Joseph Family Papers, 1954-2017

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Joseph family

Title:  Papers, 1954-2017

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Collections.

Size of Collection: 1 cubic foot

Location Number:  Mss. A J83

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the professional work and political interests of a Jewish family of Louisville, Kentucky. Papers relate to Dorothy Joseph’s volunteer and professional work to promote mental health in Louisville, as well as her son Alfred S. Joseph’s involvement in state and local politics. Dorothy Joseph’s papers (Series I) include information about her work at Louisville General Hospital, Bridgehaven, Central State Hospital, the Kentucky Association for Mental Health, Community Chest, and the National Council of Jewish Women. Alfred S. Joseph’s papers (Series II) primarily contain materials relating to his involvement in the political campaigns of Morris K. Udall, an unsuccessful presidential contender, and David L. Armstrong, a local politician.

Series I (folders 1-10) contains the papers of Dorothy Joseph, a mental health activist in Louisville, Kentucky.

Folder 1 contains general correspondence between Joseph and others, relating to her work in the mental health field.

Folders 2-4 contain materials relating to mental health projects Joseph was involved with at Louisville General Hospital, Bridgehaven, and Central State Hospital, respectively. Included are materials relating to a psychiatric volunteer program run by Hospital Auxiliaries at Louisville General Hospital. Materials include correspondence, volunteer orientation documents, and drafts of guidelines for volunteers working with psychiatric patients (folder 2). Also present are materials relating to the establishment and operation of Bridgehaven, a center for mental health patients recently discharged from a hospital. Bridgehaven materials consist of correspondence, including letters exchanged with other half-way houses or those planning to establish rehabilitation centers for the mentally ill. Also included are clippings and articles related to the establishment and financing of the center (folder 3). Finally, there are also materials from Central State Hospital, where Joseph served for a time on the public relations team. Materials include correspondence and superintendent’s reports (folder 4).

Folder 5 contains the script of a production by the Kentucky Association for Mental Health entitled “You, Yourselves”. The production discusses mental health news from the state and contains information about the establishment of Bridgehaven.

Folder 6 contains a board members list for the Community Chest.

Folder 7 contains printed materials including a conference program from the Kentucky Association for Mental Health, a newsletter of the National Council of Jewish Women, and newsletters from Kentucky’s Department of Mental Health.

Folder 8 contains speechwriting materials, especially inspirational quotes. This material is primarily related to Joseph’s son’s candidacy for student council.

Folder 9 includes newspaper clippings relating to mental health projects Joseph was involved in.

Folder 10 contains thank-you cards given to Joseph by her friends and coworkers.

Series II (folders 11-34) contains the papers of Alfred S. Joseph, a Jewish lawyer of Louisville, Kentucky. Included are a few items from Joseph’s childhood documenting his interest in leadership and government (folders 11-13). Subsequent materials relate to his involvement in political campaigns, especially Morris K. Udall’s presidential primary campaign in Kentucky and David Armstrong’s election to local offices. This material includes correspondence and documents relating to campaign organization, as well as campaign ephemera (folders 14-31). Miscellaneous materials include a pamphlet about racial desegregation in Louisville (folder 32), a DVD of a KET production “Jewish Kentucky” (folder 33), and a Leadership Kentucky directory and list of members on the 1985 Jefferson County Police Department search committee (folder 34).

Related materials:
David L. Armstrong letter to Fred Joseph, 16 September 1978. (Mss. C A Armstrong, David L.)

Biographical Note

This collection contains the papers of two members of the Joseph family: Dorothy Joseph (1916-2013) and her son Alfred S. Joseph III (1943-).

Dorothy “Dot” Cone Joseph was born in 1916 in Little Rock, Arkansas to Alvin Cone and Pearl Jacobus Cone. She married Louisville architect Alfred S. Joseph, Jr. (1912-1988) in 1940. The couple had three children: Alfred III, Susan, and a boy who died in infancy.

Dorothy dedicated much of her life to advancing mental health in her community. During World War II, she volunteered as a Red Cross Gray Lady at Nichols General Hospital in the neuropsychiatry ward. After the war, she continued her work in the field of mental health at Louisville General Hospital, Our Lady of Peace, and the V.A. Hospital.

In the early 1950s she was chair of a mental health committee of the Louisville Section of the National Council of Jewish Women. In this capacity she was instrumental in the founding of Bridgehaven, one of the first community based halfway houses for the mentally ill in the country. Bridgehaven helps psychiatric patients transition to normal, independent living, and regain social and industrial skills necessary to re-employment. Joseph served as the second chair of the Bridgehaven advisory board. Her devotion to mental health work led her to the position of administrative director to the Commissioner of Mental Health for the State of Kentucky.

In 1962 she became interim director of the Forensic Unit at Central State Hospital, where she was responsible to both the Department of Mental Health and the Crime Commission. She subsequently became Administrative Assistant to a second Kentucky Commissioner of Mental Health, where she was instrumental in shaping the state regulations for mental health, alcohol and substance abuse.

Additionally, she served as Secretary of the Kentucky Association for Mental Health, chairman of the Louisville General Hospital Auxiliary, a member of the Board of Visitors to Central State Hospital, and a board member of the Louisville Mental Health Center at Norton Infirmary. She also served as a board member of the Community Chest of Louisville, and a member of the Community Chest Health and Welfare Council.

