Skip to main content


Special Collections Online at UT

Eugene L. Joyce Papers

Identifier: MS-2552

  • Staff Only

As mentioned earlier, this collection is divided into eight series: Family and Life (Series I), Correspondence (Series II), Politics and Community Involvement (Series III), Taxes and Contracts (Series IV), Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) (Series V), Educational Support, Policy, and Reform (Series VI), Speeches (Series VII), Photographs and Scrapbooks (Series VIII), and Oversize Materials (Series IX). A number of newspapers easily accessible on microfilm have been removed from this collection.

Series I: Family and Life, 1847-2003, documents Joyce's immediate and extended family and those of his activities not related to any of the other series in this collection. It is divided into four parts: personal and biographical, legal career, publications, and awards. Of particular note are the materials relating to the "Bar None" column that Joyce wrote during the later years of his life. "Bar None" dealt primarily with political matters relating to Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge history, and various of Joyce's personal reminiscences. Other points of interest include Joyce's early career in law, Joyce's genealogical research, and the plethora of awards (including a number of humorous items) that Joyce won for his tireless service to the people of Oak Ridge.

Series II: Correspondence, 1941-2000, was organized from Joyce's own correspondence file. It is composed primarily of letters written to Joyce, although the occasional letter or copy thereof from Joyce can also be found. Correspondents include Joyce's family and personal friends as well as such prominent political figures as Ross Bass, Al Gore, Sr., Al Gore, Jr., Estes Kefauver, Howard Baker, Jim Sasser, Frank Wilson, and others.

Series III: Politics and Community Involvement, 1943-2002, shows Joyce's interactions with the Oak Ridge community and both the Oak Ridge and national political structures. It contains information relating to Joyce's involvement with such Oak Ridge political entities as the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce, Joyce's service as Notary Public and County Attorney (during which time he was involved with the desegregation of Clinton High School), his association with various citizen organizations (including Tennessee's Resource Valley, the Roane Anderson Economic Council, the Tennessee Technology Foundation, and Technology 2020), his potential 1972 run for U. S. Congress, and finally the information Joyce collected on various national politicians, several of whose campaigns he managed

Series IV: Taxes and Contracts, 1949-2000, is almost wholly devoted to Joyce's efforts to convince the federal government to either pay property taxes in Oak Ridge or increase their in-lieu-of-tax payments to Oak Ridge. This information is concentrated in Sub-Series A: Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Sub-Series C: Union Carbide Corporation, Sub-Series D: Martin Marietta Corporation, and Sub-Series F: United States Department of Energy (DOE). Researchers should note that the overlap between these four sub-series is considerable, as the AEC was eventually incorporated into the DOE and both the AEC and the DOE contracted their work in Oak Ridge to Union Carbide and Martin Marietta (later Lockheed-Martin Marietta) respectively. Other potential taxes in this series designed to increase Oak Ridge's tax revenue include a refinement tax on enriched uranium (U235) and a tax on coal and oil derived from the Cumberland Mountains. Series IV also overlaps with Series V.

Series V: Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), 1945-2002, covers those aspects of Oak Ridge and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that do not deal specifically with taxes. Topics include the K-25 (including ED-1) and Y-12 sites, the neutron spallation complex, pollution and cleanup of wastes produced by installations on the Oak Ridge Reservation, proposed charges to the DOE and other federal agencies for the long-term storage of radioactive wastes, and a series of documents dealing with Oak Ridge that Joyce created. Researchers should note that there is considerable overlap between this series and Series IV. For example, many of the taxes mentioned in Series IV were to be levied on sites covered in this series, and some combination of the AEC, DOE, Union Carbide, and Martin Marietta operated virtually all of the plants present on the Reservation.

Series VI: Educational Support, Policy, and Reform, 1952-1997, demonstrates Joyce's involvement in the educational sphere. It focuses on primarily on educational institutions in East Tennessee, specifically the University of Tennessee system, Pellissippi State Community College, and Roane State Community College. It also consists of information involving Joyce's commitment to improving education, especially at the state level, for learners of all ages. Series VI is loosely related to Series III: Politics and Community Involvement, as Joyce considered education to be a means of improving Oak Ridge's economic situation, and so many of the political organizations he was involved in were active in educational questions.

Series VII: Speeches, 1865-2000, contains speeches, drafts of speeches, and notes for speeches by Joyce and others. With the exception of Sub-Series 1, Sub-Sub-Series B, speeches, drafts, and notes have been placed in alphabetical order by title. In Sub-Series 1, Sub-Sub-Series B, speeches have been organized alphabetically by the speaker's last name.

Series VIII: Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1946-2000, includes photographs of Joyce, various of his friends and colleagues, and two scrapbooks. Except in the cases of the photo album and the two scrapbooks, the materials have been organized alphabetically according to the people shown.


  • 1847-2003 (bulk 1944-2003)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


15 Linear Feet


This collection contains correspondence, clippings, minutes, memoranda, reports, publications, awards, contracts, and photographs documenting Eugene L. Joyce's life and involvement in the Oak Ridge community and political apparatus. The collection is divided into eight series: Family and Life (Series I) Correspondence (Series II), Politics and Community Involvement (Series III), Taxes and Contracts (Series IV), Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) (Series V), Educational Support, Policy, and Reform (Series VI), Speeches (Series VII), Photographs and Scrapbooks (Series VIII), and Oversize Materials (Series IX).

Biographical/Historical Note

Eugene Gene Lawrence Joyce was born on December 22, 1917 in Kingston, New York to James and Pauline [O'Neill] Joyce. He had two older siblings: Rosalind (born 1915) and Leo (born 1916). The family lived in Cold Brook (Ulster County) New York.

Joyce began his legal education at the University of Alabama in 1940, but quickly transferred to the University of Tennessee. Shortly after enrolling, his studies were interrupted by the Second World War. Joyce served with the U. S. Air Force Signal Corps between 1942 and 1944, and was honorably discharged in November of 1946. At the urging of his good friend Frank Wilson, Joyce returned to his legal studies in 1948. In 1951, Joyce graduated from the University of Tennessee with both his LLB and his JD In the same year, he was formally admitted to the bar in Tennessee and went into practice with Frank Wilson in Oak Ridge under the firm name Wilson & Joyce. Joyce was involved with the Oak Ridge legal community for many years, serving in such positions as President of the Anderson County Bar Association, Notary Public, and County Attorney as well as litigating numerous private cases.

Joyce was also heavily involved in both Oak Ridge and national politics. His first encounter with the national political system occurred in 1946, shortly after his return from the Air Force. Shortly after Joyce began work with the Manhattan Project, the plant began preparing for a large layoff. Joyce promptly became involved in order to represent the veterans working at the installation, who were legally protected from dismissal by the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act but who would be among the first fired according to company policy. Along with several other representatives, Joyce traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with Tennessee Senator K. D. McKellar. Although McKellar was notoriously difficult to work with, the Oak Ridge delegation managed to persuade him to meet with President Truman and convince the President to enforce the Act. Joyce later said that the trip had taught him two lessons: "foremost, what can be accomplished for this federal city -- often can only be accomplished -- in Washington, with our elected representatives in Congress. Second, I learned that one person can do, if prepared." This experience prompted his future involvement with politics at all levels. Organizations he participated in include the Roane-Anderson Economic Council (RAEC), Technology 2020, the Tennessee Resource Valley and its predecessor, the Tennessee Technology Foundation, and numerous others.

Joyce combined his interest in law with his interest in politics in his involvement with the federal government. Because the federal government owned large amounts of land in the Oak Ridge area but did not pay property taxes, the city of Oak Ridge was forced to levy extremely high property taxes on private citizens in order to remain solvent. Joyce lobbied tirelessly to change this situation with such proposals as changing the law that prevented taxation of federal land, charging the federal government rent for storing hazardous waste in Oak Ridge, taxing the private contractors (Union Carbide Corporation and Martin Marietta Corporation) who worked on federal land, and assessing a tax on enriched uranium (U235).

Joyce married twice, once to Mary Margaret Williams and once to Vivian McKenzie. He and Mary Margaret had two children, Lisa and Lori. Eugene L. Joyce died on May 8, 2003.


This collection contains sixteen boxes divided into eight series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Family and Life, 1847-2003
    • Sub-Series A: Family and Life, 1847-2003
    • Sub-Series B: Legal Career, 1952-2000
    • Sub-Series C: Publications, 1937-2002
    • Sub-Series D: Awards, 1931-2003
  2. Series II: Correspondence, 1941-2000
  3. Series III: Politics and Community Involvement, 1943-2002
    • Sub-Series A: Democratic Party, 1944-1992
    • Sub-Series B: Oak Ridge City Council, 1946-2000
    • Sub-Series C: Organizational Memberships and Board of Directorships, 1947-1992
    • Sub-Series D: Notary Public (Anderson County), 1951-1955
    • Sub-Series E: Clinton, Tennessee Desegregation, 1951-2000
    • Sub-Series F: County Attorney (Anderson County), 1954-1960
    • Sub-Series G: Tennessee's Resource Valley, 1962-1995
    • Sub-Series H: Roane-Anderson Economic Council (RAEC), 1965-1991
    • Sub-Series I: Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, 1964-1993
    • Sub-Series J: Tennessee Technology Foundation, 1967-1991
    • Sub-Series K: Technology 2020, 1967-1996
    • Sub-Series L: 1972 Congressional Run, 1969-1972
    • Sub-Series M: Conferences and Retreats, 1969-1996
    • Sub-Series N: Name Files, 1943-2002
  4. Series IV: Taxes and Contracts, 1949-2000
    • Sub-Series A: Atomic Energy Community (AEC), 1949-1969
    • Sub-Series B: U235 (Enriched Uranium), 1969-1979
    • Sub-Series C: Union Carbide Corporation, 1953-1981
    • Sub-Series D: Martin Marietta Corporation, 1953-1992
    • Sub-Series E: Coal and Oil, 1966-1982
    • Sub-Series F: United States Department of Energy (DOE), 1953-2000
  5. Series V: Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), 1945-2002
    • Sub-Series A: General, 1945-2002
    • Sub-Series B: Pollution and Cleanup, 1980-2000
    • Sub-Series C: K-25, 1964-1998
    • Sub-Series D: Y-12, 1989-1999
    • Sub-Series E: Neutron Spalliation Complex, 1996-1998
    • Sub-Series F: Rent, 1975-2000
    • Sub-Series G: Long-Term Stewardship, 1996-2001
    • Sub-Series H: Numbered Documents (Including Index), 1948-1997
  6. Series VI: Educational Support, Policy, and Reform, 1952-1997
    • Sub-Series A: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1965-1997
    • Sub-Series B: Pellissippi State, 1982-1997
    • Sub-Series C: Roane State Community College, 1979-1993
    • Sub-Series D: Educational Reform, 1973-1992
    • Sub-Series E: Other Colleges and Universities, 1952-1992
  7. Series VII: Speeches, 1865-2000
    • Sub-Series A: Delivered, 1965-1998
      • Section 1: Speeches Delivered by Joyce, 1950-1998
      • Section 2: Speeches Delivered by Others, 1865-1994
    • Sub-Series B: Drafts, 1948-2000
    • Sub-Series C: Notes, 1950-1993
  8. Series VIII: Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1946-2000

Acquisition Note

Vivian Joyce (Mrs. Eugene L. Joyce) donated this collection to the University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections in 2005.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA