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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Black Hawk County Democratic Women's Organization (Iowa) records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1956-1977
Creator: Black Hawk County Democratic Women's Organization (Iowa)
Extent: 1.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0545
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: The group formed in 1956 to help elect Democratic candidates.

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The records (donor no. 952) were donated by Lynette Adams in 2005.

Preferred Citation: Black Hawk County Democratic Women's Organization records, 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

The Black Hawk County Democratic Women's Organizaton held its first meeting on July 19, 1956 at the home of Mary Haymound. The purpose of the club was to further the work of the Democratic Party by helping elect Democrats to office. Randy Dunbar was unanimously elected the first president. The club held regular monthly meetings, which were sometimes followed by a speaker or presentation. Speakers included local candidates, public officials, or professors; a local A.M.E. pastor who spoke on the crisis in Selma, Alabama, in 1965; a former economic advisor to Fidel Castro; and the Know Your Neighbor Panel, a women's interracial group dedicated to improving race relations. In 1963, two members of the group were elected to public office: Gertrude Cohen became a member of the state legislature and Joan Glaza became the clerk of district court. Lynn Cutler, an active member in the 1960s, was elected to the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors in 1974 and later served as the Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee. In 1964, the club was invited to attend a meeting of the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women. Records are inconclusive about if or how the club stopped meeting.

The organization was variously called the Black Hawk County Democratic Women's Organization and the Black Hawk County Democratic Women's Club.

The Black Hawk County Democratic Women's Organization records date from 1956 to 1977 and measure 1.5 linear inches. They consist of a ledger containing the handwritten minutes of both general and board meetings and a few related items. The minutes discuss financial and organizational matters such as who was elected to hold office and chair committees, when and where meetings should be held, fundraising and social activities, bylaw changes, and announcements about Democratic Party events. The speakers' names and the topics they discussed are sometimes mentioned. For example, Minnette Doderer addressed the group in 1970 when she ran for lieutenant governor. The final recorded minutes of the Black Hawk County Democratic Women's Organization were written in the ledger on June 9, 1970. This entry is followed by three entries for Democrats United dating from 1975 and 1977.

A newspaper clipping about a fashion show, a letter from Peg Mullen soliciting support for her antiwar activities, and a compilation of the club's accomplishments in 1972 complete the collection.
Lynn Cutler Papers: held in Special Collections at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Ledger - 1956-1977
  • Miscellaneous - 1970-1975