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Guide to the Janis Torrence-Laughlin papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1976-1990
Creator: Torrence-Laughlin, Janis (1926-)
Extent: 7.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0125
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Muscatine County Supervisor from 1976 to 1982 and Representative in the Iowa Legislature from 1983 to 1985.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 189) were donated by Janis Torrence-Laughlin in 1993.

Preferred Citation: Janis Torrence-Laughlin papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

Janis Torrence was a Muscatine County Supervisor and an Iowa State Representative affiliated with the Republican Party. She was born Janis Irene Bein at home in rural Montpelier Township, Muscatine County, Iowa on September 13, 1926 to Raymond I. Bein and Gladys Bohnsack Bein. She graduated from Wilton High School and in 1945 married John Torrence. They adopted two children, Ronald and Barbara. Janis and John Torrence divorced in 1983.

Janis Torrence worked at banks in Muscatine and Wilton, then held various Muscatine County Courthouse positions for sixteen years. Her political career was triggered by her involvement in Concerned Citizens Organization, a grassroots movement opposed to a zoning ordinance. Torrence decided to run for County Supervisor. She was elected and served for two terms, a total of six years (1976-1982).

During her second term as County Supervisor Torrence ran and was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives, District 57. Torrence served from 1983 through 1985. Three days before the end of the 1983legislative session, Torrence suffered a mild stroke. She was successful in her bid for re-election in 1984, but resigned for health reasons late in 1985 and moved to Arizona. She married James Laughlin in 1986.

The papers of Janis Torrence-Laughlin date from 1976 to 1990 and measure 7 linear inches, with thebulk of the materials dating before 1986. The papers are arranged in five series: Correspondence, Memorabilia, Newspaper clippings, Photographs, and Scrapbook. The papers are especially useful forresearching women's role in local politics.

The Correspondence series(1980-1985) contains letters and cards from legislators, friends, campaignworkers and constituents regarding Torrence-Laughlin's political life, herhealth and her resignation from the legislature. There is little substantive correspondence regarding herpolitical career.

The Memorabilia series(1976-1985) contains election papers, legislative materials, politicalinvitations and campaign materials.

The Newspaper clippings series (1977-1990) consists of campaign ads, news articles and columns about Torrence-Laughlin or about issues and people in which she had an interest. Of particular interest are the Legislator Update columns she wrote for the local newspapers in her district. These presented her positions on specificissues and views about the political process in the legislature.

Photographs (1976-1985)contain campaign and political photographs, mostly undated.

The Scrapbook series (1976-1982)covers Torrence's Muscatine County Supervisor career.
A Political Dialogue: Iowa's Women Legislators (IWA): Includes the transcript of an oral history interview with Janis Torrence-Laughlin.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: CORRESPONDENCE
Series 2: MEMORABILIA
Series 3: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS
Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS
Series 5: SCRAPBOOK

  • Series 1: CORRESPONDENCE
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence - 1980-1982
  • Torrence-Laughlin note re: file contents - 1980-1982
  • Nicolaus, Harold; banker, letter - 1980-1982
  • Leach, Deba and Jim; legislator, postcard - 1980-1982
  • Sturgeon, Bonnie; card - 1980-1982
  • Whisler, Charles Virgil; friend and country worker, funeral program - 1980-1982
  • Stromer, Delwyn; legislator, letter - 1980-1982
  • Little Miss Muscatine Pageant, program and ad - 1980-1982
  • Mason, A. Morgan; special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, letter and speech - 1980-1982
  • Jepsen, Roger W.; U.S. Senator, letter - 1980-1982
  • du Pont, Pierre; Governor of Delaware, letter - 1980-1982
  • Torrence Campaign Committee; Support letter signed by Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray - 1980-1982
  • Petersen, Stephen; notecard - 1980-1982
  • Nicolaus, Harold G.; banker, letter - 1980-1982
  • Trent, William B., Jr.; businessman, letter - 1980-1982
  • Ray, Robert D.; Iowa Governor, letter - 1980-1982
  • Crews, Bill; legislator, notecard - 1980-1982
  • Crooks, Rick and Mary; friends, card - 1980-1982
  • Carlson, John and Pat; friends, notecard - 1980-1982
  • Peick, Doris; legislator, card - 1980-1982
  • Labode, Evelyn; et all; friends, card - 1980-1982
  • Kiser, Mike and Joanne; friends, note - 1980-1982
  • Petersen, Jerry and Irene and Brett and Craig; friends, card - 1980-1982
  • Martin, Cecil; friend, notecard - 1980-1982
  • Connor, Judi; friend, letter - 1980-1982
  • Subke, Gene and Ruth; friends, letter - 1980-1982
  • Rigler, John B.; friend, letter - 1980-1982
  • Becker, Paul; credit union PAC, letter - 1980-1982
  • Parks, W. Robert; ISU president, letter - 1980-1982
  • Zdychnec, John S.; banker, letter - 1980-1982
  • Tank, James R.; banker, letter - 1980-1982
  • Steen, Leslie; friend, notecard - 1980-1982
  • Sheriff's Office; card with insert - 1980-1982
  • Correspondence - 1983-1985
  • Joni and crew; Muscatine County Courthouse, card - 1983-1985
  • Branstad, Terry E.; Iowa Governor, letter - 1983-1985
  • Baird, Betty; Iowa Women's Political Caucus, note and IWPC article draft - 1983-1985
  • Bakrow, William J.; St. Ambrose College President, letter - 1983-1985
  • Doderer, Minnette et all; legislators, card - 1983-1985
  • Daggett, Horace and Ruth et all; legislators, card - 1983-1985
  • Muscatine County employees and electees; flower card - 1983-1985
  • Bennett, Wayne and Barbara; card - 1983-1985
  • Iowa House of Representive; flower card - 1983-1985
  • Muscatine County Republican Party; flower card - 1983-1985
  • Bogan, Gerald; Iowans for RTW, card - 1983-1985
  • Semple, Virginia; House phones, card - 1983-1985
  • House GOP staff; card - 1983-1985
  • Renker, Bob et all; card - 1983-1985
  • Joe and Shirley; friends, card with attachments - 1983-1985
  • Lloyd-Jones, Jean et all; women legislators, card - 1983-1985
  • Gruhn, Josephine; legislator, postcard - 1983-1985
  • McAndrews, Dr. and Mrs. James, Palmer College, card - 1983-1985
  • Peick, Doris Ann and Dick; legislator and spouse, card - 1983-1985
  • Craig; House Page, letter - 1983-1985
  • Puck, Natalie; schoolgirl, card - 1983-1985
  • Feyen, John J.; House Page, card - 1983-1985
  • Harbor, William H.; legislator, letter - 1983-1985
  • Miller, Rev. Martin; Iowa Annual Conference Legislative Action and Coordinating Committee, United Methodic Church, letter - 1983-1985
  • Townsend, Herb; farmer and banker, letter - 1983-1985
  • Martin, Cecil; friend, letter - 1983-1985
  • Rife, Jack; legislator, reply on Torrence notepaper - 1983-1985
  • Moylan, Jerald; constituent, letter - 1983-1985
  • Whipple, Norma; North Scott Junior High Librarian, card - 1983-1985
  • Schlachter, Diane; Youth Counselor Services, card - 1983-1985
  • Satin, Larry and Joseph C. Bluestein, Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, letter - 1983-1985
  • Drake, Dick and Shirley Jean; legislator and spouse, card - 1983-1985
  • Daggett, Horace and Ruth; legislator and spouse, holiday flyer - 1983-1985
  • Al and Billie, Torrence campaign workers, letter - 1983-1985
  • Wiemers, Irene; card - 1983-1985
  • Nicolaus, Harold G.; banker, letter - 1983-1985
  • Torbert, John T.; State Association of Counties, letter - 1983-1985
  • Kaalberg, Marie; letter - 1983-1985
  • Barry, Edmund D.; friend, note - 1983-1985
  • Luchtel, Keith E.; attorney, letter - 1983-1985
  • Milnes, Charles C. and Shirley; friends, letter - 1983-1985
  • Ehrecke, Wes; Iowa Bankers Association, letter - 1983-1985
  • Dunham, Warren B.; Iowa Department of Transportation Director, letter - 1983-1985
  • Vetter, Millie M.; letter - 1983-1985
  • Temple, Thomas R.; Iowa Pharmacists Association, letter - 1983-1985
  • Connor, Judi; Little Miss Muscatine Pageant, card - 1983-1985
  • Peick, Doris Ann; legislator, card - 1983-1985
  • Goegthe, Carol; legislator, card with letter insert - 1983-1985
  • Petersen, Stephen J., Muscatine County republican Chair, and Charlotte Mohr, Scott County Republican Chair; letter - 1983-1985
