22 linear feet (22 archival boxes)
Owner and president of Business Economics, Inc. founded in 1951 in Chicago, Ill.; Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 1941-1951; economics lecturer at University of Minnesota, University of California, Berkeley, University of Chicago, Northwestern, and University of Indiana; seminar instructor in banking at various universities; and chairman of the Elgin Illinois Planning Commission for 25 years. In his business as an economic consultant, Langum served as an expert witness, especially in finance and rate of return, for public utilities, public utilities commissions and courts, most notably in the Illinois Bell Telephone case. He was also very interested in the environment.
He was married to Virginia de Mattos, who died in 1967. Together they had one son, David J. Langum, a professor of law at Samford University, Cumberland School of Law. In 1972 he married W. Sue Nelson. They moved to Tucson, Arizona in 1993 and they lived there together until Langum’s death in 1998.
Correspondence, class notes and quizzes, reports, transcripts of speeches and lectures, transcripts of testimony, statistical evidence, minutes of meetings, pamphlets, published material, news clippings, awards, autobiographical statements, publications, copies of interviews all document the career and civic involvement of John K. Langum. Also included are his appointment and date books and the property which was owned by JKL, either by himself or with his wife and/or son, JKL’s marriage and moving to California, birth of son, David John Langum, financial problems, income tax returns, receipts, WWII-war ration books and holder, move to Elgin, IL. Travels for business and pleasure. Of special interest is a scrapbook of John from 2 months old until late 1940’s and an oral history that is 228 pages.
Access: Open for research
Acc. No. 2001-18, 2005-1, 2006-16, 2007-19, 2011-30
Processed by: Connie Butts, June 2001 and Debbie Hamm, May, 2005; May, 2006; Jan. 2010; Feb, 2011; David Langum 2001-2011
John K. Langum was owner and president of Business Economics, Inc. which he founded in 1951 in Chicago, Ill.; Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 1941-1951; economics lecturer at University of Minnesota, University of California, Berkeley, University of Chicago, Northwestern, and University of Indiana; seminar instructor in banking at various universities; and chairman of the Elgin Illinois Planning Commission for 25 years. He was born in Big Timber, Montana, the son of Henry Langum, Lutheran minister, and Anna Georgina Nelson Langum. He spent his childhood in Wyoming and Minnesota and graduated from high school at the age of 15. In 1933 he received his B.A. from Colorado College, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa. In 1936 he received his M.A. and in 1943 his Ph.D., both from the University of Minnesota. While earning his Ph.D., Langum was a faculty member of the School of Business Administration at the University of Minnesota. In 1940 he went to the University of California at Berkley as a lecturer in economics where one of his students, Ray Lapin, eventually became the first president of FNMA and invented the concept of the secondary mortgage market. He left California in 1941 to go to the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, as head of its Research Department. While there, he served on the Board of Governors and Presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks, which determines the monetary and credit policies of the nation’s central banking system. In 1945 he was one of the founders of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin and continued to lecture there on money markets and the American economy for the next 38 years. He was on the faculty of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University for 31 years. He also lectured at the Graduate Southwestern School of Banking held in Dallas, Texas at Southern Methodist University, the Pacific Coast School of Banking held in Seattle, Washington at the University of Washington, the Graduate School of Savings and Loan held in Bloomington, Indiana at Indiana University and at Northwestern.
In 1951 he started a private business, Business Economics, Inc., as an economic consultant which he continued to run until his death. As a consultant he acted as an expert witness in many cases, especially on financing and fair rate of return, before public utility commissions and in the courts, specifically in the Illinois Bell Telephone case. Mutual funds were also a special interest and he was Chairman of the Board of Founders Funds from 1960’s until his retirement in 1996. In 1950 he was selected as one of two of Chicago’s “Outstanding Young Man of the Year”, along with Charles Percy. In 1994 he was selected for the Benezet Award for Career Achievement by Colorado College.
As a resident of Elgin, Illinois he was active in civic affairs and helped write the city’s land use policies while acting as chairman of the City Planning Commission. He was very interested in the environment and was a board member of the Fox River Path Association, Friends of the Fox River, the Lake Michigan Federation and Citizens for a Better Environment. He was a board member of many community associations and groups including the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Larkin Home for Children. He belonged to the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson.
Langum was married to Virginia de Mattos until her death in 1967. Together they had one son, David J. Langum, a professor of law at the Samford University, Cumberland School of Law. In 1972 he married W. Sue Nelson whose husband, Norm Nelson, (died in 1969) a city engineer, had known Langum from the City Planning Commission. Virginia and Sue had worked together for the League of Women Voters. Sue remained very active in many citizens’ organizations while married to John. In 1993 they moved to Tucson, Arizona, where they lived together until his death in 1998.
Scope and Content
The John K. Langum Papers consist of 22 linear feet of correspondence, reports, teaching materials and quizzes, testimony, statistical evidence, pamphlets, published material, minutes of meetings, interviews and news clippings documenting his career and civic involvement. It also includes JKL’s appointment and date books 1944 to 1998 and the different real property owned by him, JKL’s marriage and moving to California, birth of son, David John Langum, financial problems, income tax returns, receipts, WWII-war ration books and holder, move to Elgin, IL. Of special interest is a scrapbook of John from 2 months old until late 1940’s and the oral history, 228 pages.
The collection is divided into 19 files: Federal Reserve Years, 1941-1960; Speaking Engagements, Correspondence & Programs, 1950-1994; Teaching, University and Summer Institutes, 1934-1983; Business Economics, Inc., 1951-1999; Business Organizations & Clubs, 1952-1996; Honors, 1950-1994; Rate of Return Consultation & Testimony, 1923-1994; Directorships, 1959-1996; The Langum Report on the American Economy, 1959-1991; Elgin Planning Commission, 1955-1981; Civic, Charitable & Miscellaneous Offices & Directorships, 1957-1995; Articles, Recollections & Interviews, 1948-1998; JKL’s Date and Appointment Books, 1944-1998; Diamond T Ranch, 1968-2001; Property of JKL, 1957-1992; Personal Correspondence to/from JKL-1940-1996; JKL’s Youth and School Years, includes 25th and 50th class reunions-1913-1983; JKL’s Miscellaneous Personal; and JKL’s Travels, 1948-1998.
The Federal Reserve Years, 1941-1960 (Boxes 1-2) is arranged alphabetically by subject and includes material related to his activities while working, including speaking engagements, teaching, and his published works. Many were written during WWII and consider it in relation to the economy.
Speaking Engagements, Correspondence & Programs, 1950-1994 (Boxes 2-4) is arranged alphabetically according to subject and includes his banker’s mortgage talks and the text of his “Prospects for the American Economy”, which were lectures he gave periodically in various cities across the country.
Teaching, University, and Summer Institutes, 1934-1983 (Box 4) is arranged alphabetically according to subject and includes information related to his teaching at the various universities, banking schools and seminars. Includes information about the institutions, syllabi, correspondence and copies of some lectures.
Business Economics, Inc. 1951-1998 (Boxes 4-5) is arranged alphabetically according to subject and includes financial and tax information and a large sample of telephone messages for Mr. Langum.
Business Organizations & Clubs, 1952-1996 (Box 5) is arranged alphabetically according to subject and includes memos, reports, and minutes of various organizations and correspondence with business associates and friends.
Honors, 1950-1994 (Box 6) is organized alphabetically and contains awards, news clippings related to honors and tributes to John Langum by business associates and friends.
Rate of Return Consultation & Testimony, 1923-1994 (Boxes 6-7) is organized alphabetically according to subject and includes copies of testimony by John Langum, statistical evidence, compilation of court opinions using Langum’s testimony, and correspondence related to public utilities cases.
Directorships, 1959-1996 (Boxes 7-8) is arranged alphabetically according to subject and includes correspondence, financial information and minutes of meetings from the mutual funds groups directed by Langum.
The Langum Report on the American Economy, 1959-1991 (Box 9) is organized alphabetically according to subject and includes correspondence, research examples, advisory committee, and copies of the publication.
