (12 cubic feet), arranged alphabetically by subject
6. Legal, 1974-ca. 1989 (6.25 cubic
feet), trial transcripts arranged chronologically, the remainder arranged alphabetically
7. Reading Education
(2.25 cubic feet), arranged alphabetically by topic
8. Books and Magazines (11.25 cubic
feet), books arranged alphabetically by last name of author, magazines arranged
alphabetically by title
9. Memorabilia (.75 cubic feet)
10. Plaques, 1971-1984 (1.5 cubic feet)
11. Miscellaneous (3 cubic
feet), arranged alphabetically
12. Oversized (12 cubic feet)
13. Maps (12 cubic feet)
14. Audio/Visual, 1970-1989
[Bulk 1976-1986] (currently 8 cubic feet), slides arranged alphabetically, cassettes
arranged chronologically, when known.
This material is open for research.
Gift of Lambert C. Mims, 2006. These materials were stored in two locations after Mr. Mims
left office in 1984. Two-thirds of it was kept at his Government Street business location
and one-third of it was stored inside a shed in a section of Mobile known as Down the Bay.
The latter material was subject to great fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Thus,
when the Down the Bay material reached us, it was in disarray and infested with virtually
every type of vermin imaginable. Because of that, it was often hard to determine into what
series or sub-series a particular document belonged. Therefore, researchers are urged to
carefully scrutinize the finding aid for documents of interest.
Lambert C. Mims Papers, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University
of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama
Detailed Description of the Collection:
Series 1. Mayor/Commissioner,
1965-1985. 28 cubic feet.
Arranged alphabetically by subject and covers virtually everything directly related to
Mims work as mayor and/or public works commissioner. Contains official and citizen
correspondence, his accomplishments and goals, an office calendar, and agendas. Also
included is material related to Dads Against Dirt. There is also information on the
project I-210 connector, on the Mobile Housing Board, on the Naval Surface Action Group,
on Keep America Beautiful, on the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, on the
American bicentennial of 1976, on the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, on the
bicentennial of Fort Condé, on Brookley Field, on the dedication of the George Wallace
Tunnel, on the Mobile airport, on the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, on urban development and
urban renewal, on the Mobile Youth Council, on the Junior Miss pageant, and on Hurricane
Frederic. Other material of interest includes various projects and ideas Mims had to
improve public services and increase tourism, including a plan to make Fort Condé into a
block-long tourist attraction, an attempt to sell trash to increase city revenue, and a
plan to create a fun time park. Privacy issues may apply to the material related to
Dads Against Dirt and to the Mobile Housing Board.
Series 1. Sub-series A. Newspaper Scrapbooks, 1965-1981. 14 cubic feet.
28 scrapbooks arranged chronologically and containing newspaper clippings covering the
years in which Mims was in office. The clippings cover a wide array of city-related
Series 1. Sub-series B. Speeches, 1968-1998. 2 cubic feet.
This sub-series is arranged alphabetically. As far as was possible, it was kept in its
original order. However, whenever a speech given during Mims terms in office was
found within other parts of the collection, it was removed and placed here. This
sub-series contains not only Mims official speeches as mayor/commissioner but also
those related to his personal religious beliefs, to his campaign against obscenity, and to
the American Public Works Association. Mims often reused a speech for particular
engagements (such as delivering remarks at a church). Researchers should also look in the
Speaking Engagements sub-series of the Personal series for material related to speeches
(for example, an invitation to speak at such and such church).
Series 1. Sub-series C. Civil Rights, 1967-1972, 1977, 1979, 1981. 1 cubic foot.
This is an artificial series containing a compilation of various civil rights-related
material found scattered throughout the collection. It is arranged alphabetically by
subject and consists of newspapers and newsclippings, flyers, and other documents that
cover a range of civil rights issues including job discrimination, police profiling,
marches, and free speech. Of particular interest is information about the Glenn Diamond
mock-lynching-police-brutality case, the Neighborhood Organized Workers, the United
Student Action Movement, and the Mobile Area Committee for Training and Development, along
with a 1968 report written by Mims discussing race relations in Mobile.
Series 1. Sub-series D. Mobile History, 1824-1965 [Bulk 1824-1944]. 1 cubic foot.
Arranged chronologically by subject. Consists of photocopied excerpts of old Mobile
history textbooks and of various city code books that Mims appears to have used during the
course of his everyday duties as a city official.
Series 1. Sub-series E. City Property Survey, 1820-1967. .25 cubic feet.
Section maps of Mobile showing property acquired by the city for public places, mostly
parks and fire stations but also for Magnolia Cemetery, City Hall, the City Hospital, and
Series 2. Campaign Material, ca. 1969-2002 [Bulk 1969-1989]. 2
Contains typical campaign material such as correspondence, polling places, press releases,
expenditures, ads, etc. Includes ephemera such as candidate profiles and bumper stickers.
Also includes material on the 2002 U.S. senatorial campaign of Julian L. Phillips Jr. This
series is arranged chronologically by campaign and alphabetically by topic.
Series 3. Post-Mayoral, 1983-2001 [Bulk 1984-1989]. 8.25 cubic feet.
Arranged alphabetically by topic and contains material related to Mims professional
activities after leaving office, including his attempt at the creation of a resort in the
Mobile delta area, his consulting firm Lambert Mims and Associates and his
involvement with the Alabama Housing Finance Authority and the Alabama Waterways
Development Agency. Mims acted as the governors ambassador to the waterway
development agency in which capacity he encouraged local, state, regional, and national
support of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Those interested in Alabama Waterways should
also check the Speeches sub-series of the Mayor/Commissioner series.
Series 4. Personal,
ca. 1960-2003. 8 cubic feet.
This series is arranged alphabetically by subject and mainly contains material related to
Mims religious beliefs, activities, and engagements, particularly his involvement
with the Alabama Baptist State Convention, the Waterfront Rescue Mission, the Rotary Club
of Mobile, Gideons International, the Mims Prayer House in India (no relation), Judson
College, and the Mobile Baptist Association. These activities were engaged in outside of
his official duties as mayor/commissioner. In addition, this series includes other
personal material such as his involvement with the Antique Automotive Club of America, the
Kiwanis Club, the Freemasons, and his personal correspondence or correspondence he
received after his terms in office.
Series 4. Sub-series A. Speaking Engagements, 1969-1989. 2 cubic feet.
This sub-series contains material found within the collection that was related to the
various groups or organizations primarily church groups that invited Mims to
attend some kind function and at which he sometimes made remarks. It includes programs,
invitations, or correspondence about the event. Mims frequently used the same speech more
than once. At other times, he spoke off-the-cuff or gave an invocation or prayer, etc.
While cross-referencing between this and the Speeches sub-series in the Mayor/Commissioner
series, in most cases, will not reveal which speech was delivered at which engagement,
this sub-series does give you an idea of how Mims undertook the process of creating and
delivering speeches. This sub-series is arranged chronologically, when known.
Series 4. Sub-series B. Directories. .5 cubic feet.
This sub-series is arranged alphabetically by organization and consists of various annual
directories that list members. Organizations included in this sub-series are: the Alabama
Baptist State Convention, the American Public Works Association, the Mobile Baptist
Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Kiwanis Club. These were found
throughout the collection and because of their bulk placed in this artificial series
rather than in the series in which they more properly belonged.
Series 5. American Public Works
Association (APWA), 1965-2001. 12 cubic feet. The APWA is made
up of public agencies, private sector companies, and individuals dedicated to public
works. Included in this series are annual convention materials, organizational
publications, reports, brochures, manuals, speeches, agendas, budgets, newsletters,
memoranda, minutes, correspondence, and printed ephemera, as well as documents related to
other state APWA chapters, to hurricane preparedness, to flooding, to solid waste, and to
emergency management. Interested parties should also consult the Speeches sub-series of
the Mayor/Commission series for speeches Mims made related to the APWA. This series is
arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series 6. Legal,
1974-ca. 1989. 6.25 cubic feet.
Contains material related to the indictment and subsequent conviction of Mims on charges
of conspiracy, extortion, and violation of the Hobbs Act, as well as documents regarding Wiley
Bolden v. City of Mobile, which changed the citys form of government. In
addition, other legal cases represented include City of Mobile v. Peter J. Palughi;
Moulton v. Langan, Mims, and Outlaw; Thomas Peavy v. Gary Greenough; and
litigation following flooding in the city in 1981. Included within this series are FBI
reports, transcripts, discovery, evidentiary material, grand jury testimony, the
indictment and related documents, and miscellaneous material. Transcripts have been
arranged chronologically. The remainder has been arranged alphabetically. PRIVACY
Series 7. Reading Education. 2.25 cubic feet.
This series is primarily made up of research materials that Mims used as reference or to
educate himself on a particular subject related to his job as public works commissioner.
The bulk pertains to issues of public works and emergency management, although there is
one document related to the City of Mobile v. Bolden and some material pertaining
to hurricanes. This material is arranged alphabetically by topic.
Series 8. Books
and Magazines. 11.25 cubic feet.
Covering a variety of topics and collected by Mims over the life of this collection, these
materials have been arranged alphabetical by last name of author, in the case of the
books, and alphabetically by title, with respect to the magazines.
Series 9. Memorabilia. .75
Consists of various items Mims collected or had produced during his career, including
numerous lapel pins, a gavel, two bells, keys to the city, promotional items related to
Mobile, etc. Also includes a brick, thought to have come from Fort Condé.
Series 10. Plaques, 1971-1984.
1.5 cubic feet.
Various awards given to Mims or to the city by numerous organizations.
Series 11. Miscellaneous. 3 cubic feet.
This is an artificial series made up from loose materials found scattered throughout the
collection. It is arranged alphabetically and consists of brochures, awards, certificates,
booklets, city-related documents, proclamations, speeches, and maps of Mims various
travels, as well as information on the national flood insurance program, and other items.
Series 12. Oversized
Material. 12 cubic feet.
Consists of various documents and other material found throughout the collection and too
large to fit into a standard-sized archival container. Includes posters, maps, graphs,
signs, flowcharts, photographs, certificates, resolutions, proclamations, architectural
renderings, complaint reports, and one flag.
Series 13. Maps. 12
Found scattered throughout the collection, these maps are wrapped individually and bundled
according to the location in which they were originally found. Loose maps were also
wrapped individually, but bundled into groups labeled "loose maps." Some of the
maps relate to the Bolden v. City of Mobile case. A number of them are connected to
urban renewal. Also includes oversize banners.
Series 14. Audio/Visual, 1970-1989 [Bulk 1976-1986]. Currently 8 cubic
Contains photographs, negatives, slides, VHS and other tapes. The slides were removed from
their original housing and sleeved and then placed in binders, arranged according to
topic. Themes include emergency management (including hurricanes), solid waste, and
Alabama waterways, among others. Unidentifiable slides were placed in the last binder. The
VSH, cassette, and other tapes were organized according to date, when known, and include a
myriad of topics. The photographs are typical for a man in Mims' position. They include
photos taken with constitutents and others, and images related to public works, including
drainage projects, road improvements, etc. There are also, however, images related to
Hurricane Frederick in 1979, as well as photos of the youth council, various dedications,
Azalea Trail maids, USS Alabama crew mates, and the Junior Miss and other