  • Nicolaus, George ; campaign treasurer, letter - 1983-1985
  • Reagan, Maureen; Republican National Committee, letter - 1983-1985
  • Norton, Wm. B.; attorney, letter - 1983-1985
  • Brenda and Alan; friends, card - 1983-1985
  • Series 2: MEMORABILIA
  • Box 1:
  • Memorabilia - 1976-1982
  • Memorabilia - 1983-1985
  • Series 3: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS
  • Box 1:
  • Newspaper clippings - 1977-1983
  • Eichelberger to fill vacant post - 1977-1983
  • Shuger to run - 1977-1983
  • Muscatine Councilmembers - 1977-1983
  • Petersen holds out against pay raises - 1977-1983
  • An everyday housewife -- Helen Terrill - 1977-1983
  • Two seek state posts as Rural Americans - 1977-1983
  • 10 years ago: Torrence elected chairman - 1977-1983
  • 10 years ago: Torrence re-election bid - 1977-1983
  • First soil sample - 1977-1983
  • County appointments - 1977-1983
  • Classes for snowmobiling, Torrence instructor - 1977-1983
  • John Nelson Graham obituary - 1977-1983
  • WHS Alumni Banquet, Torrence speaker - 1977-1983
  • Torrence to chair board of supervisors - 1977-1983
  • Swearing in - 1977-1983
  • Shopping at July Jamboree - 1977-1983
  • Emergency levy in county budget snarl - 1977-1983
  • Congratulations Wilberta, Terri and Jan - 1977-1983
  • Sheriff Oppelt is re-elected - 1977-1983
  • Conservation board - 1977-1983
  • Bank ribbon cutting - 1977-1983
  • Muscatine board elects chairman - 1977-1983
  • Supervisors change to annual pay - 1977-1983
  • Protecting our heritage - 1977-1983
  • Torrence Ad - 1977-1983
  • Torrence campaign article - 1977-1983
  • Torrence to see her 2nd term on county board - 1977-1983
  • Election results (3 pages) - 1977-1983
  • Moeller will head land preservation policy unit - 1977-1983
  • Torrence ends long stint at Muscatine's courthouse - 1977-1983
  • Muscatine Co. Republican Campaign Ad (2 pages) - 1977-1983
  • Torrence Ads - 1977-1983
  • 1982 West Liberty Fair Ad - 1982
  • Torrence feels government experience will help her - 1977-1983
  • Torrence to seek House seat - 1977-1983
  • Goals might be similar; styles aren't - 1977-1983
  • Torrence bids for House seat in first try at state office - 1977-1983
  • Three for the legislature - 1977-1983
  • Quad City Times election announcement - 1977-1983
  • Election results - 1977-1983
  • Republicans Torrence, Rife share backgrounds - 1977-1983
  • Freshman legislators attend orientations - 1977-1983
  • Torrence is candidate for legislature - 1977-1983
  • Hectic pace continues after victories - 1977-1983
  • Their phones have just started ringing - 1977-1983
  • Torrence Ad - 1977-1983
  • To begin new career - 1977-1983
  • Know your legislators (3 pages) - 1977-1983
  • Representing You by Rep. Dottie Carpenter - 1977-1983
  • Chad James announces candidacy for supervisor - 1977-1983
  • Local option tax could be an issue again this year - 1977-1983
  • Notes from Jan - 1977-1983
  • Rife and Torrence begin their terms - 1977-1983
  • Rep. Torrence criticizes legislative employee raises - 1977-1983
  • Legislative forums begin Saturday - 1977-1983
  • How they voted - 1977-1983
  • Stromer picks committee jobs for Torrence - 1977-1983
  • Change in fence law is proposed - 1977-1983
  • Wilton News here and there - 1977-1983
  • Opposes widening scope of bargaining - 1977-1983
  • Lawmakers at work - 1977-1983
  • Rife, Torrence plan meeting - 1977-1983
  • Legislators plan public reports - 1977-1983
  • How they voted - 1977-1983
  • Open meeting - 1977-1983
  • Notes from Jan 3/31/83 - 1983
  • Lawmakers up their salaries and expense money - 1977-1983
  • House votes to boost pay, expenses - 1977-1983
  • 4 percent sales tax gets OK - 1977-1983
  • House OKs $6 million superfund - 1977-1983
  • Pari-mutuel bill goes back to Senate - 1977-1983
  • Notes from Jan 4/5/83 - 1983
  • Notes from Jan 4/7/83 - 1983
  • Notes from Jan 4/28/83 - 1983
  • Rife, Torrence hold meeting - 1977-1983
  • Notes from Jan 5/12/83 - 1983
  • Notes from Jan 4/14/83 - 1983
  • Torrence, Rife meet with few constituents Saturday - 1977-1983
  • Notes from Jan 4/21/83 - 1983
  • Lawmakers at work - 1977-1983
  • Pressure from Des Moines for pari-mutuel betting is felt in legislature - 1977-1983
  • Recapping the '83 session - 1977-1983
  • Torrence feels senior citizens should receive fee exemption - 1977-1983
  • Notes from Jan 5/19/83 - 1983
  • Torrence intends to run again - 1977-1983
  • Legislators describe first round in Des Moines - 1977-1983
  • Notes from Jan 8/28/83 - 1983
  • Torrence on panel - 1977-1983
  • Torrence, Rife relate expenses experiences in state legislature - 1977-1983
  • Torrence names staff - 1977-1983
  • Lawmaker stricken - 1977-1983
  • Lottery bill clears legislature (5 pages) - 1977-1983
  • Rife and Torrence visit - 1977-1983
  • Torrence on panel - 1977-1983
  • Newspaper clippings - 1984-1990
  • Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 1:
  • Photographs - 1976-1985
  • Series 5: SCRAPBOOK
  • Box 2:
  • Volume - 1976-1982
  • Photocopies [duplicates of newspaper clipping in scrapbook] - 1976-1982