PAPERS, 1940-2001

(bulk 1940-1977)

4 linear inches









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


The »papers are open for research.


»Copyright has not been transferred to the University of Iowa.


In box 1»In box .


Jamie Nelson, 2000 [Stroud.doc]



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.

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Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:The Katherine Stroud» papers date from 1940 »19401919to 1977 and measure 4»444444444444444444444444 linear inches.  The »papers »are arranged in nine»eightei 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.  City of Des Moines: Annual



Scope and Content Note (cont.)



Report of the City Manager (1950-1952) consists of pamphlets documenting the achievements and goals of the city manager government in the early years of its adoption.



            The Publicity series (1951,1953, 1961 and undated) contains newspaper clippings, a brochure, an alumni bulletin from Beloit College, and a newsletter from the Iowa Library Association that describe Katherine Stroud’s involvement in the Great Books movement, the Des Moines Community Playhouse, and the Des Moines City Library.


The Women’s Freedom League series (1952 and undated) contains newsletters

from the Women’s Freedom League based in London, England.  Katherine Stroud lived in England with her husband, Theodore Stroud, a professor at Drake University, while he spent time at Oxford.


            The Health Planning Council of Central Iowa series (1973, 1975-1976 and undated) consists of memos, minutes, and documents related to the council’s activities to support accessible health care at a reasonable cost.  Katherine Stroud was on the board of directors of this organization.  A stapled set of witty and creative memoranda about program planning in Biblical times concludes the series.  The author of this humorous collection is unknown.


            The American Patients Association series (1973-1977 and undated) contains materials related to this patient advocacy organization of which Katherine Stroud was president and founding member.  Organizational materials (1974-1977 and undated) consists of newsletters, committee reports, bylaws, legislative reports, and the “Patients Bill of Rights” adopted in October 1975.  Correspondence (1973-1976 and undated) includes letters sent to the American Patients Association as well as copies of letters sent by Katherine Stroud.  Letters from senators, state representatives, attorneys, health care professionals and patients are included.


The Speeches series (undated) contains handwritten and typed drafts of speeches delivered by Katherine Stroud.  Titles include: “The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Democracy,” “The Rewards and Dangers of Democracy,” and “Women – The New Leisure Class.”


The Photographs series (undated) consists of five photographs and one print screen used for printing a photograph in the newspaper.







Related Collections


League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines

This collection contains additional information concerning the campaign for the city manager plan.  See Box 15; History; Scrapbooks; City Manager Campaign [disbound], 1948-1949.

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Box no.           Description


Box 1

                                 Biographical, 1996, 2001


                                 Chicago, 1940, 1945-1946 and undated


                                 Des Moines city manager plan

                                      Campaign, 1949-1952

                                      National Municipal Review, 1949

                                      City of Des Moines: Annual Report of the City Manager,

                                         1950-1952 (3 folders)


                                 Publicity, 1951, 1953, 1961 and undated


                                 Women’s Freedom League, 1952 and undated


                                 Health Planning Council of Central Iowa, 1973, 1975-1976 and                                   undated


                                 American Patients Association

                                      Organizational materials, 1974-1977 and undated

                                      Correspondence, 1973-1976 and undated (2 folders)


                                 Speeches, undated


                                 Photographs, undated