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Manuscripts by Subject - Women's History - #10458

Title: North Dakota Federation of Republican Women Records

Dates: 1940-1984

Collection Number: 10458

Quantity: 2.5 feet

Abstract: Consists of board of director’s minutes, correspondence, memoranda, notes, news releases, subject files, by-laws, workshop and convention files, membership records and membership directories, campaign files, newsletters, National Federation of Republican Women files, photographs, charter, histories, by-laws of local chapters, and printed materials. Records relate to administration of the Federation, campaign activities, conventions, political affairs of the Republican Party and the North Dakota Republican Party, and the National Federation of Republican Women.

Provenance:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the North Dakota Federation of Republican Women Records from the Federation on April 1, 1985.  This collection was processed and the inventory prepared by James A. Davis, Kari Rombs Kohlhoff, and Karen Mund in September 1988.

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

Copyrights:  The North Dakota Federation of Republican Women has dedicated such copyrights as it possesses in this collection to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the researcher.

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.

Transfer:  Several items were removed from the North Dakota Federation of Republican Women Records and transferred to the appropriate collection management area of the State Archives.  Transferred to the library were issues of the North Dakota Federation of Republican Women Newsletter:  volume 1, number 1, May 1, 1968, 4 copies; volume 1, number 2, June 1968, 2 copies; volume 1, number 3, August 1968, 1 copy; and volume 1, number 4, October 1968, 2 copies.  Also transferred were: a National Federation of Republican Women Community Service Manual, n.d.; a December 1971 issue of the Lake Region Guidebook; and two issues of the newsletter Target, November 1972 and April 1973.

Twenty photographs were transferred to the Photo Archives.  Subjects include North Dakota Federation board members, local Republican Party candidates, and North Dakota Sub-Teen-Age Republicans (STARs) group activities.

Several maps of North Dakota were transferred to the map collection.

Related Material:


Bismarck League of Women Voters Records, 1958-1981, 5 ft., 10287.
Kenneth A. Fitch Papers, 1905-1963, 3 ft., 10139.
Ole M. Hector (1870-1953) Papers, 1920-1938, 57 items, 20185.
Edith Wakeman-Hughes Papers, 1864-1957, 13 ft., 10114.
North Dakota Republican Party Records, 1959-1982, 6 1/4 ft., 10347.
J. Dexter Pierce (1857-1945) Collection, n.d., 1/4 ft., 10164.
George F. Shafer Letter, 1932, 1 item, 20115.
Kenneth W. Simons (1898-1948) Papers, 1933-1951, 1 1/4 ft., 10134.
Burleigh Folsom Spalding (1853-1934) Papers, 1840-1931, 3 ft., 10001.
Frank S. Talcott Papers, 1883-1908, 1/4 ft., 10427.
Frank White Papers, 1892-1946, 1 ft., 10106.

State Archives:  Several records series from the North Dakota Governor's Office relate to the Republican Party.
Fred Aandahl Papers, 1944-1952, 92 items, 30177.
C. Norman Brunsdale and John E. Davis Records, 1945-1960, 4 ft., 30178.
Allen I. Olson Records, 1971-1984, 88 ft., 30180.
Scrapbooks, 1961-1967, 5 vol., 30173.

"Democrats, Leaguers, and ROCs:  The Politics of the 1950s in North Dakota", June 1986.  Tape 1290.  90 min.
"John Davis Press Conferences", May and November 1959.  Tape 1296. 60 min.
"John E. Davis Interview", November 1984.  Tape 1134.  60 min.
"John E. Davis Oral History Interview", May and June 1987, August 1988.  Tapes 1362-1369.  420 min.
"Milton Young Tributes", March 1980.  Tape 1227.  90 min.
"North Dakota Politics Since 1940:  Four Personal Views", June 1981.  Tape 1348.  90 min.
"Pauline H. Powell Oral History Interview", May 1984.  Tape 1205.  90 min.
"Political Advertisements", from KFYR-AM Radio, 1976, 1978.  Tape 1356.  90 min.
"Republican Campaign Rally, 1958", May 1958.  Tape 1297.  90 min.

