TITLE:»Janis Torrence-Laughlin (1926-  )


PAPERS, 1976-1990

QUANTITY:»7 linear inches





The »papers (donor no. 189) were donated by »Janis I. Torrence-Laughlin in 1993.


The »papers are open for research.


Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.


In box »1.


Susan M. Jellinger, 1994.




Begin text here:»Janis Torrence was a Muscatine County Supervisor and an Iowa State Representative affiliated with the Republican Party.  She was born Janis Irene Bein at home in rural Montpelier Township, Muscatine County, Iowa on September 13, 1926 to Raymond I. Bein and Gladys Bohnsack Bein. She graduated from Wilton High School and in 1945 married John Torrence.  They adopted two children, Ronald and Barbara.  Janis and John Torrence divorced in 1983. 


Janis Torrence worked at banks in Muscatine and Wilton, then held various Muscatine County Courthouse positions for sixteen years.  Her political career was triggered by her involvement in  Concerned Citizens Organization, a grassroots movement opposed to a zoning ordinance.  Torrence decided to run for County Supervisor.  She was elected and served for two terms, a total of six years (1976-1982).


During her second term as County Supervisor Torrence ran and was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives, District 57.  Torrence served from 1983 through 1985.  Three days before the end of the 1983 legislative session, Torrence suffered a mild stroke.  She was successful in her bid for re-election in 1984, but resigned for health reasons late in 1985 and moved to Arizona.  She married James Laughlin in 1986.


Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:»            The papers of Janis Torrence-Laughlin date from 1976 to 1990 and measure 7 linear inches, with the bulk of the materials dating before 1986.  The papers are arranged in five series:  Correspondence, Memorabilia, Newspaper clippings, Photographs, and Scrapbook.  The papers are especially useful for researching women's role in local politics.


            The Correspondence series (1980-1985) contains letters and cards from legislators, friends, campaign workers and constituents regarding Torrence-Laughlin's political life, her health and her resignation from the legislature.  There is little substantive correspondence regarding her political career.


            The Memorabilia series (1976-1985) contains election papers, legislative materials, political invitations and campaign materials. 


            The Newspaper clippings series (1977-1990) consists of campaign ads, news articles and columns about Torrence-Laughlin or about issues and people in which she had an interest.  Of particular interest are the Legislator Update columns she wrote for the local newspapers in her district.  These presented her positions on specific issues and views about the political process in the legislature.


            Photographs (1976-1985) contain campaign and political photographs, mostly undated.  The Scrapbook series (1976-1982) covers Torrence's Muscatine County Supervisor career. 


Related Collections


A Political Dialogue: Iowa Women Legislators.

            Includes the transcript of an oral history interview with Janis Torrence-Laughlin.


Box no.   Description

**PRESS <control n> to indent each level.**

**PRESS <control e>1 to insert box number.**

**PRESS <control v>2 to return to sublevel.**

**PRESS <control v>1 to return to level 1.**

Box 1 









Newspaper clippings




Photographs, 1976-1985

Box 2

Scrapbook, 1976-1982


Photocopies [duplicates of newspaper clipping in scrapbook]




Torrence-Laughlin note re: file contents

Nicolaus, Harold; banker, letter

Leach, Deba and Jim; legislator, postcard

Sturgeon, Bonnie; card

Whisler, Charles Virgil; friend and country worker, funeral program

Stromer, Delwyn; legislator, letter

Little Miss Muscatine Pageant, program and ad

Mason, A. Morgan; special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, letter and speech

Jepsen, Roger W.; U.S. Senator, letter

du Pont, Pierre; Governor of Delaware, letter

Torrence Campaign Committee; Support letter signed by Iowa Governor Robert D. Ray

Petersen, Stephen; notecard

Nicolaus, Harold G.; banker, letter

Trent, William B., Jr.;businessman, letter

Ray, Robert D.; Iowa Governor, letter

Crews, Bill; legislator, notecard

Crooks, Rick and Mary; friends, card

Carlson, John and Pat; friends, notecard

Peick, Doris; legislator, card

Labode, Evelyn; et all; friends, card

Kiser, Mike and Joanne; friends, note

Petersen, Jerry and Irene and Brett and Craig; friends, card

Martin, Cecil; friend, notecard

Connor, Judi; friend, letter

Subke, Gene and Ruth; friends, letter

Rigler, John B.; friend, letter

Becker, Paul; credit union PAC, letter

Parks, W. Robert; ISU president, letter

Zdychnec, John S.; banker, letter

Tank, James R.; banker, letter

Steen, Leslie; friend, notecard

Sheriff's Office; card with insert



Joni and crew; Muscatine County Courthouse, card

Branstad, Terry E.; Iowa Governor, letter

Baird, Betty; Iowa Women;s Political Caucus, note and IWPC article draft

Bakrow, William J.; St. Ambrose College President, letter

Doderer, Minnette et all; legislators, card

Daggett, Horace and Ruth et all; legislators, card

Muscatine County employees and electees; flower card

Bennett, Wayne and Barbara; card

Iowa House of Representive; flower card

Muscatine County Republican Party; flower card

Bogan, Gerald; Iowans for RTW, card

Semple, Virginia; House phones, card

House GOP staff; card

Renker, Bob et all; card

Joe and Shirley; friends, card w attachments

Llyod-Jones, Jean et all; women legislators, card

Gruhn, Josephine; legislator, postcard

McAndrews, Dr. and Mrs. James, Palmer College, card

Peick, Doris Ann and Dick; legislator and spouse, card

Craig; House Page, letter

Puck, Natalie; schoolgirl, card

Feyen, John J.; House Page, card

Harbor, William H.; legislator, letter

Miller, Rev. Martin; Iowa Annual Conference Legislative Action and Coordinating Committee, United Methodic Church, letter