Elgin Planning Commission, 1955-1981 (Box 9) is arranged alphabetically and includes information related to his chairmanship, commuter parking, land usage, and Langum’s retirement from the commission.
Civic, Charitable & Misc. Offices & Directorships, 1957-1995 (Box 9) is arranged alphabetically according to subject and includes papers of Sue Langum for certain Elgin organizations, as well as those John was involved with including environmental groups.
Articles, Recollections & Interviews, 1948-1998 (Box 10) are arranged alphabetically by subject and include several interviews of JKL for the Chicago Sun-Times and U.S. News & World Report. It also includes his own autobiographical statement used for business purposes, and recollections and obituaries for JKL. There also an oral history (228 pages) of JKL.
JKL’s Date and Appointment Books, 1944-1998 (Boxes 10-12) is arranged chronologically. It contains JKL’s daily appointments and activities.
Diamond T Ranch, (Box 13), The Diamond T Ranch, located in Tucson, Arizona, was bought in 1968 and owned by JKL until his death. It was used for vacations until 1993 when JKL and Sue lived there permanently. It contained several guest houses, which were rented out to vacationers.
Property of JKL, 1957-1992 (Boxes 13-15), is arranged alphabetically by state and includes the property that was owned by JKL either by himself or with his wife and/or son.
Personal Correspondence to/from JKL, 1940-1996 (Box 15-17), is letters, cards, etc. to/from sisters, Georgene and Arlene (Artsie) and their children, WSL, other relatives and friends; outgoing to DJL, HL, VAL (incoming in their papers) (outgoing correspondence to DJL 1990-1998 located in DJL papers). Also included are notes on personal telephone calls.
JKL’s Youth and School Years 1913-1983 (Boxes 17-19) is arranged chronologically starting with youthful sermons to college. The files contains graphs, postal savings book, inventions, Sunday school items, high school graduation and reunions, college reunions, personal correspondence, marriage and new baby, move to California and then to Elgin, IL. There is a scrapbook of JKL from 8 weeks old to 1940’s with other pictures of family and friends.
JKL’s Miscellaneous Personal (Boxes 19-20) Miscellaneous subjects which include the probate of JKL; deaths of various family members, credit; spiritualism; American Association for the Advancement of Science; personal financial statements; Internal Revenue Service; and health reports of JKL.
JKL’s Travels, 1948-1998 (Boxes 20-22) is arranged chronologically by date. Some of the trips are to Florida, Arizona, California, Caribbean, Colorado, Hawaii, Europe, Canada, Newfoundland, and Norway. The files contain flyers, brochures, letters, postcards, maps, expenses, photos and miscellaneous items pertaining to the different trips.
|1||Conferences – 1943-1952|
|2||Correspondence – 1941-1949|
|3||Correspondence Re: Lectures & Speaking Engagements – 1948-1950|
|4||Correspondence Re: Publications|
|5||Draft Statement and Duties at Federal Reserve|
|8||Federal Reserve Bank-Memos, News Releases, Reports and Telegrams, 1942-1950|
|9||Federal Reserve Bank-Draft Status and Duties|
|10||Itinerary of Speeches, 1947-1949|
|11||Miscellaneous Cards, Notes, Pamphlets, Reports and Articles-1941-1949|
|12||Notes, Memos, Press Releases, Reports, Maturity Schedule of Securities, 1941 and Pamphlets, 1941-1951|
|13||Pacific Coast Banking School, 1949, Resident Section|
|14||Printed Articles By or About JKL, 1942-1950|
|15||Published Articles, 1939|
|16||Published Articles, 1940’s|
|17||Published Articles, 1950’s|
|18||Published Articles, 1960’s|
|19||Research Committee and Advisory Board/Committee for Economic Development, May 10, 1946|
|21||Speaking Activities-Federal Reserve, 1941-1950|
|22||Total Receipts and Total Expenditures Analyzed from the Standpoint of Cash or Non-Cash Transactions for Fiscal 1945|
|23||University of Chicago Class, 1945|
|24||War Finance and the Money Markets, July 13, 1942-July 27, 1942|
|25||War Finance and the Money Markets, Aug. 3, 1942-Aug. 24, 1942|
|1||Prospects for the American Economy, Jan.-Oct. 1964|
|2||Prospects for the American Economy, Feb. 1965-Dec. 1966|
|3||Prospects for the American Economy, May 1967-April 1969|
|4||Speakers Bureau, 1989-1991|
|5||Speaking Engagements, 1950’s|
|6||Speaking Engagements, 1952-1959|
|7-9||Speaking Engagements, Correspondence and Programs, 1960-1969|
|10||Speaking on the Economy in the 1970’s|
|11||Speaking on the Economy in the 1980’s|
|12||Speaking on the Economy in the 1990’s|
|13||Speech Promotion, 1989-1992|
|14||Speech Promotion, 1980-1994|
|15||Summary of Meetings and Guest Lists, 1961-1968|
|16||Summaries of Dates of Speeches (very partial) 1951-1952, 1968|
|17||Transcripts and Tests, 1956-1966|
|18||Transcripts and Tests, 1957-1976|
|19||The United States Economy/The Canadian Economy, Nov. 1972-Feb. 1974|
|20||Various Papers Used for Courses, 1960, 1966|
|21||Miscellaneous Correspondence, Programs & Notes, 1970-1980|
|1-2||Beloit School of Banking, 1945-1973|
|3||Graduate School of Banking, Prochnow, 1983|
|4||Graduate School of Banking, Rutgers, 1958|
|5||Graduate School of Banking, U of Wisconsin, 1946-1955|
|6||Graduate School of Banking, U of Wisconsin, 1970-1975|
|Directorships, 1959-1996 Cont.|
|1||Founders Fund, 1990’s|
|2||Founders Fund – Correspondence and Miscellaneous, 1960-1975|
|3||Founders Fund – Corporate Information, 1993|
|4||Founders Fund Minutes of Meetings, 1975-1976, Incomplete|
|5||Founders Fund Minutes of Meetings, 1988-1989|
|6||Founders Fund and Minutes and Correspondence, 1960-1990|
|7||Founders Minutes and Memos, 1992-1995|
|8||Founders Procedures Discussed by JKL in Response to Shareholder Inquiry, 1994|
|9||Founders Retirement-JKL, 1996|
|10||Founders – Travel Expenses and Reimbursements for JKL, 1995|
|11||Jeffrey Krinsk vs. CMA Money Fund, 1988|
|12||Miscellaneous Minutes of Meetings for Founders Fund, Gryphon Fund, Second Centennial Fund, 1960-1975|
|13||Mutual Funds Cases, 1987-1990|
|14||Mutual Funds Writings, 1976-1995|
|16||Sales & Redemption of Mutual Funds, 1971-1976|
|20||Selected Shares, Retirement Compensation, 1993|
|JKL’s Date and Appointment Books, 1944-1998 Cont.|
|1-2||JKL’s Date and Appointment Book – 1957 (2)|
|3-8||JKL’s Date and Appointment Book – 1958-1963|
|9-10||JKL’s Date and Appointment Book – 1964 (2)|
|11-13||JKL’s Date and Appointment Book – 1965-1967|
|14-15||JKL’s Date and Appointment Book – 1968 (2)|
|16-21||JKL’s Date and Appointment Book – 1969-1974|
|JKL’s Date and Appointment Books, 1944-1998 Cont.|
|1-22||JKL’s Date and Appointment Book – 1975-1998|
|Property of JKL, 1957-1992 Cont.|
|1||California – Bixby Creek, Monterey County, 1962-1979|
|2||California – Bixby Creek, Monterey County, 1963-1966|
|3||California – Bixby Creek, Monterey County, 1980|
|4||California – Bixby Creek, Monterey County, 1990 (sale)|
|5||California – Bixby Creek, Monterey County – Payments and Correspondence, 1960’s|
|6||California – 50 Acres – Coast Ridge Road – Big Sur, 1965|
|7||California – 123 Acres – Coast Ridge Road – Big Sur|
|8||Illinois – 1186 Duncan Avenue, Elgin – Residence|
|9||Illinois – 1186 Duncan Avenue, Elgin – Hoover Burnidge|
|10||Illinois – 1186 Duncan Avenue, Elgin – Assessment and Complaint|
|11||Illinois – 1186 Duncan Avenue, Elgin, 1992 (Sale)|
|12||Illinois – 477 Oakhill Road, Elgin – Residence|
|13||Illinois – 477 Oakhill Road, Elgin – Bills|
|14||Illinois – 477 Oakhill Road, Elgin – Sale|
|15||Illinois – 477 Oakhill Road, Elgin – Lot 11|
|16||Illinois – 477 Oakhill Road, Elgin – Lot 12|
|17||Illinois – 477 Oakhill Road, Elgin – The Woods – 11 and 12|
|18-19||Wisconsin – Manitowish Waters, Balsam Bay – James Bart|
|20-23||Wisconsin – Manitowish Waters, Balsam Bay|
|24||Wisconsin – Manitowish Waters, Balsam Bay – Will Byram|
|25||Wisconsin – Manitowish Waters, Balsam Bay (1955) – Sale, 1997|
|Correspondence to/from JKL, 1940-1996 Cont.|
|1||Correspondence about Chuck Wright, Jr. (Nephew) Criminal Matter, 1995-1996|
|2||Writings Concerning Artsie or Chuck Wright|
|3||Correspondence from Chuck Wright, Jr. and Tommy Wright (Artsie’s Sons)|
|4||Incoming Correspondence from Other Relatives|
|5||Outgoing Correspondence to Henry and Anna G. Langum (Parents) – 1940’s|
|6||Outgoing Correspondence to Henry and Anna G. Langum (Parents) – 1950’s|
|7||Outgoing Correspondence to Henry and Anna G. Langum (Parents) – 1960’s|
|8||Outgoing Correspondence to Virginia A de Mattos Langum (1st Wife) Not Dated|
|9||Outgoing Correspondence to Virginia A de Mattos Langum (1st Wife) 1940’s & 1950’s|
|10||Outgoing Correspondence to Virginia A de Mattos Langum (1st Wife) 1960-1967|
|11||Outgoing Correspondence to David J. Langum (Son) 1950-1954|
|12||Outgoing Correspondence to David J. Langum (Son) 1955-1959|
|13||Outgoing Correspondence to David J. Langum (Son) 1960-1964|
|14||Outgoing Correspondence to David J. Langum (Son) 1965-1969|
|15||Outgoing Correspondence to David J. Langum (Son) 1970-1974|
|16||Outgoing Correspondence to David J. Langum (Son) 1975-1979|
|17||Outgoing Correspondence to David J. Langum (Son) 1980-1989|
|18||Correspondence – Betty Fletcher (Sister of Mother-In-Law)|
|19||Correspondence – JoAnne Adams Langum (Daughter-In-Law), DJL, Sr. (Son) and Grandchildren, Virginia and John|
|20||Correspondence with Bernadette Pucine Langum and Her Children|
|21||Correspondence – Gwen Sullivan|
|22||Correspondence – Phyllis de Mattos (Mother-In-Law “Gabo”) 1940-1949|
|23||Correspondence – Phyllis de Mattos (Mother-In-Law “Gabo”) 1950-1959|
|24||Correspondence – Phyllis de Mattos (Mother-In-Law “Gabo”) 1960-1971|
|25||Correspondence to and from Helen Overpeck|
|26||Correspondence to and from Phillip M. Hauser|
|27||Correspondence with W. Sue Walker (Nelson) Langum (2nd Wife) Pre-Marriage 1969-1972|
|28||Correspondence with W. Sue Walker (Nelson) Langum (2nd Wife) 1973-1998|
|29||Correspondence with W. Sue Walker (Nelson) Langum (2nd Wife) No Date|
|30||Correspondence with Mabel Nelson Kepler (Aunt; Sister of JKL’S Mother)|
|31||Correspondence with Elaine Kepler Koch (Cousin; Daughter of Mabel Kepler)|
|32||Correspondence with Friends and Other Relatives 1924-1949|
|33||Correspondence with Friends and Other Relatives 1950’s|
|34||Correspondence with Friends and Other Relatives 1960’s|
|35||Correspondence with Friends and Other Relatives 1970’s|
|36||Correspondence with Friends and Other Relatives 1980’s|
|37||Correspondence with Friends and Other Relatives 1990’s|
|38||Correspondence with Friends and Other Relatives – No Date|
|JKL’s Youth and School Years 1913-1983 Cont.|
|1||Sixth Grade Book|
|2||Biology – Sophomore|
|3||High School Papers|
|4||Litchfield, MN High School Graduation|
|5||Litchfield, MN High School Reunions|
|6||Litchfield, MN High School Newspaper|
|7||Langum Insurance Company|
|8||Account Ledger and Trial Balance Book|
|9||Colorado College – Undergraduate Diary, Senior Year-9/1932-4/1933|
|10||Colorado College – Work Papers|
|11||Colorado College – Religious, Philosophical & Other Work or Speculations|
|12||Colorado College – 25th Reunion, 1958|
|13||Colorado College – 50th Reunion, 1983|
|14||Colorado College – Later Alumni Activities|
|15||University of Minnesota – Graduate Studies|
|16||University of Minnesota – Grades, Awarding of Ph.D., Dissertation|
|17||BV University of Minnesota – Thesis – “A Critical Analysis of Monetary Theories of Underconsumption”, 1936|
|18||BV University of Minnesota – Thesis – “The Structure of Cash Balances – 1934-1940” 1941|
|JKL’s Travels, 1948-1998 Cont.|
|1||New Hampshire (DJL’s), April, 1962|
|2||California, September, 1962 (Drive with DJL)|
|3||Hawaiian Cruise, November-December, 1962|
|4||California, June, 1965 (DJL’s Law Graduation)|
|5||Proposed Trip of Trans Siberian Railway – 1970|
|6||Missouri River, July, 1971 (Canoe Trip with DJL)|
|7||Disneyland and Rose Bowl, December, 1971|
|9||Japan, February, 1973|
|10||Israel and Middle East, March, 1973|
|11-12||Hawaiian Cruise, July-August, 1973|
|13||Alaska Cruise, August, 1974|
|14||Morocco, April, 1975|
|15||Washington, D.C., May, 1975|
|16-17||Kenya and East Africa, February, 1976|
|18||England, April, 1976|
|19||Europe, Late Spring, 1976|
|20||Norway, July, 1976|
|21||Springfield, IL, January, 1977 (Inauguration of James Thompson)|
|22||Washington, D.C., January, 1977 (Inauguration of Carter)|
|23||China and Singapore, November, 1977|
|24||Europe, March, 1978|
|25||China, February, 1979|
|26||Canadian Rockies, June, 1981|
|27||Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France and Austria, March, 1982|
|28||Britain, December, 1983|
|29||Spain, March, 1984|
|30||Germany, Luxembourg, Oberammergau, Switzerland, June, 1984|
|31||Washington, D.C., October, 1984|
|32||New York, November, 1984|
|33||Greece, March, 1988|
|34||JKL – Miscellaneous – Client and Non-Client Travels, 1989|
|35||W. Sue Langum – Miscellaneous Travels, 1989|
|JKL’s Travels, 1948-1998Cont.|
|1||W. Sue Langum, 1991|
|3||W. Sue Langum, 1992|
|5||Selected American Shares – Reimbursement Travel – Business Board Fees, 1993|
|6||Founders Fund – Reimbursement Travel – Business, 1993|
|7||Moving from Chicago to Tucson, 1993|
|8||New York, 1993|
|9||JKL and W. Sue Langum, 1995|
|11||Miscellaneous Travels, 1997|
|12||Northfield, Minnesota, July, 1997|
|13||Newfoundland, September, 1997|
|14||Panama Canal Cruise and Train to Florida, January, 1998|
|15||Miscellaneous Travel, 1974-1997|