Arthur Stanley MacArthur – National Youth Administration, by Alison McIntyre
My father, Arthur Stanley MacArthur, worked for the National Youth Administration from 1939 until a few weeks after Pearl Harbor when he was transferring to another agency. He was on his way to an appointment when he had a heart attack and died. The only thing I know about the new job is that it was in Philadelphia. That was just at the time when any non-war-related agency was being moved out of Washington to make room. The National Archives branch in Missouri could not find any records for him, although they did find my mother’s records. Since I don’t know what the new agency was, I don’t know where to look. He had been a Superintendent of Schools and then Director of Education for the Kimberly Clark Company in Neenah, Wisconsin. I don’t know what his position was in the NYA, but it involved moving around a lot in the summer. If he was going to be in the same area for three weeks, we moved. When he began at the National Youth Administration we lived in Washington, D. C. for a while. After we left Washington We lived briefly in Charleston, W. Va. And then boarded at a farm outside of Parkersburg. The next school year we were in Huntington, and after that Cowan until after the County Fair when we moved to one of the cottages at Camp Caesar. We were living there when he took the bus to Washington to see about the new job.
I was seven years old when he died and seven-year olds have only vague ideas of what it is that grown-ups do. When he died, I assume his file was on the desk of whoever he was interviewing with. One thing that I have observed is that the government doesn’t just toss files, they file them.
I have included what may seem like unnecessary information but knowing his background and where he was stationed might help locate some National Youth Administration records.
Thank you for listening.