Albert W. Reese was born in 1893 in Luce, Nebraska. He was a professor of languages at St. Paul's College in Missouri and later he became a Lutheran pastor in Chehalis, Washington. He had several hobbies, including printing (he ran a small printing press for the church) and collecting campaign buttons. He was also a great fan of Eisenhower. During the mid 1950's he made a collection of "I Like Ike" buttons in over 50 languages.

I had heard about my Grandfather's collection when I was a child, but had never paid much attention. The buttons were put in several boxes and stored in the attic of my parent's house. When they moved, I sorted through the boxes that were filled with smaller boxes, buttons, stamps, type, paper, pins and letters. As I read the letters I began to realize that his project was complex and interesting. This web page tells the story of the "I LIKE IKE" collection, as I re-created it from the 50-year-old stuff in those boxes.

The Eisenhower Library has a framed and mounted set of these buttons that my Grandfather had donated in the 1950's. The original materials that are copied on this web site will also be donated to the Library. Email me if you have any questions. Susan Ott


I think the above Republican handout may have ignited the idea for my Grandfather's collection. The earliest letters in 1953 were from button companies who said they had not made the buttons, and finally a card (undated) from the Trimble company with the buttons attached:
Letter from Green Duck Stamp Co, 1953
Letter from Whitehead Co., 1953
Card from Trimble Co

Meanwhile, the Lutheran Hour, which was a network of radio stations, broadcast in 56 languages. Here is their brochure. I can't find a date, but I imagine that my Grandfather saw the brochure sometime after the different campaign buttons, and decided then to start his project. In 1954 he was inquiring about making buttons in other languages.
Letter from Inber Co., 1954

home beginnings correspondance troubles with translations making the buttons the collection