PAPERS, 1891-1992

7 linear inches




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


The »papers are open for research.


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


In Box 1.


Seven audiocassettes shelved in audiocassette collection [AC826-832].


Stacy Ross, 2002Your name, year» [MeadeMagdalen.doc]





            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. 



Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here: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.»



Related Collections


            Roxanne Conlin Papers, Iowa Women’s Archives

            Rita Meade Dohrmann Papers, Iowa Women’s Archives

Dohrmann was Meade’s daughter.



Begin text here:»Box no.           Description


Box 1


                              Family history information

                              L’Envoi yearbook, Clarke College, Dubuque, Iowa, 1932

                              Memoir of farm life, 1936-1986

                              “Memories of 1917”

                              Mount Pleasant Historic Preservation Committee, 1988, 1993,

                                    1996-1997, 2000

                              Newspaper clippings

                              Oral history audiocassettes [AC826-AC832]                                   

                              Oral history transcript: Magdalen Meade interviewed by Andor

                                    Skotnes  (son-in-law of Meade), 1991-1992 (2 folders)

                              Synopsis of political career, 1956-1974

                              Pellagia Bivver Walsh (mother of Magdalen Meade)

                              Recipe notebook, 1936

                              Wedding notebook, 1935-1936



                              Constitutional Convention, 1980

                              Constitution of the Iowa Democratic Party, 1978

                              Correspondence, 1956-1974 (scattered)

                              First District Limerick Contest, 1967

                              The Hawkeye Democratic Leader, April and July 1969

                              McGovern/Eagleton campaign sticker and notes, 1972 election

                              Newspaper clippings


                              Iowa Democratic Convention booklet, 1982

                              Roxanne Conlin for Governor Campaign, 1982


                                    Henry County Coordinator information

                                    Campaign notebook

                                    Conlin for Governor Committee

                                    Campaign contribution letters


Box 2

                                    Campaign letters and flyers

                                    Newspaper clippings

                                    Statements and resume

                                    “Thank You” poster [original print stored with oversized materials]


                        Farm Records

                              Farm account books, 1962-1973 (3 folders)


Box 3


                              Political buttons and pins

                              Stone carved donkeys

                              Stuffed donkey