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Melby Family Collection, 1952 - 1955

Identifier: 13-1: Melby Family

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of several letters written to Harry and Helen Melby of Bloomington, IL by their children, son-in-law and granddaughter. There is one postcard from a family acquaintance.

This collection is arranged into two series:

    1. Biographical Information

    2. Correspondence


  • 1952 - 1955


Biographical / Historical

The start of the Melby family began with parents Henry Charles Melby and Helen Fremont Melby. They had three children John Fremont Melby, Everett Kinne Melby and Mary England Melby. The family moved to Bloominton, IL in 1927. Henry was general secretary of the Bloomington “Y” until his retirement in 1952, he also served the YMCA in Oregon, Ohio and Brazil. All three Melby children went to Illinois Wesleyan University. John graduated in 1934, Everett in 1936, and Mary in 1937. During their time at IWU John and Everett were involved in Sigma Chi and Mary was involved in Kappa Kappa Gamma.

John (July 1, 1913-Dec. 18, 1992) went on and received a master's degree and a doctorate in political science at the University of Chicago. From there he joined the Foreign Service in 1937. His career with the State Department had him going to Moscow, China and Vietnam. His relationship with playwright Lillian Hellmann led to his early dismissal from the State Department ended. The remainder of his life he continued to be interested in politics and foreign policy. He worked as director of foreign studies at the University of Pennslyvania and founded the department of political studies at Canada’s University of Guelph.

Everett (Apr. 19, 1915-Mar. 30, 2003) went on to be Assistant Secretary General of the European Student Relief Fund in Geneva from 1939-1942. He joined the State Department in 1942. Everett served in Switzerland, Greece, Germany, British Guiana, Haiti and Canada.

Mary (Sept. 8, 1916-Dec. 17, 2009) moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil after college to work at the American Consulate. She married Walter John Le Var. Mary moved back to Bloomington where she went on the become an elementary school teacher at both Washington and Bent elementary schools.


7 folders

Language of Materials