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Charles F. Horn Papers (MS-629)

Identifier: MS-629

Scope and Contents

This collection focuses on the political career and life of Charles Horn, as well as containing many useful documents pertaining to the history and political environment of the cities of Kettering and Dayton. Finally, as Horn was very interested in bringing Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s technological research to broader, civilian purposes in Ohio, many of the documents in this collection pertain to Wright-Patterson technology and research and even more generally, technological advancements in Dayton.

Series I, Personal Life, contains records pertaining to Horn’s personal life, including familial correspondence, report cards from college and high school, household expenditure records, and other non-career related documents. This series is dated from 1942 to 1995, though the vast majority of records within this series are dated 1944-1950.

Series II, Kettering City Council, contains records pertaining to Horn’s service on the Kettering city council. The series includes documents pertaining to various city projects the council worked on while Horn was on the council. This series also includes a copy of the Kettering City Charter, which details the various duties of the council and inner-workings of Kettering city-government. Also within this series are the campaign materials Horn used while running for a seat on city council. Finally, the series also includes news articles on Horn’s work as a councilman. Although Horn served as a councilman from 1963 to 1969, the materials within this collection are dated from 1957 to 1975, as some of the later records which were created after Horn was elected Mayor still pertain to council projects, rather than mayoral projects.

Series III, Kettering Mayor, includes records pertaining to Horn’s service as mayor of Kettering. This series contains records pertaining to the numerous special projects Horn worked on while mayor, such as the “Camp for Kids Who Can’t” program, the Kettering beautification and marigold-planting initiative, the Sister Cities international program, cable TV projects, and various technology initiatives. Additionally, this series includes correspondence exchanged while Horn served as mayor and campaign materials for Horn’s original campaign for the title of mayor and for subsequent re-elections. Also within this series are news articles written about the city of Kettering while Horn was mayor and about Horn himself. Finally, there are oversize materials within this series, including various awards and recognitions given awarded to mayor Horn. Materials within this series are dated from 1966 to 1986. While Horn’s term as mayor lasted from 1969-1980, some of the projects included in this series out-lasted Horn’s mayoral term, so they are included here as well.

Series IV, Montgomery County Commissioner, is made of records pertaining to Horn’s service as Montgomery county commissioner. These records include general county government documents and projects, Horn’s campaign materials, as well as news articles pertaining to Horn’s term as county commissioner. These documents are dated from 1979 to 1984.

Series V, Ohio Senator, contains documents used, created during, and pertaining to Horn’s service as an Ohio senator. The bulk of this series includes documents pertaining to Senator Horn’s projects involving technology and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The series also contains records pertaining to Senator Horn’s state economy projects, international programs, and documents pertaining to the development of the city of Dayton. This series also includes correspondence written while Horn served as a senator and news articles written on Senator Horn and his initiatives. Records within this series are dated from 1984 to 2011. Though Horn’s senatorial term ended in 2000, many of the projects he spearheaded were still being developed by others into 2011 and records from those longer-lasting projects are included within this series.

Series VI, Photographs, Videos, and Audio, includes photographs, videos, and audio from Horn’s career and personal life. The photographs included range in date from Horn’s early life until the end of his senatorial career in 2000. Many of the photographs were taken during Horn’s various international political trips, during campaigning, and other special events. The majority of the videos and audio within this series were generally recorded during senatorial meetings or during discussions of senatorial projects.


  • Creation: 1942 - 2011
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1961 - 2001


Conditions Governing Access

There are no donor-imposed restrictions on access restrictions for this collection; however, necessary preservation and logistical restrictions are described below.

Audio/visual materials: Due to preservation concerns, only digitized reference copies of original audio and video materials are available for access by researchers. Many such items in this collection have already been digitized for preservation and access purposes; these are identified in the inventory (by the inclusion of an e-item number, such as "ms629_e0001", in addition to a box/file location) and are processed and available. Items without digitized reference copies can be digitized at the request of a patron for the cost of creating a digital copy.

To request access to not-yet-digitized analog audio or video media, please provide us at least two weeks advance notice so that a digitized reference copy can be created; for items that already have a digitized copy, please provide at least two days advance notice for access to those electronic files. Call (937) 775-2092 or e-mail us at Use of digitized content is subject to conditions governing use.

Electronic records: This collection contains no original electronic records (i.e., no digital records generated by the creator); however, some materials have been digitized and are subject to the following terms: All electronic (digitized) records listed in this finding aid (indicated by an e-item number, such as "ms629_e0001") are processed and available; however, researchers are requested to provide two business days advance notice when requesting electronic records. Call (937) 775-2092 or e-mail us at

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Charles F. Horn was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio, on July 20, 1924. He grew up on his parents’ farm and graduated from Bellefontaine High School as World War II was beginning. Horn enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 and became a corporal in the Army Air Corps as part of the Flying Tigers fighter squadron. Horn and the Flying Tigers were stationed in a variety of countries during the war, including India, China, North Africa, and Italy. After the war, Horn earned an electrical engineering degree from Purdue University in 1949, and then went on to Cleveland Marshall Law School, where he obtained his law degree in 1954.

Horn served the public in many different local and state government roles. He was elected to the Kettering City Council in 1963 and served on the council until 1969, when he became the mayor of Kettering. As mayor, Horn encouraged Kettering-residents to become involved in volunteering (known as “volunteerism” by Horn and others) and spear-headed many public-beautification projects in the Kettering-area. During his mayoral term, Horn also became involved in creating the Miami Valley Cable Council, helped fundraise for a charity called “Camp for Kids who Can’t,” and participated in the Sister Cities program. In addition to these roles, Horn also served as a Montgomery County Commissioner from 1980 to 1984.

From 1985 to 2000, Horn served in the Ohio Senate, representing the sixth district, which encompasses most of Montgomery County, including Dayton. As a senator, Horn focused on technology, specifically utilizing the technological research performed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to bring technology and jobs to Montgomery County.

Horn died on December 3, 2022, in West Chester, Ohio.


8.5 linear feet

1.032 Terabytes : digitized newspaper clippings, audiocassettes, and videos

Language of Materials



This collection contains documents, correspondence, news articles, photographs, and audio-visual materials relating to the life and career of Charles F. Horn. The materials in this collection were produced or otherwise used by Horn throughout his political career as a Kettering councilman, Kettering mayor, Montgomery county commissioner, and Ohio Senator. Throughout his public service career, Horn was involved in various local, statewide, and federal political initiatives involving technology, international accord, volunteerism, and economic growth. Many of the items within this collection reflect Horn’s involvement in these areas, with a particular emphasis on Horn’s projects pertaining to Wright Patterson Air Force Base.


The collection is arranged into six series:

  1. Series I: Personal Life, 1942-1995
  2. Series II: Kettering City Council, 1957-1975
  3. Series III: Kettering Mayor, 1966-1986
  4. Series IV: Montgomery County Commissioner, 1979-1984
  5. Series V: Ohio Senator, 1984-2011
  6. Series VI: Photographs, Videos, and Audio, 1942-2005

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

A computer with appropriate hardware and software will be needed to access electronic records in this collection. File formats include: *.TIF and *.PDF (digitized newspaper clippings); *.WAV (digitized audio); and *.AVI and *.MP4 (digitized video).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University Libraries, by Charles Horn in July 2018, with additions in 2018 and 2019.

Existence and Location of Copies

A selection of photographs and documents from this collection can be viewed online in Wright State University’s Campus Online Repository (CORE Scholar):

Separated Materials

Following digitization and review of content, 3 audiocassettes and 2 VHS videocassettes found to contain irrelevant content were not retained in the collection. Newspaper clippings, once digitized, were also not retained in their original paper form.

Processing Information

This collection is arranged into series based on the public roles in which Charles Horn served when the documents within the series were created (or to which they pertain). The only exception to this arrangement is the final series, Series VI, which includes photographs, videos, and audio created throughout different stages of Horn’s life and political career. Also, original newspaper clippings in this collection have been digitized for preservation and the originals not retained.

Guide to the Charles F. Horn Papers (MS-629)
Anna Helmig, Lisa Rickey
2019 Nov 8
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Processing of the Charles F. Horn Papers was made possible through the generous support of Charles Horn himself.

Revision Statements

  • 2022 April: Lisa Rickey added more description for digitized audio and video, as well as e-item numbers for audio, video, and news clippings

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA