Dondero-Foley Family Papers, 1930-2005 – MS125
Provenance: Dondero-Foley Family
Citation: Dondero-Foley Family Papers, MS125, Portsmouth Athenaeum
Size: 1 linear foot (1 Hollinger box,1 oversized folder, 1 framed object)
Access: No restrictions
Processed by: Roland Goodbody, 2017.
Scope and Content
Various papers related to the careers of Mary C. Dondero and her daughter, Eileen Dondero Foley, both former mayors of Portsmouth. The papers contain correspondence, certificates, citations and documents, a large number of photocopies of newsclippings, mainly from the 1930s and 1940s, a variety of memorabilia, such as Eileen Foley’s high school diploma and honorable discharge papers from the U.S. Army, and a signed poster to Eileen Foley from the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels from 1967.
Mary C. Dondero (1894-1960) was Portsmouth’s first female mayor, serving the city from 1945-1947. She was also a state representative in the NH legislature. Her daughter Eileen Dondero Foley (1918-2016) was mayor of the city for eight terms and also served as a state senator for seven terms.
Folder 1 Correspondence, 1932-1958, including an invitation to the inaugural dinner for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a letter from then Senator John F. Kennedy, and a christmas card from the Hubert Humphrey family.
Folder 2 Certificates, citations and official documents, including a certificate of appreciation from President Harry S. Truman, a citation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, an appointment to the Reemployment Committee for 1945, and Eileen Dondero’s honorable discharge record from the U.S. Army.
Folder 3 Photocopies of newsclippings, 1931-1934.
Folder 4 Photocopies of newsclippings, 1934-1937.
Folder 5 Photocopies of newsclippings, 1940-1945.
Folder 6 Photocopies of newsclippings, 1946-2005.
Folder 7 Various politically-related memorabilia and papers, including Mary Dondero’s “A Formal Protest” about certain election practices in Portsmouth, 1946; “Mayor Mary, Portsmouth’s First Lady” by Doris Ricker Marston, 1946 (?); certificate of election for Representative to the General Court showing Mary Dondero with the most votes, 1956; election cards for state representative and for delegate-at-large to the Democratic National Convention.
Folder 8 Various cards, Elaine Dondero’s high school diploma, girl scout cuttings and annual rally program
Folder 9 Scrapbook binder with photo of Mary Dondero tipped in “With love and best wishes always / to / Our Mayor, my dearest friend, / Mrs. Mary C. Dondero. / Agnes Frances O’Neil.”
Folder 10 Various non-Portsmouth memorabilia: postcards, junior prom program from Sanford ME, Emerson College Commencement play (Geraldine Dondero, Eileen’s sister attended Emerson).
Oversize Folder 1 Signed poster to Eileen Foley from the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, 1967.
In Vault with other framed objects:
Framed certificate of appreciation from President Harry S. Truman to Mary C. Dondero “in grateful recognition of uncompensated services patriotically rendered his [sic] country in the administration of the Selective Service System for the period of one year.” 1947.