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Manuscripts by Subject - Politics / Government - #10129

Title: Alfred S. Dale Papers

Dates: 1921-1942

Collection Number: 10129

Quantity: 4.5 feet

Abstract: Consists of correspondence, news releases, printed material and campaign files relating to political activity; records of the State Executive Committee of the Nonpartisan League of North Dakota (including minutes, ledgers, correspondence, platforms, membership records, and rosters of Nonpartisan League delegates and precinct committeemen); records of the North Dakota Progressive; records relating to Dale’s term as State Treasurer; and platforms and news releases of the North Dakota Farmer-Labor Party.

Provenance:  The Alfred S. Dale Papers were acquired as a gift from Alfred Dale Jr. in July of 1974.  Gregory S. Camp prepared the inventory to the Alfred S. Dale Papers in February, 1985.

Property rights:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights:  Copyrights to this material in this collection remain with the donor, publishers, 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, number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer:  Items removed include a sizable number of North Dakota newspapers from the 1920's-1940's which contain information on NPL activity.  Also, a few photographs were transferred to the photo archives.  These, by and large, were of Dale, his family, friends, and other NPL'ers from the 1920's-1940's.  Materials transferred from the collection are described in an inventory attached to the collection inventory.



Alfred Samuel Dale was born in Benson, Minnesota in 1896.  He was one of seven children born to the Eric Dale family.  By 1900, the Dales moved to Rugby, North Dakota where Alfred's father was to serve at least one term as mayor.  By age 16, Alfred taught public school in the area.  Shortly thereafter, just prior to World War I, Dale obtained a scholarship to attend Jamestown College via the influence of his friend and mentor, Judge Alexander Burr.

After the First World War, Alfred Dale was employed as clerk and court reporter for the State Supreme Court.  By 1925, the young Dale became the Deputy State Treasurer under C. A. Fisher.  This served to ready Dale for the post of State Treasurer, to which he was elected in 1932.  As State Treasurer, Dale was at his peak in terms of political power; a member of the Nonpartisan League (NPL) early in his career, Dale's affiliation with that group helped catapult him to a position of prominence.  Often embroiled in controversy--as seemingly was the nature of the NPL--Dale's most surprising battle came against an NPL member:  Governor William Langer.

William Langer's term in office was not in the least a quiet one. Accused by Dale and other NPL'ers--including A. C. Townley himself--of abandoning the League's principles, Langer fought for his political life against both former allies and old enemies.  It was in this framework that Alfred S. Dale formed the Farmer-Labor Party.

The Farmer-Labor Party was supposedly an attempt to stand up for those first principles of the NPL while at the same time opposing the NPL Governor.  In tracts and brochures printed in the mid-1930's, the Farmer-Labor people consistently hit on the rightness of upholding NPL ideals while at the same time attacking the NPL-nominated chief executive of North Dakota.  In the end, Dale's bid for a U.S. Senate seat in 1934 failed, his breaking away from structured party politics to form a third party ultimately proving politically fatal.

In the years following his defeat for the Senate race, Dale and his family embarked on an extended period of travel.  After eighteen months in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Dales returned to Bismarck in the winter of 1935 where Alfred took a short-lived job in an insurance office. After a year of unemployment (1939), and more unsuccessful bids at running for office, the Dales once more packed up and went on the road.  Alfred Dale worked for two years in both Portland and San Francisco (1943-1945) as an auditor for the U.S. Government.  Apparently homesick once more, the Dales returned to North Dakota at the close of World War II where Alfred took a job with the Veterans' Administration as a case worker out of Fargo.  In addition, by 1947 the Dale family took up farming on 1500 acres thirteen miles north of Medina.  If all of this weren't enough, Alfred Dale returned to school as well, taking his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of North Dakota.

Just prior to finishing his doctorate, Dale was offered a professorship at Pacific University in Stockton, California (1953).  The Dales, at least Alfred and Jennie, remained in California from then on.  Jennie was bedridden in 1957 until her death in 1965.  Alfred retired in 1966; he remarried in 1968.  He died in Oakland, California in 1974 at the Lake Park Retirement Residence.


The Alfred S. Dale Papers date from 1921 to 1942 and measure four and one-half feet.  These papers have been divided into four series:  Nonpartisan League Records, 1921-1938; State Treasurer Records, 1932-1934; Farmer-Labor Party material, 1934-1935; and Personal and Family Papers, 1921-1942.

The Nonpartisan League (NPL) Records measures two cubic feet and is almost exclusively focused on the NPL from 1921 to 1942, although other North Dakota political parties and campaigns are included as well.  The series consists primarily of NPL Executive Committee minutes, 1926 campaign materials, correspondence, political ephemera, copies of the North Dakota Progressive, subject files, reports, news releases, and newspaper clippings.  In addition, there is a small collection of John Baer cartoons to be found, along with some opposition political flyers.  Copies of the North Dakota House of Representatives journals can be found as well, these dating from the late 1920s to the early 1930s.  The bulk of the material in this series is made up of correspondence between politically-minded individuals and planning for future campaigns.

The State Treasury Records are made up of county population lists, used for tax purposes, tax tables broken down by income, income listings, State Treasurer correspondence and miscellaneous items on insurance and political topics or issues concerning taxes.  The time period covered includes Dale's tenure as Deputy State Treasurer in the 1920's, as well as time spent as State Treasurer from 1931-1933.  This series takes up approximately one-half cubic foot.

The Farmer-Labor materials series also takes up one-half cubic foot, and deals with Dale's efforts to organize a political party to challenge William Langer.  Most of the material is correspondence and political propaganda of the new party. Numerous copies of small issue posters were found for instance, as well as political buttons, political platforms, and photographs.  The time period covered ranges from 1934 to 1943.

The Family and Personal Papers series takes up one cubic foot and covers the years 1927-1940. There are many short stories and articles written by Dale, mostly on political subjects, ranging in topic from "Brotherhood: Fact or Fiction?" to "The Recent Depression--Yeah!", financial records, reprints of articles, speeches, and a few rejection slips from publishers are found in this series.  Mrs. Alfred Dale has a few personal papers in this series too, mostly correspondence, that deal with some political, but mostly family matters.



I.  Nonpartisan League Records, 1921-1938

II.  State Treasurer Records, 1925-1934

III.  Farmer-Labor Party Materials, 1934-1943

IV.  Personal and Family Papers, 1925-1940


Series I:  NPL Political Activity

Box 1:
1 NPL executive committee ledger, Dec. 1923-Nov. 1924.
2 Loose papers from 1923-1924, NPL ledger.
3 NPL campaign material, 1926.
4 Campaign material, April and May, 1926.
5 Campaign material, Feb.-March, 1926, with counties.
6 General correspondence, 1926.
7 Campaign questionnaire, August, 1926.
8 Results of Jan. 7 county conventions, 1926.
9 Campaign material, 1926.
10 Political Correspondence, 1926.
11 Minute book with loose pages, 1921-1926.
12 Bank of North Dakota statements, 1926-1928.
13 NPL political material, 1927.
14 Political and business material, 1928.
15 NPL political material, 1929.
16 NPL campaign material, 1930.
17 North Dakota Progressive, 1932.
18 North Dakota Progressive, 1932.
19 North Dakota Progressive, 1932
20 North Dakota Progressive, correspondence, 1932.
21 North Dakota Progressive, 1932.
22 Campaign file, 1932.
23 Campaign file, North Dakota Progressive, 1932.
24 Campaign file, 1932.
25 Political, miscellaneous, n.d.
26 Political miscellaneous, n.d.
27 Political, 1933.
28 Letters, Hoover campaign, 1928-1932.
29 Campaign, 1934.
30 List of Township officers, 1934-1935.
31 List of NPL delegates, etc., 1932 or 1934.
32 John Baer cartoons, 1930's.
33 Applications committee, 1934.
34 North Dakota Federation of Nonpartisan Clubs, 1930's.
35 Dale for State Treasurer material, 1934.
36 Various and sundry clippings, etc., 1930's.

