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Manuscripts by Subject - Politics / Government #10054

Title:   Adolph Marc Christianson Papers

Dates: 1921-1952

Collection Number:  10054

Quantity:  8 feet

Abstract: Reports, speeches, printed material, correspondence, concerning legal and welfare matters; the Emergency Relief Administrations, United Services Organization, Boy Scouts, National Defense Welfare Service, and the North Dakota Council on Human Relations. Christianson was a Justice on the North Dakota Supreme Court, 1915-1934.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Adolph Marc Christianson papers from Mrs. A. M. Christianson in 1954

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U. S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access:  This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota

Citation:  Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all bibliographic references.


Adolph Marc Christianson, Supreme Court judge, was born in Brumnundalen, Norway, 1877. He came to the United States in 1882 where his father settled in Polk County, Minnesota. He was admitted to the bar in 1899 and the North Dakota State Bar in 1900, locating in Towner. He was States Attorney for McHenry County from 1901-1905. He married Edith Baldwin in 1906 and they had two children Mrs. James C. (Ruth) Coleman and A. M. (Marc) Christianson.

He remained in private law practice until election to Supreme Court of North Dakota. 1914 and was re-elected in 1920, 1926, 1932, 1938. He was a member of the North Dakota High Tribunal for 38 years and was well known for his work in the Boy Scouts. He first came in contact with the Boy Scouts as a member of the Rotary Club in 1921. Along with Judge W. L. Nuessle, H. O. Saxvik, and Rev. John Slag he organized the Bismarck Area Boy Scouts Council in 1927 whose name was changed to Missouri-Valley Council in1928. He was chairmen of the Scout Council until 1931, was the President of the Council from 1932-1935, and Council Finance Chairmen from 1936-1947. In 1947 he was named to the Council Executive Board. Christianson was also member of the Region Ten Council and a National Council member. In 1931 he was the first member of the Missouri Valley Council to receive the Silver Beaver Award. He received the Silver Antelope Award in 1940 and the Eagles Civic Service Award for his Scout work.

He was instrumental in organizing the Bismarck Community Chest in 1927 and served as president for a period of 21 years retiring from the office in 1949. He headed the North Dakota War Chest during World War II and was on the advisory board of the Salvation Army for many years. He also helped to organize the Girl Scout Movement. In January 1933 he became the Chairman and State Relief Administrator for federal funds in North Dakota and later became Chairman of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. He was called to Washington, D. C. for a series of conferences which resulted in the formation of the National Youth Administration. Franklin D. Roosevelt offered Christianson a federal post, which he declined. Christianson was guided the formation of the North Dakota Rural Rehabilitation cooperative during the depression and drought years. He was honorary chairman of the 1936 Jewish Relief Drive conducted in North Dakota. He advocated the State Farm which was adopted in 1941 and the funds established in 1943.

He was a member of the Rotary Club, Lions Club, was a 33rd degree Mason, President of State Social Welfare Conferences 1929-1930, and sat 38 years on the bench. His main interests were social problems. His decisions were consistently to preserve the family institution and in the best interests of children and youth.

The major portion of the correspondence, 1921-1950 in the Adolph Marc Christianson papers is found in the years 1930-1944. It is composed of copies of Christianson correspondence dealing with the United Service Organization, North Dakota National Defense Welfare Service, Federal Emergency Relief Administration and other relief drives, judicial correspondence, National War Fund and six boxes on H. P. Goddard's correspondence.

Adolph Marc Christianson spent many years involved in civic activities. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America for about 27 years. Christianson’s judicial correspondence can be found in box 2 and information on the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and other relief drives in boxes 3 and 4. Box 13 contains scrapbooks, one of which belongs to Ruth Christianson and also some political pamphlets.

The Christianson collection contains a great deal of H. P. Goddard’s correspondence dealing with the United Service Organization and the North Dakota National Defense Welfare Service. Goddard was secretary of the Bismarck Association of Commerce for 13 1/2 years, Director of the First National Bank and the State Board of Administration, established the first Ford agency in Bismarck, was secretary of the YMCA in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was a member of the Presbyterian Church and Masonic Lodge.


Box 1:
1          Correspondence, 1921-1922 (Personal)
2          Correspondence, 1923 Jan-Mar. (Personal)
3          Correspondence, 1923 Apr-Jul. (Personal)
4          Correspondence, 1923 Aug-Dec. (Personal)
5          Correspondence, 1924 Jan-Feb. (Personal)
6          Correspondence, 1924 March (Personal)
7          Correspondence, 1930-1935
8          Correspondence, 1938 (Student Loans)
9          Correspondence, 1938 (Students Loans)
10         Correspondence, 1937-1938 (Personal)

Box 2:
1         Correspondence, 1939-1943 (Personal)
2          Correspondence, 1944-1946 (Personal)
3          Correspondence 1947-1948 (Personal)
4          Correspondence, 1949-1950 (Personal)
5          Correspondence, n.d.
6          Correspondence, 1921-1922 (Judica1)
7          Correspondence 1923 (Judicial)
8          Correspondence, 1924 (Judicial)
9          Correspondence, 1930-1944 (Judicial)
10         Correspondence, 1945-1952 (Judicial)
11         Correspondence, Misc. and undated (Judicial)

