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Torrence Laughlin, Janis, 1926-2014 (1926-2014)



  • Existence: 1926 - 2014


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 1983legislative 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. Janis Torrence Laughlin died in 2014.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

A Political Dialogue: Iowa's Women Legislators oral histories

Identifier: IWA0089

Interviews with Iowa women legislators conducted by Suzanne O'Dea Schenken.

Dates: 1988-1993

Janis Torrence Laughlin papers

Identifier: IWA0125

Muscatine County Supervisor from 1976 to 1982 and Representative in the Iowa Legislature from 1983 to 1985.

Dates: 1976-1990

Additional filters:

1971-1980 1
African American women -- Iowa 1
Archives (groupings) 1
Correspondence 1
County officials and employees 1