Box 2:
1 Nye for senator letters, 1926.
2 Tax Policy League material, other selected political issues, 1930's.
3 Department of the Interior reports, 1930's.
4 Democratic National Committee news releases, 1930's.
5 Miscellaneous news releases, reports, political publications, etc., 1930's.
6 Nonpartisan League lists and miscellaneous, 1920's-1930's.
7 Nonpartisan League lists and miscellaneous, 1930's.
8 Various National Democratic flyers:  "Young Demos", etc.
9 Subscription cards to NPL paper, 1933.
10 Subscription cards to NPL paper, 1933.
11 Original copy, North Dakota House Journal, Feb. 3, 1921.
12 House Journal, audit report on bank, Feb. 5-7, 1921.
13 House Journal, Feb. 4, 1921.
14 House Journal, Feb. 8, 1921.
15 House Journal, Feb. 9, 1921.
16 House Journal, Feb. 11, 1921.
17 House Journal, Feb. 17, 1921.
18 House Journal, Feb. 18, 1921.
19 House Journal, Feb. 19, 1921.
20 House Journal, Feb. 21, 1921.
21 House Journal, Feb. 22, 1921.
22 House Journal, Feb. 23, 1921.
23 House Journal, Feb. 24, 1921.
24 House Journal, Feb. 25, 1921.
25 House Journal, Feb. 26, 1921.
26 House Journal, Feb. 28, 1921.
27 House Journal, March 1, 1921.
28 House Journal, Index, 1921.
29 News releases, 1930's.
30 Newspaper clippings, 1920's and 1930's.
31 Newspaper clippings, 1920's and 1930's.
32 Newspaper clippings, 1920's and 1930's.
33 Newspaper clippings, 1920's and 1930's.

Series II:  State Treasurer Records, 1930's

Box 3:
1 Adams county population lists, n.d.
2 Barnes county population lists.
3 Billings county population lists.
4 Bottineau county population lists.
5 Burleigh county population lists.
6 Cass county population lists.
7 Cavalier county population lists.
8 Divide county population lists.
9 Dickey county population lists.
10 Dunn county population lists.
11 Eddy county population lists.
12 Emmons county population lists.
13 Foster county population lists.       
14 Golden Valley county population lists.
15 Grand Forks county population lists.
16 Grant county population lists.
17 Griggs county population lists.
18 Hettinger county population lists.
19 Kidder county population lists.
20 Logan county population lists.
21 McHenry county population lists.
22 McKenzie county population lists.
23 Mountrail and Nelson counties population lists.
24 Pembina county population lists.
25 Ramsey, Ransom, and Renville counties population lists.
26 Ramsey, Ransom, and Renville counties population lists, n.d.
27 Richland county population lists.
28 Rolette and Oliver counties population lists.
29 Sargent county population lists.
30 Sheridan and Sioux counties population lists.
31 Slope, Stark, and Stutsman counties population lists, n.d.
32 Traill, Walsh, Ward, and Wells counties population lists, n.d.
33 List of school teachers, by county, 1934-1935.
34 List of maintenance, Highway Dept. employees, 1934-1935.
35 Personal property equalization, 1932.
36 Minutes of meetings, 1932.
37 North Dakota township officer lists and other lists of names of unknown origin or purpose, 1934.
38 List of township officers, by county, 1934-1935.
39 Petitions for F. J. Graham as Republican candidate for national committeeman, 1932.
40 State Treasurer, office correspondence, 1925-1933.
41 State Treasurer, office correspondence, 1930-1932.
42 State Treasurer, office correspondence, 1934.
43 Political, 1933.
44 NPL Women's Clubs, 1932.
45 Payrolls, 1931.
46 Payrolls, 1931.
47 Miscellaneous financial records, 1926-1934.
48 Closed banks, 1930's.
49 Various NPL views on issues, especially taxes, 1920's-1930's.
50 Life insurance material, 1928-1929.
51 IVA plans and politics, 1920's and 1930's.
52 Hail insurance information, 1925.
53 Miscellaneous, 1920's and 1930's.
54 Newspaper clippings, 1920's and 1930's.