Dorothy Joseph died in 2013 and is buried in the Temple Cemetery.

Dorothy’s son, Alfred “Fred” S. Joseph III, was born in 1943 in Louisville, Kentucky. He graduated from Wesleyan University and attended University of Michigan Law School, graduating with his J. D. in 1968. Alfred is an attorney at Stites & Harbison specializing in real estate, with an emphasis on affordable housing, commercial lending, and land use.

Alfred Joseph was also active in various political campaigns. He was the Kentucky State Campaign Chairman for Morris K. Udall, a candidate in the 1976 Democratic primary for President of the United States. He was also a longtime personal friend and advisor to Louisville mayor Dave Armstrong.

He has been Chairman of the Community Relations Council, and the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Federation of Louisville.

Dorothy “Dot” Joseph, obituary published in the Courier-Journal, 14 March 2013.
Stites & Harbison website, Alfred S. Joseph III:

Folder List

Box 1
Series I: Dorothy Joseph papers, 1954-1971
Folder 1: General correspondence re: mental health work, 1954-1971, n.d.
Folder 2: Louisville General Hospital Auxiliaries, psychiatric volunteer program, 1955-1960
Folder 3: Bridgehaven & halfway houses, 1957-1962
Folder 4: Central State Hospital, 1954-1964, n.d.
Folder 5: “You, Yourselves” script of production by the Kentucky Association for Mental Health, 1958
Folder 6: Community Chest board member list, n.d.
Folder 7: Printed materials, 1954-1968
Folder 8: Drafts of speeches, especially re: son’s student council election, ca. 1950s
Folder 9: Newspaper clippings, 1958-1960
Folder 10: Thank you cards, 1961, 1968, n.d.

Series II: Alfred S. Joseph papers, 1956-2017
Folder 11: Barret Junior High music programs & student newspaper, 1956-1958
Folder 12: Boy Scouts of America, Order of the Arrow – handbooks, membership directories, etc., 1957-1960
Folder 13: Bluegrass Boys’ State, attendee list and photo, 1960
Folder 14: Morris K. Udall presidential campaign: Campaign correspondence, 1974-Feb. 1976
Folder 15: Morris K. Udall presidential campaign: Campaign correspondence, March-Dec. 1976
Folder 16: Morris K. Udall presidential campaign: Campaign organization in Kentucky, 1975-76
Folder 17: Morris K. Udall presidential campaign: Kentucky delegate selection & primaries, 1976
Folder 18: Morris K. Udall presidential campaign: Campaign ephemera, 1976
Folder 19: Morris K. Udall presidential campaign: Position statements and address to Kentucky voters (audio files), 1976
Folder 20: Morris K. Udall presidential campaign: Press releases & news articles, 1975-76
Folder 21: Morris K. Udall presidential campaign: Lists of supporters, ca. 1975-76
Folder 22: Morris K. Udall presidential campaign: Contributor lists, 1976
Folder 23: Correspondence re: Morris K. Udall, 1987-2007
Folder 24: Fred Joseph & David L. Armstrong personal correspondence & eulogy, 1986-2017
Folder 25: David L. Armstrong: Campaign ephemera, 1970s-80s
Folder 26: David L. Armstrong: Commonwealth Attorney reports on crime, 1981
Folder 27: David L. Armstrong: Attorney General campaign organization, 1983
Folder 28: David L. Armstrong: Attorney General campaign materials, 1983
Folder 29: David L. Armstrong: Political bumper stickers, ca. 1980s-90s
Folder 30: Bumper stickers: Presidential elections, 1970s-2000s
Folder 31: Bumper stickers: Local Kentucky & Congressional elections, 1970s-2000s
Folder 32: “Louisville Moves Again” pamphlet re: racial desegregation, ca. 1960s
Folder 33: “Jewish Kentucky”, KET production, ca. 2005
Folder 34: Miscellaneous, 1985, n.d.

Subject Headings

Armstrong, David L. (David Love), 1941-2017.
Asylums – Kentucky.
Barret Traditional Middle School (Louisville, Ky.)
Bluegrass Boys’ State.
Boy Scouts of America – Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Bridgehaven (Louisville, Ky.)
Campaign funds – Kentucky.
Central State Hospital (Louisville, Ky.)
Commonwealth’s Attorney (Jefferson County, Ky.)
Community Chest (Louisville, Ky.)
Crime – Kentucky. Democratic Party (Ky.)
Elections – Kentucky.
Halfway houses.
Health planning – Kentucky.
Jewish women – Kentucky – Louisville.
Jews – Kentucky – Louisville.
Jews – Kentucky – Louisville.
Jews – Political activity – United States.
Joseph, Alfred S., 1943-
Joseph, Dorothy, 1916-2013.
Kentucky – Race relations.
Kentucky Association for Mental Health.
Kentucky. Attorney General’s Office.
Kentucky. Department of Mental Health.
Louisville General Hospital (Louisville, Ky.)
Mayors – Kentucky – Louisville.
Medical care – Kentucky.
Mental health – Kentucky.
National Council of Jewish Women – Louisville Section.
Order of the Arrow – Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Political campaigns – Kentucky.
Psychiatric hospitals – Kentucky.
Public health – Kentucky.
Udall, Morris K.
Volunteer workers in mental health.
Voting – Kentucky.

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