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Mary Fox Herling Papers

Identifier: LP001729

Scope and Content

The papers of Mary Fox Herling consist largely of personal correspondence with family and friends and reflect to a lesser extent her professional activities with the League for Industrial Democracy, the War Labor Board and the cooperative housing movement.

The cost of processing the Mary Fox Herling papers was underwritten by a gift from the estate of John Herling.

Important subjects in the collection: American Friends for German Freedom Bannockburn Cooperators, Inc. Housing, Cooperative--United States League for Industrial Democracy Refugees--World War, 1939-1945 Socialist Party U.S.A.

Important correspondents in the collection: Austen Albu Mary Blanshard Anna Caples McAlister Coleman George C. Edwards, Jr. Marie Feiler Ruth Fox Ruth Schechter Gold John Herling Kurt Lachmann Jennie Lee Frank Loeb H. L. Mitchell David Stolberg Norman Thomas

Series Description: Series I, Family Correspondence, 1930s-1970s Series II, General Correspondence, 1930s-1970s Series III, Subject Files, 1914-1980


  • 1914 - 1980
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 1969


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.


Mary Fox Herling was born in New York City on December 12, 1893 and grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. After graduation from Vassar College and a year at Oxford Univeristy, she taught first in a private school in Colorado Springs and later in Chicago's Francis Parker School and the Brooklyn Ethical Culture School.

During the 1930s Mary Fox, a member of the Socialist Party, served as executive secretary of the League for Industrial Democracy, recruiting field workers, editing its pictorial magazine, The Unemployed, and establishing a series of national lectures and chautauquas. She also established and managed Bleecker Gardens in Greenwich Village, a major conversion of tenements into housing for artists and writers. In the late 1930s she was active in the movement to aid refugees from Hitler's Europe, helping to organize the American Friends for German Freedom.

She moved to Washington, D. C. in 1941 and during World War II worked as an administrator for the cooperative housing section of the War Labor Board, which later became the Federal Public Housing Authority. After the war she served as administrative secretary for the Washington Newspaper Guild and then as president and driving force of Group Housing Cooperative, whose members bought an old golf course in Bethesda, Maryland and built the Bannockburn community.

In 1925 Mary Fox married labor publicist and author Benjamin Stolberg. They had a son, David, divorcing in 1929, and in 1937 she married labor writer John Herling. Mary Fox Herling died in Bethesda, Maryland on November 4, 1978.


4.5 Linear Feet (9 MB)


The wife of John Herling, Mary Fox Herling was a member of the Socialist Party. She worked for the League for Industrial Democracy, the War Labor Board, the Washington Newspaper Guild, and the Group Housing Cooperative which built the Bannockburn Community in Maryland. Her papers are mostly personal correspondence, but also reflect her professional affiliations.

Arrangement of the Records

Arranged in 3 series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-5), Series 2 (Boxes 5-7), and Series 3 (Boxes 7-9). Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Related Material

John Herling Papers


A few photographs of Mary Fox, John Herling, the David Stolberg family and the Austen Albu family have been transferred to the Archives Audiovisual Department.

Processing History

Processed by the Walter P. Reuther Library
Guide to the Mary Fox Herling 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