North Dakota Republican Party footage, (Republican Party advertisement), 1 videocassette (5 min.): sd., col.; 3/4 in. VT 11.
(Political advertisements footage), 1 videocassette, (60 min.):  sd., col., 3/4 in. VT 13.
Political footage (John Davis #1, #2, #3, #4), WDAY-TV Newsfilm Collection, 1950s, Tape 15.
Political footage (William Langer #1), WDAY-TV Newsfilm Collection, 1950s, Tape 16.
Political footage (50s POL #1, #2), WDAY-TV Newsfilm Collection, 1950s, Tape 5.
Political footage (50s POL #3), WDAY-TV Newsfilm Collection, 1950s, Tape 6.



The National Federation of Republican Women, to which the North Dakota Federation belongs, was organized in convention in Chicago, Illinois on September 23, 1938.  The movement for such an organization had been underway for some time as it was increasingly apparent that women could give more effective service to the Republican Party if organized as a national unit with an overall program for political education and action.

In the winter of 1956, Mrs. Louise Zahl of Williston visited the National Federation of Republican Women's Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and was persuaded to organize a state Federation in North Dakota.  The organizational meeting was held in Fargo, May 12, 1956, with 4 North Dakota local Republican Women's Clubs present.  The group included women from Williston, Fargo, Bismarck, and Jamestown.  Officers elected were: Mrs. Louise Zahl, Williston, president; Mrs. Irene Foster, Fargo, vice-president; Mrs. Sidney Haladay, Jamestown, secretary; and Ruth Edick, Bismarck, treasurer.

The first All-State Conference of North Dakota Republican Women was held in Bismarck on March 27, 1958.  Women from twelve counties were in attendance.  The Federation's first biennial State Conference was held in Jamestown on March 18, 1959, and marked the first visit by the president of the National Federation.

Republican politics soon became a year-round business for the North Dakota women.  In 1961 a goal of a Republican Federation in every county was set.  Officers and Board members traveled extensively over the state, and as a result, 49 new clubs with a membership of over 3,000 were organized.  The following year North Dakota was recognized at the National Biennial Conference of Republican Women for the greatest increase in membership of states in its category.

The year 1964 witnessed an increase in the participation of Republican women in party politics.  That year at the state Republican Party Convention, the president of the North Dakota Federation was elected a delegate to the national Republican Convention, establishing the precedence.  Following the Republican defeat of November 1964, the Federation once again focused on building membership.  Clubs around the state were reorganized into districts.  District organizations received directives from the state chairperson, Tom Secrest, stating that a woman should hold the office of vice-chairperson in each district, making her a member of the District Executive Committee.

In 1968 the North Dakota Federation of Republican Women held its own biennial convention, apart from the state Republican Party Convention.  An attempt at a separate convention several years earlier had been thwarted by flood conditions.

The North Dakota Federation of Republican Women has been involved in a variety of activities.  The organization has produced several newsletters, keeping members supplied with ideas for programs and projects as well as the latest information.  Teen-Age Republican (TAR) groups were organized by the state Federation in the early 1960s, subsidized in part by the state Republican Party.  The Eisenhower Memorial Fund was a major project in North Dakota in 1969, as was the Mamie Eisenhower Book Project which placed many books in schools and public libraries.  In 1974 the North Dakota Federation participated in the Dorothy Kabis Memorial Fund which provided the opportunity for several interns to work in the National Federation office in Washington, D.C.  In the early 1980s the state Federation created the Matt Crowley Journalism Scholarship, a non-profit organization designed to promote accuracy in reporting political activities.  The Federation has also raised funds for the Republican Party.

Source:  North Dakota Federation of Republican Women, 1940-1984, 2 ½ ft., 10458.


The North Dakota Federation of Republican Women Records date from 1940 to 1984, the bulk of material dating from the late 1960s to late 1970s, and measure 2 ½ ft.  This collection documents the organization and activities of the North Dakota Federation of Republican Women, which was created in 1956  to "...promote an informed electorate through political education; to increase the effectiveness of women in the cause of good government through active participation; to facilitate cooperation among women's Republican clubs; (and) to work for the election of the Republican party's nominees."  This collection consists of minutes and subject files.

The minutes date from 1964 to 1978 and are contained in six folders.  Minutes of the National Federation of Republican Women's Board of Directors and the state Federation of Republican Women's Board of Directors are included.  The National Federation minutes are concerned with congressional and gubernatorial gains, the National Federation's budget, officers, biennial conventions, resolutions, committees, and women running for political office.  The National minutes also contain memoranda, news releases, reports, and telegrams.  State Federation minutes are concerned with membership drives, the state Federation budget, National Convention delegates, voter registration, scholarship programs, amendments of bylaws, and bills incurred. 

The State minutes also contain agenda, bulletins, correspondence, memoranda, reports, resolutions, and telegrams.  Minutes are arranged hierarchically.

The subject files date from 1940 to 1984, the bulk of material dating from the late 1960s to late 1970s, and measure approximately 2 ½ ft.  Contained in these files are advertisements, agenda, bylaws, a charter, clippings, correspondence, directories, an information kit, membership lists, memoranda, news releases, pamphlets, proclamations, programs, reports, and speeches.  Subjects of interest include national and state conventions, fund raisers, the Matt Crowley Journalism Scholarship Fund, reapportionment, and Women's Equality Day Proclamation, 1984. Arrangement is alphabetical by keyword.



Box 1:
1 Minutes, National        1967-1969           
2 Minutes, National        1972      
3 Minutes, National        1973      
4 Minutes, National        1974      
5 Minutes, State               1973-1974           
6 Minutes, State               1964-1978           

Subject Files

7 Americanism                  1971      
8 Board of Directors        1975-1979           
9 Bulletins           1968-1982           
10 Bylaws, National         1970-1974           
11 Bylaws, State and Local            1966-1974           
12 Bylaws, State and Local            1966-1978           
13 Campaign Activities   1974      
14 Campaign Manual, 1974          1972-1973           
15 Campaign Manual, 1977          1977      
16 Campaign Spending Act           1971      
17 Campaign 1972            1967-1973           
18 Charter           1940      
19 Club Reports                1961-1972           
20 College Republicans                                 
21 Communications, Club             1973      
22 Communications, State           1972-1973           
23 Community Service  1970-1971           
24 Convention, National               1967-1969           
25 Convention, National               1971      
26 Convention, National               1971      
27 Convention, National               1973      
28 Convention, State      1970      

Box 2:
1 Convention, State        1972      
2 Convention, State        1974      
3 Correspondence and Reports                 1969-1973           
4 Correspondence and Reports                 1969-1973           
5 Directories       1961-1970           
6 Directories       1967-1971           
7 Directories       1975-1981           
8 Directories       1978-1982           
9 Directory          1972      
10 Directory        1973      
11 Directory        1974      
12 Dorothy Kabis Internship Program      1974      
13 Educational Advisory Committee        1969-1970           
14 Election Laws, Federal              1971      
15 Financial Information                1968      
16 Fund Raisers                 1973      
17 Helland, Vivian            1981-1982           
18 Hemmesch, Marjorie               1973-1974           
19 History            1956-1967           
20 Leadership                                   
21 Mamie Eisenhower Library Project     1973-1982           
22 Matt Crowley Journalism Scholarship Fund     1981-1982           
23 Membership                1973      
24 Membership                1973-1974           
25 Membership                1981-1982           
26 Membership                1982      
27 News Releases, National        1973-1974           
28 Organization, Clubs                                  
29 Pamphlets                                    

Box 3:
1 Presidents File               1982      
2 Program           1967-1972           
3 Public Relations             1973      
4 Reapportionment        1973      
5 Senior Citizen 1973      
6 STARS                1973      
7 STARS Kit          1974      
8 STARS                1972-1973           
9 Treasurers Reports      1958-1978           
10 1200 Club       1973      
11 Unit Club Statistics    1975-1980           
12 United European-American Club         1973      
13 Woman of the Year Award     1969      
14 Women's Equality Day Proclamation 1984      
15 Workshops   1971      

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