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Manuscripts by Subject - Politics / Government - #11247

Title: Ben Meier                

Dates: 1955-1989

Collection Number: MSS 11247

Quantity: 1.75 feet

Abstract: Consists primarily of Meier's speeches, and includes correspondence with William Langer, certificates, a resolution, newspaper clippings and a portrait of Meier.

Provenance: The Ben Meier Papers was donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Bernie Meier on January 2, 2015.   

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

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.  Permission to use any radio or television broadcast portions of the collection must be sought from the creator.

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.


Ben, son of Bernhard and Theresia Meier, was born August 1, 1918 and reared on a farm near Napoleon. He attended rural grade school and worked on his parent's farm until 1941. He completed high school by correspondence. In 1941, Ben attended Dakota Business College, Fargo. He later attended the School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (Wis).

From 1943 until 1950, Ben worked in banks at Napoleon, Gackle, and Hazelton. While at Hazelton, he
was the owner and vice president of the bank. In 1950, he returned to farming and sold insurance and real estate. Ben was elected North Dakota Secretary of State in 1954, and served until 1988. He also served as acting-governor of the state several times.

Ben served as past president of the National Association of Secretaries of State and of the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies. He was chairman of the ND Heart Association in 1968. Ben was also the ND Crusade Chairman for the American Cancer Society. He received the American Heritage Foundation Award in appreciation of Outstanding Citizenship and also received the North Dakota Leadership Award of Excellence. He was selected Secretary of the Year by the National Association of Executive Secretaries in 1967. He received a commendation from the Fortieth Legislative Assembly of North Dakota in 1967 upon his election as president of the National Secretaries of State. Ben organized the Mandan Security Bank, Mandan, and served as its president from 1959 until 1974. He also helped organize the Bismarck State Bank.

Clara Kaczynski and Ben were married in 1944. They have two sons: Bernie, who is married to Jackie Seifert, and Lynn, who died at age 24 in 1974. Ben Meier passed away on October 2, 1995.


Box 1:
1 Correspondence with William Langer, 1955
2 Speeches, ca. 1960s-1980s
3 Speeches, ca. 1960s-1980s
4 Certificates and resolutions, 1967-1981
5 Newspaper clippings about Meier on Centennial coin, 1989

Box 2:    Portrait of Ben Meier, d. Joyce photograph, ca. 1980s

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