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Lillian Sherwood Papers

Identifier: LP000360

Scope and Content

The papers of Lillian Sherwood reflect her roles within the CIO and the Women's Auxiliary of the CIO as well as her commitment to politics and social programs in her native Michigan.

Important subjects covered in the collection: Congress of Industrial Organizations Congress of Women's Auxiliaries Democratic Party Michigan Politics Political Action Committees Union Education

Important Correspondents: Philip A. Hart Kathryn Nye Nancy (Mrs. G. Mennen) Williams

Series Description:

Series I: Clippings, awards, correspondence, leaflets and pamphlets, bylaws, and general materials relating to Lillian Sherwood's involvement with the CWA and CIO.

Series II: "National CWA Newsletter," 1950-1957

Series III: Committee reports, proceedings, clippings, and bylaws relating to annual conventions of the National CWA-CIO and the AFL-CIO Auxiliaries.

Series IV: "Michigan CIO Women's Auxiliary News," conference minutes, bylaws and proceedings of conventions relating to the Michigan CIO Women's Auxiliary.


  • 1938 - 1966
  • Majority of material found within 1950 - 1957


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


Lillian Sherwood was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 20, 1913 and attended St. Mary's School, Catholic Central High School and the Grand Rapids Junior College before marrying David R. Sherwood in 1933. As a result of David Sherwood's role in the 1936 organizing of UAW Local 206 (Nash-Kelvinator), Lillian became a charter member of and helped to organize UAW Auxiliary Branch 61 in 1937.

The 1940s witnessed an expansion of the roles of Lillian and David Sherwood in all aspects of unionization. In 1940 David Sherwood became an international representative of the UAW and in 1946 Lillian helped to organize the Kent county (Michigan) CIO Council Auxiliary. In 1949 Lillian Sherwood became the president of the National CIO Women's Auxiliary and Secretary-Treasurer of the Michigan CIO Auxiliaries. These were posts she would hold until 1956.

In the 1950s Lillian continued her work with the CIO and the Congress of Women's Auxiliaries as a representative on the Michigan State CIO Community Services Board, editor of the monthly newsletter of the Michigan CIO Women's Auxiliary, member of the Advisory Committee to the Civil Defense Administration, Member of the National Safety Council and the Women's Advisory Committee to the American Heritage Foundation, member of the President's Committee for Traffic Safety and a representative to the State Political Action Committee of the Michigan CIO Council where she ran legislative institutes for the education of union women on politics and the legislature in Michigan. On a more local level she was on the state and county boards of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and a member of the Kent County chapter of Civil Defense. In 1 953 she became a member of the Democratic State Central Committee, a move that demonstrated her lifelong commitment to politics in Michigan and the Democratic party in particular. In 1956 Lillian ran for state representative on the democratic ticket and lost. When asked about her defeat, she ruefully pointed out that she had been a democratic contender in a heavily republican area.


2 Linear Feet (4 MB)


Convention proceedings, clippings, and photographs concerning Mrs. Sherwood's service with the Kent County, Michigan, and National Congress of Women's Auxiliaries of the CIO.

Arrangement of the Records

Arranged in 4 series - Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Box 2), Series 3 (Box 3), and Series 4 (Box 4). Folders are arranged alphabeticaly or alphabetically and chronologically depending upon the series.


The papers of Lillian Sherwood were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in August of 1969 by Mrs. Lillian Sherwood.

Processing History

Finding aaid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in September 1969.
Guide to the Lillian Sherwood Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA