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Inventory of the Arthur Jost Papers, 1945-1998
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement of the Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Arthur Jost Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1945-1998
    Record Group No: M24
    Creator: Jost, Arthur, 1918-
    Extent: 0.45 linear ft.
    Repository: Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies (Fresno, Calif.).
    Fresno, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Arthur Jost Papers, M24, Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Fresno, Calif.


    Arthur Jost was born 10 October 1918 in Flowing Well, Saskatchewan. In 1927 he moved with his family to the United States and settled in Reedley, California. Jost became a member of the Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church.
    During World War II Jost registered as a conscientious objector and served approximately four years in the Civilian Public Service Program. Following his discharge from CPS, Jost was instrumental in organizing Kings View Hospital, a mental hospital in Reedley, California.
    In 1950 Jost applied for United States citizenship in Fresno, California. Naturalization authorities there rejected his application because they were not satisfied that his refusal to bear arms in defense of the Constitution was based on religious training and belief, as required by law. Jost appealed the decision in the courts. His appeal was rejected by the California Superior and Appellate Courts, and the California Supreme Court refused to hear the case. The Supreme Court of the United States, however, overturned the rulings of the lower courts in 1954. Numerous technicalities prevented Jost from receiving his citizenship until more than a year later. One of Jost's attorneys before the Supreme Court was former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson.
    Jost continued to serve in various leadership positions within Kings View Hospital and Kings View Foundation until 1990, when he and his wife moved to Columbus, Ohio. While living on the West Coast Jost was active in the Pacific District Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches. He was chairman of the board of Fresno Pacific College from 1979 to 1986 and a member of that board from 1986 to 1990. He also served on the Coordinating Board of the PDC (1979-1986), the Social Concerns Committee (1989-1990), the Spiritual Ministry Committee (1955-1956), the Spiritual Welfare for Service Units Committee (1951-1954) and the Welfare and Public Relations Committee (1949-1961). Arthur Jost died in 1999.

    Scope and Content

    This record group contains correspondence, 1949-1962; court transcripts and other legal documents, 1952-1955; clippings, 1953-1956; and telegrams, 1955, related to Jost's application for citizenship and the legal appeal process. It also contains papers presented by Jost at various conferences on the topic of mental healthcare, 1945-1998; articles written by Jost on the topic of mental healthcare or by others about Kings View Hospital, 1950-1998; correspondence relating to mental healthcare issues, 1967-1998; and government testimony by Jost and appointments relating to mental healthcare, 1969-1974.

    Organization and Arrangement of the Collection

    This record group is organized into two series:
    Title: I. Materials relating to the Arthur Jost Citizenship Case, 1949-1962;
    Title: II. Material relating to mental healthcare, 1945-1998.