Southern Methodist University

Aldo Shults papers

A Guide


Creator: Shults, Aldo Aylette, 1897-1977.
Title: Aldo Shults papers
Dates: 1930s-1965
Abstract: Aldo Shults was a railroad dining car steward and union grievance representative. This collection contains correspondence regarding grievances, negotiations, and other union business; official releases and directories of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen; memoranda, ledgers, receipts, menus, and other printed material concerning Shults' work on the Missouri Pacific Railroad.
Accession No: Mss 1
Extent: 5 boxes (5 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Aldo Aylette Shults was born August 16, 1897 in Moscow Mills, Missouri to Aylette Aldo Shults and Inez Abbott. Shults married Ruby Faye Calhoon in Oakland, California, October 17, 1921. From Oakland, they moved to St. Louis, Missouri in February, 1922. Mr. Shults waited tables at the Claridge and other hotels before becoming a dining car steward for Missouri Pacific Railroad in the fall of 1927. For the next 35 years, Shults would have many interesting experiences, including meeting all types of famous people such as Harry Truman, Will Rogers, various congressmen and other dignitaries.

Shults' first assignment on the Missouri Pacific was on the route from St. Louis to Denver, Colorado. Later, from 1931-1953, Shults worked on the trains going from San Antonio, Texas to Mexico City. He was on a train that was held up by Mexican bandits, narrowly being missed by a bullet that went through a dining car window. During his twenty-two years on that run, Shults survived several train wrecks and earthquakes without injury.

When the dining cars were taken off the Mexico City run, Mr. Shults was transferred to Houston where his route was from Houston to St. Louis and the return trip. Later, Shults was transferred to St. Louis. Mr. Shults retired on his sixty fifth birthday, August 16, 1962.

During his career as a dining steward, Shults held the job of grievance man for the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. As evidenced in the large correspondence collection, the job was not easy and required many hours of extra labor on his part. Because of Shults' understanding and integrity, union members and railroad officials alike trusted him. Aldo Shults died October 21, 1977 in San Antonio, Texas.


Ruby Calhoon Shults

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection has been arranged into three primary groups of material. The first is Correspondence: Personal and Business. The personal correspondence pertains to family matters, deaths of family members, and appreciation from passengers for good service. The business correspondence consists of rule changes of dining car procedures, inspections, and performance.

The second is labeled Railroad Job and is comprised of that material pertaining to Shults' job as a dining card steward and his membership in the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Included are memoranda concerning menu changes, hours, and service along with ledgers and receipts from his work.

The third category groups most of the railroad printed material together. The Publications series consists of newspaper articles, books and pamphlets regarding railroading, rules of the Missouri Pacific Lines Railroad, and material from the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into three series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1932-1958
Series 2: Railroad job, 1930s-1962
Series 3: Publications, 1935-1965


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Shults, Aldo Aylette, 1897-1977
Corporate Bodies
Missouri Pacific Railroad Company.
Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.
Railroads -- Dining-car service.
Railroads -- Employees.
Collective bargaining -- Railroads.
Railroads -- Employees -- Labor unions.
Document types

Related Materials

Collection on Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, 1852-1963 (A1985.0783c)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Aldo Shults papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ruby Calhoun Shults, 1980.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Dawn Letson, 1981; revised by Tanya Jimenez, 1991; revised by Cynthia Franco, 2016.

Finding aid encoded by

Cynthia Franco, 2016.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1932-1958
1 box

This series contains personal and business correspondence.
Box Folder
1 1-9 Personal Correspondence 1932-1956 - Includes correspondence relating to family and friends: invitations to weddings, birthday cards, etc. Letters regarding the deaths of Bernard Westmoreland, Aldo Shults's nephew; Aylett A. Shults, Aldo Shults's father; and James V. Shults, Aldo Shults' uncle. Three pictures of the Westmoreland funeral are also included.
10-16 Correspondence 1928-1958 - Letters written to Aldo Shults from passengers of the Missouri Pacific Lines. They express their appreciation for his service and kindness.
17-38 Correspondence, 1931-1956 - Includes correspondence relating to negotiations of pay rates and service allowances and conditions; protests; grievances, seniority; rosters; schedules, and Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. Some of this correspondence reflects the history in the changing years such as World War II and the ending of segregation. Folder 17 contains a small picture of Aldo A. Shults.
39-45 Business Cards. The business and personal cards are organized alphabetically in subgroups of United States business and personal cards, Mexico business and personal cards, railroad business cards, and Aldo Shults's business cards.

Series 2: Railroad Job, 1930s-1962
3 boxes

This series contains mostly business documents with some personal ephemera.
Box Folder
2 46-48 Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen - official releases and mediation agreements, 1930s-1950s
49 Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen - Circular of Instructions, 1944-1953.
50 Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen - Aldo A. Shults's membership fee receipts from 1936-1956.
51 Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen - miscellaneous papers: statement by A. F. Whitney April 24, 1946, minutes of joint meeting Oct. 1946, grievance applications, undated correspondence.
52-59 In-House Memorandum, 1928-1961 Memorandum and circulars dealing primarily with menu changes, efficient service, appointments, and service rule changes for employees of the Dining Car Department.
60 Instructions to Stewards on Missouri Pacific Lines regarding rules for conduct of crew, preparing car for trip, uniform, etc.
61 Analysis of Dining Car Account. Two computer print outs: dated May 1962 and June 1962.
62 Dining Car Department Address List.
63 Statement of Deductions from wages 1942-1948
64 Prospect Hill Lodge No. 1247 (San Antonio, Texas) receipts certifying that Aldo Shults paid his dues. 1941-1957. Also one card belonging to John H. Hill from Danville Lodge No. 101 (Kilgore, Texas) included.
65 Missouri Pacific Lines Gulf Coast International-Great Northern Railroad Co. Passes 1933-1950 (not complete).
66 Departamento de Salubridad Publica. Certificado de Buena Salud 1932-1934, 1937. Five cards, 3 have small pictures of Aldo A. Shults.
67 Aldo Shults's fishing license for 1930-1934, 1935. Newspaper articles concerning fishing and humorous clippings.
68 Collected addresses on scraps of menu or paper.
69-70 Miscellaneous papers
71-73 Missouri Pacific Lines Dining Car Department Trip Time Sheets 1936-1960.
74 Receipts for money received from Aldo Shults for #6 room. Tickets are dated in the years 1956 and 1957.
75 Remittance Receipts, 1949-1962. A record of cash receipts collected by dining car stewards during given trips.
76 Office Auditor Passenger Traffic Correction Advice. Dec. 1961 - Feb. 1962.
77 Dining Car Food Order Slips, Notes of incidents on the dining car, and Auditor Freight and passenger receipts
78 Forms: Dining Car Equipment Report Feb 1952, Supply & Silverware Report, Laundry issued, etc.
Box Folder
3 79 Cash report, 1935.
80-82 Unused Forms: Dining car meal checks, Cafe and dining car service supply receipts, Dining car equipment requisition, Special Credit slips, report of personal injury, Trip time sheets, blank stationary and envelopes.
83 Dining Car Meals. Menu schedules, allowable liquor imports, recipes, and descriptions of meals.
84-87 Menus - Silver Platter Luncheon Menus; M. P. L. The Eagle Menus; Christmas Menus with essays on the back concerning World War II; "Buenos Dias" 9/52 Menus and souvenir menus
88 "Diner Closed" sign
89 Photograph of Paul Odell. Richmond, Cal. taken in front of an A.T. & S.F. Engine.
90 Various Newspaper clippings
Box Folder
5X 1 Dining Car Department Cash Reports: 1937, 1953, and three books for 1962
2 An invitation to Mrs. Sue Safford Pr(?) inviting her to participate in the annual pilgrimage to the Alamo.
3 Three blank note pads in small leather holders
4 Requisition forms for supplies
5 Two pieces of paper with notes of the day's events. Dated 11/9/31
9 Stamp pad and Stamp "A.A. SHULTS, Steward"
10 Empty Wallet
11 A small bull clip and an empty gun shell.

Series 3: Publications, 1935-19650
2 boxes

This series contains various railroad industry publications.
Box Folder
3 91 Texas Grand Magazine Nov. 1949, Rail Pension News Aug. 1949, Scientific American Article Nov. 1927, and Texas Centennial Exposition Article, The Houston Post Vol. 1 No. 3 Sept. 24, 1935.
92 Texas Road Map, Ten Short Lessons in Masonic Philosophy
93 Pamphlets: From hand to mouth.;This thing called Railroading; Railroad Retirement Act; A Thought A Day; Missouri Pacific Rules and Rates of Pay; Dining Car Stewards; U.S. Customs Information; "You are the Missouri Pacific"
94-95 Directories of the Grand Lodge and Subordinate Lodges of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. 1941-1954. Twelve issues, incomplete set.
96-98 Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen Books:
Negotiating Manual 1952-1953
Closing Argument, Argument in Rebuttal
Proceedings of 3rd Quadrennial Leg. Assembly of Brotherhood of RR Trainmen, of Ladies Auxiliary
Constitution & General Rules of the Brotherhood of RR Trainmen
Minutes January 5-9, 1948
Labor Management Relations Act of 1947
Labor Management Relations: Minority Views
Arbitration Award 8/44, Vacation Agreement
Accident and Health Claim Department 9/47
Testimony of A.F. Whitney
Report to the President by the Emergency Board
Trainmen's Chief Charges RR Waste Manpower
Arbitration Award and Vacation Agreement
Testimony of Charles Decker
Opening Statement of Ray T. Miller
Proceedings of the International Assoc. of General Chairmen
99 Books/Reports by the President of Brotherhood of RR Trainmen:
Wartime Wages and Railroad Labor
Railroad Rules--Wage Movement : 1941, 1944-1946
Box Folder
4 100 Mainstreet Not Wallstreet
101 Publications:
Handbook on sanitation (Two copies)
Statement of Federal Coordination of Transportation
Railroad Employees Benefits
Don't Lose Human Touch
MPL Employees' Hospital Benefits
Our Safety Plan Nov. 1950
Veterans Seniority Rights Nov. 24, 1944
General Rules for the Guidance of all employees,
MPL Instructions for Operating Air Conditioning Equipment
Benefits for Railroad Workers
102 The Railroad Journal, Oct., 1940; Trains and the Men Who Run Them by Alexander Uhl 1954.
103 Brochures on The Eagle, Routes of The Eagle
104-106 The Railroad Trainmen Magazine, 1941-1948
107-109 Missouri Pacific Lines Magazine, 1947-1963
Box Folder
5X 6 Missouri Pacific Lines Magazines Volume 16 May 1941 No. 4; Volume 16 August 1941 No. 7
7 Issues of Trainmen News July 25, 1949; Feb. 1952; Jan. 5, 1953; and Jan. 26, 1953.
8 Trainman News Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen. March 13, 1948; March 20, 1948; April 26, 1965.