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Chronicling America

Manuscripts by Subject - Politics & Government- #10182

Title: Charles R. Robertson

Dates: 1941-1948

Collection Number: Mss 10182

Quantity: .2 5 feet

Abstract: Consists of wartime correspondence from the federal government regarding fuel oil rationing, commodities such as rubber and metals, and confidentiality of records. Also included are two guest registers for visitors to Robertson when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Provenance:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the Robertson Papers through his estate and Bismarck Junior College in 1961.

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

Copyrights:  Copyrights to 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 in 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 footnote and bibliographic references.


Charles Raymond Robertson was born on a farm near Arlington, Wisconsin on September 5, 1887. Both of his parents were from Scotland. Second youngest of six children, Charles Robertson helped on the farm and graduated from Poynett High School.  He earned a degree in Commerce from Parker College in Winnebago, Minnesota. He married Mary A. Armstrong, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Armstrong of Kansas City, Missouri, in Redfield, South Dakota on February 14, 1914. They had no children.

He began work with the Wyman-Partridge Company dry goods wholesalers in Minneapolis. Later he was a buyer for the Olwin Angell Company of Aberdeen, South Dakota. With a partner he started the Webb-Robertson Shoe Company in Aberdeen, then sold his interest and opened a department store in Redfield. Robertson came to Mandan in 1917 to help found the Cummins-Robertson Company. Later he established Robertson’s Inc. women’s clothing stores in Valley City, Jamestown, Wahpeton, and Bismarck. The Bismarck store opened in 1928.

He was elected to Congress in 1940, backed by the Nonpartisan League, on the Republican ticket with Usher Burdick, who also was elected to the House. In 1942 he ran as an independent and was defeated. He was elected in 1944, re-elected in 1946 and defeated in 1948. Robertson served on the House Appropriations Committee in 1940 and was a delegate to the national Republican Convention that year. His greatest accomplishment in Congress was the establishment of a lignite research lab at UND. He also saw the passage of several federal water development projects for North Dakota.

In 1949 he was appointed to the Hoover Commission on the reorganization of the government. He was serving as North Dakota Chairman for the Hoover report at the time of his death.

Robertson belonged to the Presbyterian Church and was a member of the Mason, Eagles, Elks and Rotary. He died on February 18, 1951 and was buried at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.

The Bismarck Capital, February 20, 1951
Bismarck Tribune, February 19-22, 1951
Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1961


Box 1:
1 Guest Book 1941-1942
2 Guest Book 1945-1948
3 Correspondence 1942

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