Townsend, Herb; farmer and banker, letter

Martin, Cecil; friend, letter

Rife, Jack; legislator, reply on Torrence notepaper

Moylan, Jerald; constituent, letter

Whipple, Norma; North Scott Junior High Librarian, card

Schlachter, Diane; Youth Counselor Services, card

Satin, Larry and Joseph C. Bluestein, Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, letter

Drake, Dick and Shirley Jean; legislator and spouse, card

Daggett, Horace and Ruth; legislator and spouse, holiday flyer

Al and Billie, Torrence campaign workers, letter

Wiemers, Irene; card

Nicolaus, Harold G.; banker, letter

Torbert, John T.; State Association of Counties, letter

Kaalberg, Marie; letter

Barry, Edmund D.; friend, note

Luchtel, Keith E.; attorney, letter

Milnes, Charles C. and Shirley; friends, letter

Ehrecke, Wes; Iowa Bankers Association, letter

Dunham, Warren B.; Iowa Department of Transportati

Director, letter

Vetter, Millie M.; letter

Temple, Thomas R.; Iowa Pharmacists Association, letter

Connor, Judi; Little Miss Muscatine Pageant, card

Peick, Doris Ann; legislator, card

Goegthe, Carol; legislator, card w/letter insert

Petersen, Stephen J., Muscatine County republican Chair, and Charlotte Mohr, Scott County Republican Chair; letter

Nicolaus, George ; campaign treasurer, letter

Reagan, Maureen; Republican National Committee, letter

Norton, Wm. B.; attorney, letter

Brenda and Alan; friends, card



Eichelberger to fill vacant post

Shuger to run

Muscatine Councilmembers

Petersen holds out against pay raises

An everyday housewife -- Helen Terrill

Two seek state posts as Rural Americans

10 years ago: Torrence elected chairman

10 years ago: Torrence re-election bid

First soil sample

County appointments

Classes for snowmobiling, Torrence instructor

John Nelson Graham obit

WHS Alumni Banquet, Torrence speaker

Torrence to chair board of supervisors

Swearing in

Shopping at July Jamboree

Emergency levy in county budget snarl

Congratulations Wilberta, Terri and Jan

Sheriff Oppelt is re-elected

Conservation board

Bank ribbon cutting

Muscatine board elects chairman

Supervisors change to annual pay

Protecting our heritage

Torrence Ad

Torrence campaign article

Torrence to see her 2nd term on county board

Election results (3 pages)

Moeller will head land preservation policy unit

Torrence ends long stint at Muscatine's courthouse

Muscatine Co. Republican Campaign Ad (2 pgs)

Torrence Ads

1982 West Liberty Fair Ad

Torrence feels government experience will help her

Torrence to seek House seat

Goals might be similar; styles aren't

Torrence bids for House seat in first try at state office

Three for the legislature

Quad City Times election announcement

Election results

Republicans Torrence, Rife share backgrounds

Freshman legislators attend orientations

Torrence is candidate for legislature

Hectic pace continues after victories

Their phones have just started ringing

Torrence Ad

To begin new career

Know your legislators (3 pgs)

Representing You by Rep. Dottie Carpenter

Chad James announces candidacy for supervisor

Local option tax could be an issue again this year

Notes from Jan

Rife and Torrence begin their terms

Rep. Torrence criticizes legislative employee raises

Legislative forums begin Saturday

How they voted

Stromer picks committee jobs for Torrence

Change in fence law is proposed

Wilton News here and there

Opposes widening scope of bargaining

Lawmakers at work

Rife, Torrence plan meeting

Legislators plan public reports

How they voted

Open meeting

Notes from Jan 3/31/83

Lawmakers up their salries and expense money

House votes to boost pay, expenses

4 percent sales tax gets OK

House OKs $6 million superfund

Pari-mutuel bill goes back to Senate

Notes from Jan 4/5/83

Notes from Jan 4/7/83

Notes from Jan 4/28/83

Rife, Torrence hold meeting

Notes from Jan 5/12/83

Notes from Jan 4/14/83

Torrence, Rife meet with few constituents Saturday

Notes from Jan 4.21/83

Lawmakers at work

Pressure from Des Moines for pari-mutuel betting is felt in legislature

Recapping the '83 session

Torrence feels senior citizens should receive fee exemption

Notes from Jan 5/19/83

Torrence intends to run again

Legislators describe first round in Des Moines

Notes from Jan 8/28/83

Torrence on panel

Torrence, Rife relate expenses experiences in state legislature

Torrence names staff

Lawmaker stricken

Lottery bill clears legislature (5 pgs)

Rife and Torrence visit

Torrence on panel