Box 4:
1 Bound volume of newspaper subscription material, 1930's.
2 Women in NPL, 1931.
3 Life insurance material, 1930's.
4 Miscellaneous, 1930's.
5 Text of Colorado Civil Service laws, 1915, 1919.

Series III:  Farmer-Labor League Materials, 1930's

6 America's Future, five copies, 1930's.
7 Platform of the North Dakota NPL, 1934.
8 Farmer-Labor League platform, n.d.
9 "Is Dale Qualified for Senator?", n.d.
10 Miscellaneous Anti-Langer material, 1930's.
11 Congressional campaign material, 1938.
12 Farmer-Labor League correspondence and miscellaneous, 1930's.
13 "Fallacy of Economic Thinking", n.d.

Series IV:  Personal, Political, and Family Material, 1920's and 1930's

Box 5:
1 Various Bills, 1929.
2 Lloyd Spetz Post, financial, 1927-1929.
3 Bank statements and check stubs, 1927-1930.
4 Bank statements and check stubs, 1927-1930.
5 "Henry and Elmer Letters", 1928-1932.
6 "Henry and Elmer Letters", n.d.
7 Reprint of a New Republic article, 1921.
8 Articles of Association of the NPL, n.d.
9 House construction material, 1930's.
10 Article submitted by Dale, county workers lists, n.d.
11 Tax Department form letters, 1920's and 1930's.
12 Population statistics and education material, 1934.
13 Article submitted with rejection slip, 1931.
14 Article submitted, n.d.
15 Collection of short writings by Alfred Dale, n.d.
16 Collection of short writings by Alfred Dale, 1932
17 Governor Moses period material for potential book by Dale, 1930's.
18 Governor Moses period material for potential book by Dale, 1930's.
19 "Anemic Acres", 1930's.
20 Various writings, 1930-1934.
21 "Peace Program Now", n.d.
22 "Dale Relief Plan for North Dakota", n.d.
23 "Brotherhood:  Fact or Fiction?", 1942.
24 Writings to editors, 1930.
25 "That Nonpartisan League", n.d.
26 "How to Conduct a Forum", n.d.
27 "Farm Relief Fallacy", n.d.
28 "Sir Hubert Wilkins", n.d.
29 "Where Public Ownership Succeeds", n.d.
30 "North Dakota Idea", 1930.
31 "America's Super-Speedway", n.d.
32 "Are You a Radical or Conservative?", n.d.
33 "Forever", n.d.
34 "The Recent Depression--Yeah?", n.d.
35 Jennie Dale, "Why Women Fail in Politics", n.d.
36 Writings, unattributed, n.d.
37 Political correspondence, 1937-1938.
38 Job applications and recommendations, 1937.
39 Various stories and articles, 1930's
40 Spring campaign, 1934.
41 Various campaign materials, 1934.
42 State payroll, 1934.
43 Letters to The Progressive, 1930's-1940's.
44 Political speeches material, 1938.
45 Political short stories, 1933.
46 Article ideas, n.d.
47 Miscellaneous personal, 1920's-1930's.
48 Miscellaneous personal, 1920's-1930's.
49 Mrs. Alfred Dale material, 1920's-1940.
50 Mrs. Alfred Dale material, 1920's-1940.
51 Mrs. Alfred Dale material, 1920's-1940.
52 Mrs. Alfred Dale material, 1920's-1940.
53 Equitable life insurance material, 1920-1930.
54 Herbarium, n.d.
55 Miscellaneous, 1930's.
56 Newspaper clippings, 1930's.

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