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Lucien Koch Papers

Identifier: LP000543

Scope and Content

Series 1: Commonwealth College and Union Activities Autobiography, Commonwealth College, Articles by Lucien Koch, IUMSWA material, National War Labor Board, Massachusetts Communist Investigation 1938, Federal Security Investigation 1942.

Series 2: Security Hearings Federal Security Hearing 1948-50, Affidavits, Correspondence, Evidence, Transcripts.

Series 3: ALPA ALPA Security Investigation, ALPA Reports.

Series 4: Clippings IUMSWA Clippings, Time Bomb-book-largely concerned with Governor Orville Faubus of Arkansas and his connection with Commonwealth College. Numerous mentions of Lucien Koch.


  • 1938 - 1965
  • Majority of material found within 1948 - 1952


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. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Lucien Koch was born at Mt. Scott, a suburb of Portland, Oregon on June 29, 1907. His father was an immigrant from Germany, his mother, from Switzerland. Mr. Koch attended a one-room school and then high school in Oregon City, Oregon until his sophomore year. He then continued his education at Llano Cooperative Colony, Leesville, Louisiana and at Commonwealth College, both at Leesville and at Mena, Arkansas. Mr. Koch remained at Commonwealth as student, instructor and Director from 1923 to 1935. Commonwealth College was a co-operative labor college. The students earned their keep through agricultural labor and studied liberal arts and labor movement related subjects. Mr. Koch received a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1931. He also served as a faculty member there. From 1935 to 1937 he conducted research for the N.R.A. and U.S. Department of Labor. From 1937 to 1943 he worked for the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America. Mr. Koch served on the National War Labor Board from 1943 till 1946 when he returned to the I.U.M.S.W.A. From 1947 till the end of 1949 he served as an economist for the Federal Security Agency. In 1949 Mr. Koch joined the staff of Murray W. Latimer, Industrial Relations Consultant. From 1951 till his retirement he was on the staff of the Air Line Pilots Association. In 1948-49 Mr. Koch was the subject of a series of Federal Security investiga-tions and hearings, stemming from his association with Commonwealth College. These investigations resulted in his dismissal from Federal service.


4 Linear Feet (7 MB, 1 OS)


Mr. Koch, after serving as director of Commonwealth College from 1923 to 1935, held several positions in the labor movement and in government agencies concerned with labor. Among these were the NRA, the Department of Labor, the Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America, the NWLB, and the Air Line Pilots Association. Transcripts, affidavits, correspondence, and clippings cover such topics as Commonwealth College, activities of the Marine and Shipbuilders Union, Koch's federal security hearing, and ALPA negotiations. Correspondents include Roger Baldwin, James Carey, Edith Christenson, John Edelman, and Hilda Smith.


Arranged in 4 series – Series 1 (Box 1), Series 2 (Boxes 2-4), Series 3 (Boxes 5-6), and Series 4 (Boxes 7 and 1 OS). Folders are arranged in original order within each series.


The papers of Mr. Lucien Koch were placed in the Archives of Labor History and Urban Affairs on April 10, 1972.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library.


Guide to the Lucien Koch 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

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Detroit MI 48202 USA