Box 3:
1          Federal Emergency Relief Administration
2          FERA Personal
3         Committee on Economic Security
4          Poor relief (mother's pension)
5          Poor relief
6          Poor relief and poor farms
7          Old age pension
8          Commitment of non-delinquents

Box 4:
1          Norwegian Relief Inc.
2          Norway and Norwegians by Collier Boy Scouts
3          North Dakota Council on Human Relations
4          Letters from Governor
5          Laying of Capitol cornerstone
6          Petitions for nominations
7          Other relief organizations

Box 5:
1          Minutes of executive committee meetings
2          USO - Adams County
3          USO - Barnes County
4          USO - Benson County
5          USO - Billings County
6          USO - Bottineau County
7          USO - Bowman County
8          USO - Burke County
9          USO -  Burleigh County
10         USO - Cass County
11         USO - Cavalier County
12         USO - Dickey County
13        USO - Divide County
14        USO - Dunn County
15        USO - Eddy County
16        USO - Emmons County
17        USO - Foster County
18        USO - Griggs County
19        USO - Golden Valley County           
20        USO - Grand Forks County
21        USO - Grant County

Box 6:
1         USO - Hettinger County
2          USO - Kidder County
3          USO - LaMoure County
4          USO - Logan County
5          USO - McHenry County
6          USO - McIntosh County
7          USO - McKenzie County
8          USO - McLean County
9          USO - Mercer County
10        USO - Morton County
11        USO - Mountrail County
12        USO - Nelson County
13        USO - Oliver County
14        USO - Pembina County
15        USO - Pierce County
16        USO – Ramsey County
17        USO - Renville County
18        USO - Richland County
19        USO - Rolette County

Box 7:
1          USO – Sargent County
2         USO - Sheridan County
3         USO - Sioux County
4         USO - Slope County
5         USO - Stark County
6         USO - Steele County
7         USO - Stutsman County
8          USO – Towner County
9          USO - Trail County
10        USO - Walsh County
11        USO - Ward County
12        USO - Wells County
13        USO - Williams County
14        Correspondence re. County Chairman
15        Letters and Reports from County Chairmen

Box 8:
1          USO - NDWS General Correspondence 1941-1949
2           USO Correspondence
3           USO Finance
4           Expense Vouchers
5           Bills Paid
6           USO Service
7           Radio, Motion Picture, Theater
8           Bishop V. J. Rigan
9           For attention of Executive Committee
10         Copies of letters, suggestions etc. sent County Chairman in 1942 Campaign
11         1942 USO Campaign
12         1942 Campaign Materials
13         1942 Campaign Organization and Report of Returns
14          1942 Campaign Reports

Box 9:
1          Correspondence with USO officials reorganization of North Dakota National Defense Welfare Service
2          Letters and materials sent to members of executive committee and replies to same
3          Publicity -1942 Campaign
4         County Chairman and committee members
5          USO Correspondence
6          USO Clubs in North Dakota
7          USO Activities

Box 10:
1         North Dakota National Defense Welfare Service meeting Sept. 29, 1949
2         Newspaper publicity 1941
3         Newspaper publicity 1942
4         M. M. Oppegard, Executive committee member
5         Ben A. Johnson, Executive committee member
6         Lewis T. Orlady, Executive committee member
7         Harold G. Piper, Executive committee member
8         Sam Stern, Executive committee member
9         State and County Allotments
10       Auditors Report
11       Audit of Records of Executive secretary of NDWS
12       Misc. 

Box 11:
1         Minutes of the North Dakota War Chest
2         National War Chest - State War Fund
3          National War Chest -State War Fund
4          Reorganization of State War Chest
5          Misc. 
6          Pictures and newspaper clippings

Box 12:
1         Christianson Personal file on USO 1941-1942 and n.d.
2          Christianson Personal file on USO 1943-1949
3          NDWS Income Tax
4          NDWS Misc.
5          Certificate of nomination June, 1938
6          Minutes (General)
7          Minutes of State Youth Council Executive Committee 1949
8          Minutes of the Directors of the Bismarck Community Chest  
9          Speeches

Box 13:
1         Misc. Writers and Poets, Stories and Poems
2         History and factual material (Misc.)
3          A. M. C. Recommendations 1939-1944
4         Scrapbook: newspaper clippings on Russian situation; possibility of conflict with European powers
5          two copies of Minot Daily News sent to A. M. C. by Minot FERA Office
6          Letter from Admiral Nimitz 1947 enclosing personal photograph and photograph of BB North Dakota, both autographed
7          Campaign poster for Supreme Court candidates Birdzell, Nuessle, and Burr
8          Pamphlets

Box 14:
1        Scrapbook: newspaper clippings on Lincoln, misc. poems, articles on Memorial Day and American flag
2        Ruth Christianson’s notebook on Norway
3        Ruth Christianson’s scrapbook of poems and articles
4        Scrapbook: misc. poems and articles

Box 15:
1        Christianson material n.d.
2        Christianson material


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