Guide to the
Leroy Stevens Papers
Creator: [Leroy Stevens, 1897-1972]
Title: Leroy Stevens Papers
Dates: 1930-1972 [Bulk 1954-1963]
Quantity: ca. 1 cubic foot
Abstract: Newspaper clippings, photographs, certificates, correspondence, and ephemera
relating to Stevens career with the Mobile County Commission
Leroy Stevens (1897-1972) was born in the Union Church community in south Mobile County.
He began his long career with the county in 1913 at the age of 16, working as a laborer.
He steadily rose through the ranks, becoming superintendent of roads in 1931. In 1942, he
was elected to office for the first time, winning a seat on the Mobile County Board of
Revenue and Road Commissioners (changed to Mobile County Commission in 1957). Stevens
would serve seven consecutive terms on the commission, winning re-election every four
years from 1946 to 1968. During this time, he also served as commission president from
1954 to 1969. There would be only one month during that 15-year period where he was not
president, having been ousted in December 1957 due to a dispute over a new vehicle for the
county sheriff. The issue was solved and he resumed his spot as chairman at the end of
January 1958. He retired from service at the end of his last term in 1972. During his
tenure, the county built an extensive system of new roads, completed the bridge to Dauphin
Island (1955), opened Municipal Park (1957), constructed a new county courthouse (1959),
and built the new Mobile General Hospital (1966). Stevens decided not to seek re-election
in February 1972, and died two months later from complications resulting from surgery for
an abdominal aneurysm.
Scope and Content:
The collection consists mainly of photocopied newspaper clippings about events and
projects during Stevens career, dating mainly from 1954 to 1963. Also included are
numerous photographs depicting groundbreakings, competitions, commissioners, and other
items. There is a collection of correspondence, approximately 50 pieces, consisting mainly
of congratulatory letters from public officials, business leaders, and private citizens
dating as early as 1930 and as late as 1964. There are also sample election ballots,
Stevens official candidacy announcement for 1950, typed copies of television and
radio advertisements, invitations to the inaugurations and inaugural balls for presidents
Kennedy and Johnson, magazine articles about Stevens, and a commendation from the Alabama
State Senate. Of note in the collection is a letter written to Stevens by U.S.
Representative and longtime Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn in regards to a request by
Stevens to appoint a James G. Chambers as a U.S. Marshal. In addition, there are two
photos of Stevens and others with First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, and several photos of
Stevens and others with U.S. Representative from Alabamas First District Frank
For more on county courthouses, see the Virginia Lott Collection.
This material is open for research.
Leroy Stevens Papers, The Doy Leale MCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of
South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama
File 1: Biographical information on Stevens
through newspaper clippings (1960-1972)
File 2: Newspaper clippings new courthouse (1954-1959)
File 3: Newspaper clippings elections (1942-1960)
File 4: Newspaper clippings events (1952-1963)
File 5: Newspaper clippings miscellaneous (1954-1957)
File 6: Newspaper clippings miscellaneous projects (youth center, county jail,
education, hospitals, parks, mental health, cemeteries, microfilming of records, other)
File 7: Newspaper clippings roads and bridges (1953-1963)
File 8: Newspaper clippings Commission meetings (1952-1972)
File 9: State senate resolution (1969)
Files 1and 2: Various photographs (Stevens
with groups of other people [including Lady Bird Johnson and Frank Boykin], at
competitions, groundbreakings, check presentations, parades, etc.)
File 3: Certificates (Isle Dauphin Country
Club membership ; official state commissions to serve on county commission from
governors Frank Dixon , Chauncey Sparks , and John Patterson ; trustee
certificate from Sixth District Tuberculosis Hospital [Nov. 1954-Oct. 1959]; certificate
of participation in Regional Goals Forum [March 1972])
File 4: Correspondence, 1930, 1942, 1954
(mostly of congratulatory letters from public officials, business leaders, and private
citizens upon re-election(s); also some replies from Stevens)
File 5: Correspondence, 1958-1961, 1964
(letter from Sam Rayburn; also more congratulatory letters; obituary for a Frank
Leatherbury; invitation to a party in Stevens honor; and other items)
File 6: Election material (1957 and 1964)
File 7: Ephemera (Johnson inauguration
banner, Washington D.C. postcards, Stevens campaign ribbon).
File 8: Various publications includes
articles on Stevens and the commission in the July 1947 issue of Port of Mobile
News; July 1958 and Aug. 1970 editions of Mr. County Commissioner; Oct. 1959 and Dec. 1960
editions of The Tablet, Mobile General Hospital; and the May 21, 1955 program for
Mobiles Armed Forces Day celebration.
File 9: Inauguration and inaugural ball
invitations (1961 and 1965).
Various photographs of Stevens.
Unidentified photograph (possibly of
Stevens wife and daughter).
Group photograph at Jack Dempseys
Restaurant in New York City (n.d.).
Group photograph at Copacabana in New York
Photograph of Red Leatherbury, Waterman
Photocopy of Mobile Press Register
Sunday Magazine (March 22, 1959) article on the new county courthouse.
Copy of Mobile Press Register,
Section D (April 30, 1959) entire section about opening of the new county
courthouse and guide to services available there.