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John Paul Hammerschmidt Papers

Identifier: MC 1230

Scope and Content Note

The collection is divided into twenty-one series. Materials include biographical data, correspondence, legislative and committee materials, personal and office financial records, speeches, press releases, posters, audio and video tapes, and ephemera.


  • Creation: 1964-2009


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Access Restrictions Apply: Materials in Series XVII and subseries 2-3 of Series XVI and are restricted and not available for research.

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

Use Restrictions Apply:

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

John Paul Hammerschmidt was born May 4, 1922 in Harrison, Boone County, Arkansas. He attended The Citadel in South Carolina from 1938 to 1939, then the University of Arkansas until 1941. Hammerschmidt joined the Army Air Corps in 1942. He served with the Third Combat Cargo Group in the China-India-Burma Theater, flying numerous missions over “The Hump” (the eastern portion of the Himalayan Mountains) during World War II. He was awarded the Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with three oak leaf clusters, three Battle Stars, and The China War Memorial Medal by the government of the Republic of China.

After the war, Hammerschmidt returned to school at Oklahoma A&M in Stillwater until an illness in the family brought him home to Harrison to assume control of the family business (The Hammerschmidt Lumber Company). In 1948 he married Virginia Sharp of Harrison and they had one son, John Arthur, in May 1949. Hammerschmidt became an active member of the Republican Party in 1949. He served as a Harrison city councilman from 1948 to 1954, and again from 1961 to 1962. From 1960 to 1965 he served as President of the Boone County Industrial Development Corporation and in 1964 was head of the Harrison City Planning Commission. In 1960 Hammerschmidt attended the GOP Presidential Nominating Convention as Assistant to the State Chairman. In 1964 he served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention and also served as Chairman of the Arkansas Republican State Central Committee, a position he held until 1966.

In 1966 Hammerschmidt defeated incumbent James W. Trimble for the third district seat in the House of Representatives to become the first Republican elected to the House from Arkansas since Reconstruction. He served thirteen terms from 1967 until his retirement in 1993. One of his first initiatives was to sponsor the 1967 legislation to establish the Buffalo National River. During his tenure Hammerschmidt served as ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee and also served on the Public Works Committee. He was also active with the Ways and Means Committee, though he was not a member. In 1974 he was appointed to the Select Committee on Aging. In 1977 he was chosen as a delegate to the Middle East Peace Talks. In 1984 he served as a delegate on the first post-Vietnam War “official” party to Hanoi. In 1989 he was appointed to the President’s Commission on Aviation Security and Terrorism (PCAST) sent to investigate the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerby, Scotland.

After retiring from Congress in 1993, he served as Honorary Chairman of the Dole/Kemp campaign in 1996 and in 1998 was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the Metropolitan Airports Authority Board of Review.

Ginny Hammerschmidt passed away in January 2006. Congressman Hammerschmidt currently lives in Harrison.


1221 Linear Feet (1204 boxes)

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged and described in twenty-one series:

  1. Series I: Personal Materials
  2. Series II: Campaign Materials
  3. Series III: 90th Congress Materials
  4. Series IV: 91st Congress Materials
  5. Series V: 92nd Congress Materials
  6. Series VI: 93rd Congress Materials
  7. Series VII: 94th Congress Materials
  8. Series VIII: 95th Congress Materials
  9. Series IX: 96th Congress Materials
  10. Series X: 97th Congress Materials
  11. Series XI: 98th Congress Materials
  12. Series XII: 99th Congress Materials
  13. Series XIII: 100th Congress Materials
  14. Series XIV: 101st Congress Materials
  15. Series XV: 102nd Congress Materials
  16. Series XVI: Office Administration
  17. Series XVII: CWR & R from Congress
  18. Series XVIII: Audio Visual
  19. Series XIX: Ephemera
  20. Series XX: Oversize
  21. Series XXI: Photographs

Acquisition Information

The John Paul Hammerschmidt Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries, on May 2, 2005 by John Paul Hammerschmidt.

Processing Information

Processed by Felicia Thomas, Will Puddephat, Case Miner, Amy Allen, Danielle Hansen, Kerry King Jones, Alexandra Gough, Olivia Meeks, and Sarah Santos; completed in March 2010.

John Paul Hammerschmidt Papers
Felicia Thomas, Will Puddephat, Case Miner, Amy Allen, Danielle Hansen, Kerry King Jones, Alexandra Gough, Olivia Meeks, and Sarah Santos
March 2010
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444