Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Katherine Stroud papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1940-2001
Creator: Stroud, Katherine (1913-1996)
Extent: 4.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0420
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Leader of the 1949 campaign to reform Des Moines city government and adopt the city manager plan.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright has not been transferred to the University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 612) were donated by Theodore Stroud in 1999.

Preferred Citation: Katherine Stroud 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

Katherine "Kay" Stroud was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on October 19, 1913. Her family moved to Chicago in 1918 where she was raised and continued to live following her marriage to Theodore Stroud in 1939. Theodore "Ted" Stroud was a professor of English at Drake University for many years.

In 1947 Katherine Stroud moved to Des Moines, Iowa where she became a leading force in the 1949 reform of Des Moines city government. As president of the League of Women Voters at the time of the election, she led the campaign to change the commissioner form of government to the city manager plan. Katherine Stroud served on a committee to monitor the transition to the new form of government as well as remaining active in various organizations and causes in Des Moines and the state, including the Iowa Library Association, the Des Moines City Library board of trustees, the board of directors of the Des Moines Community Playhouse, and the Great Books movement. From 1959 until her retirement in 1981, she was a book editor for Better Homes and Gardens.

Kay Stroud died in 1996 at the age of eighty-two.

The Katherine Stroud papers date from 1940 19401919 to 1977 and measure 4 linear inches. The papers are arranged in nine series: Biographical, Chicago, Des Moines city manager plan, Publicity, Women's Freedom League, Health Planning Council of Central Iowa, American Patients Organization, Speeches, and Photographs.

The Biographical series (1996, 2001) consists of Stroud's obituary published in the Des Moines Register, June 21, 1996, and biographical information supplied by Theodore Stroud in 2001.

The Chicago series (1940, 1945-1946, and undated) contains materials about the Chicago Housing Authority where Katherine Stroud worked as the Assistant to the Director of Public Relations from 1945 to 1947. Also included is a University of Chicago newsletter from 1940 with a photograph of Katherine Stroud in a fashion show. Katherine Stroud pursued graduate studies at the University of Chicago from 1938-1939.

The Des Moines city manager plan series (1949-1952) documents Katherine Stroud's involvement in the League of Women Voters' campaign to offer voters a choice between the existing form of city government, which was accused of graft and inefficiency, and the city manager form of government. Campaign (1949-1952) includes articles related to the election in April 1949 and the award Lane Bryant gave the League of Women Voters in 1950 in recognition of the League's involvement in the campaign. National Municipal Review (1949) contains an issue of National Municipal Review with an article written by Katherine Stroud about the campaign.
League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines (IWA): This collection contains additional information concerning the campaign for the city manager plan. See Box 15; History; Scrapbooks; City Manager Campaign[disbound], 1948-1949.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
Series 2: CHICAGO
Series 3: DES MOINES CITY MANAGER PLAN
Series 4: PUBLICITY
Series 5: WOMEN'S FREEDOM LEAGUE
Series 6: HEALTH PLANNING COUNCIL OF CENTRAL IOWA
Series 7: AMERICAN PATIENTS ASSOCIATION
Series 8: SPEECHES
Series 9: PHOTOGRAPHS

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical and obituary - 1996, 2001
  • Series 2: CHICAGO
  • Box 1:
  • Chicago - 1940, 1945-1946
  • Series 3: DES MOINES CITY MANAGER PLAN
  • Box 1:
  • Campaign - 1949-1952
  • National Municipal Review - 1949
  • City of Des Moines: Annual Report of the City Manager (3 folders) - 1950-1952
  • Series 4: PUBLICITY
  • Box 1:
  • Publicity - 1951, 1953, 1961
  • Series 5: WOMEN'S FREEDOM LEAGUE
  • Box 1:
  • Women's Freedom League - 1952
  • Series 6: HEALTH PLANNING COUNCIL OF CENTRAL IOWA
  • Box 1:
  • Health Planning Council of Central Iowa - 1973, 1975-1976
  • Series 7: AMERICAN PATIENTS ASSOCIATION
  • Box 1:
  • Organizational materials - 1974-1977
  • Correspondence (2 folders) - 1973-1976
  • Series 8: SPEECHES
  • Box 1:
  • Speeches, undated
  • Series 9: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 1:
  • Photographs, undated