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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Magdalen Meade papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1891-1992
Creator: Meade, Magdalen (1913-2005)
Extent: 7.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0648
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Iowa farm woman and political organizer who was active in Roxanne Conlin's gubernatorial campaign in 1982.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1
7 audiocassettes [AC826-832]

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The Magdalen Meade papers (donor no. 697) were donated by Magdalen Meade in 2000 and 2002.

Preferred Citation: Magdalen Meade 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

Magdalen Walsh Meade, farmwoman and political organizer, was born January 12, 1913 in Riverside, Iowa. Her parents were Cornelius W. Walsh (1874-1947) and Pellagia A. Birrer Walsh (1878-1959). Magdalen Walsh attended St. Mary's Grade School and graduated from St. Mary's High School in Riverside, Iowa in 1930. She also attended Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa from 1931 to 1932. On January 2, 1936 Magdalen Walsh married Ralph James Meade. The couple farmed in southeast Iowa, and eventually resided in Mount Pleasant, Iowa with their children. Along with the responsibilities of being a farmwoman, Magdalen Meade was also active in politics, serving as Henry County Democratic Party chairman, and continued to be active in Democratic Party activities and campaigns through the 1980s. Meade also served as secretary of the Mount Pleasant Historic Preservation Commission for twelve years during the late 1980s and 1990s.

The Magdalen Meade papers date from 1891 to 1992 and measure 7 linear inches plus artifacts and audiocassettes. The papers are arranged in four series: Biographical, Politics, Farm Accounts, and Artifacts.

The Biographical series contains information about Magdalen Meade as well as members of her family, including her mother Pellagia Birrer Walsh. The family history information includes a family tree with detailed birth and death information, as well as occupation, education, and religious affiliations of family members. In the oral history interview with Magdalen Meade conducted by her son-in-law Andor Skotnes in 1992, Meade discusses her childhood in rural southeast Iowa and her family, education, marriage and children. The series also contains Meade's wedding diary and her recipe notebook.

The Politics series concerns Magdalen Meade's political activism and includes information about the Iowa Constitutional Convention of 1980, the Iowa Democratic Party, news clippings, and correspondence. Also included is detailed information on the 1982 gubernatorial campaign of Roxanne Conlin for which Meade was Henry County Democratic Party coordinator.

The Farm Accounts series consists of farm record books of the Meade farm from 1962-1973. The accounts contain detailed information on insurance, livestock, crops, and taxes.

The Artifacts series contains Democratic political campaign buttons, and other paraphernalia associated with Meade's political activities.
Roxanne Barton Conlin papers (IWA): Magdalen Meade worked on Conlin's 1982 gubernatorial campaign.

Rita Meade Dohrmann papers (IWA): Magdalen Meade was Rita Dohrmann's mother.

Browse by Series:
Series 2: POLITICS

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Family history information
  • L'Envoi yearbook, Clarke College, Dubuque, Iowa - 1932
  • Memoir of farm life - 1936-1986
  • "Memories of 1917" - 1917
  • Mount Pleasant Historic Preservation Committee - 1988, 1993, 1996-1997, 2000
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Audiocassettes AC826-AC832: Oral history
  • Oral history transcript: Magdalen Meade interviewed by Andor Skotnes (son-in-law of Meade) (2 folders) - 1991-1992
  • Synopsis of political career - 1956-1974
  • Pellagia Bivver Walsh (mother of Magdalen Meade)
  • Recipe notebook - 1936
  • Wedding notebook - 1935-1936
  • Series 2: POLITICS
  • Box 1:
  • Constitutional Convention - 1980
  • Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party - 1978
  • Correspondence - 1956-1974
  • First District Limerick Contest - 1967
  • The Hawkeye Democratic Leader, April and July - 1969
  • McGovern/Eagleton campaign sticker and notes - 1972
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Photographs
  • Iowa Democratic Convention booklet - 1982
  • Roxanne Conlin for Governor Campaign - 1982
  • Conlin for Governor: Collage - 1982
  • Conlin for Governor: Henry County Coordinator information - 1982
  • Conlin for Governor: Campaign notebook - 1982
  • Conlin for Governor Committee - 1982
  • Conlin for Governor: Campaign contribution letters - 1982
  • Box 2:
  • Conlin for Governor: Campaign letters and flyers
  • Conlin for Governor: Newspaper clippings
  • Conlin for Governor: Statements and resume
  • Conlin for Governor: Thank You poster [original print stored with oversized materials]
  • Series 3: FARM RECORDS
  • Box 2:
  • Farm account books (3 folders) - 1962-1973
  • Series 4: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 3:
  • Political buttons and pins
  • Stone carved donkeys
  • Stuffed donkey