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Mona Kadel Martin papers

Identifier: IWA0835

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Scope and Contents

The Mona Kadel Martin papers date from 1992 to 2009 and measure 18.3 linear feet. The papers are arranged in twelve series: Biographical, Campaigns, Newsletters, 75th General Assembly, 76th General Assembly, 77th General Assembly, 78th General Assembly, Constituent Service, Miscellaneous, Topical Files, Legislative Organizations, Retirement Systems.

The Biographical series (1992-2002) contains Martin's autobiography, speeches, reflections on her time in the state legislature, and scrapbooks and other documentation of her public service.

The Campaigns series (1992-1999) documents Martin's four campaigns for office and includes constituent surveys, research regarding an opponent's campaign, and election return spreadsheets for Scott County, Iowa. Two campaign yard signs are shelved separately, in the map case.

The Newsletters series (1993-1998) contains several volumes of the Iowa House Republican newsletter, a circular concerned with legislative happenings, and other publications.

The 75th General Assembly (1991-2000), 76th General Assembly (1995-2002), 77th General Assembly (1997-2008) and 78th General Assembly (1998-2000) series each contain research materials, drafts of legislative actions, files about pertinent issues and events, and other materials associated with Mona Martin's four terms in the Iowa House of Representatives.

The Constituent Service series (1991-2000) concerns interactions with, and taken on behalf of, Mona Martin's Scott County constituents. Included are a number of thank-you notes and letters, Eagle Scout recognitions, and inquiries regarding the situation at a mobile home park.

The Miscellaneous series (1993-2000) contains items unrelated to the other series, including material about the Inntowner residence where Martin lived during sessions for most of her legislative career and the State Government Committee she sat on.

The Topical Files series (1988-2009) is divided into three subseries: Family Planning and Reproductive Rights, Gambling, and Juvenile Justice. Each of these subseries contains research and background material surrounding the issue, drafts and other documents related to legislation, and reports and committee papers pertinent to the topic.

The Legislative Organizations series (1995-2008) contains material related to conferences and other activities Martin participated in as a member of both the National Council of State Legislatures and the Council of State Legislatures, including photographs and other documents regarding a legislative exchange trip to Germany.

The Retirement Systems series is also divided into subseries: Meeting Minutes, 1995-1996 IPERS Legislation, 1997-1998 IPERS Legislation, 1999-2000 IPERS Legislation, Investment Board, and Task Force on IPERS Structure and Governance. Part of Martin's role as House State Government Committee chair was oversight of the state retirement systems: Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS), Peace Officers Retirement (POR), Municipal Fire and Police Retirement Systems of Iowa (Chapter 411), and the Judicial Retirement System. The Iowa state legislature updates and adds to laws regarding the retirement systems every two years; general legislative material is organized by this biannual cycle.

The Artifacts series includes nametags, business cards Martin received during her legislative career, and other items.


  • Creation: 1992-2009


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research. Because most of this collection is housed at an offsite location, please allow at least two business days for retrieval and arrival to the main library.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission must be requested from the donor to publish either pictorial biography or "Reflections" until either January 1, 2030, or her death.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Mona Lea Kadel was born in Illinois in 1934 to Vera Margaret Schmidt Kadel and Herman Conrad Kadel. She attended Western Illinois State College, graduating in 1956 with a Bachelor of Science Education, a second major in Home Economics, and a minor in Biology. She married Robert Martin that year; they had two children, Beth Ann and Charles Robert Martin.

Mona Martin worked as a reporter for the The Rock Island Argus, during the summers of 1954 and 1955. After graduating from Western Illinois, she returned to The Rock Island Argus, leaving during her first pregnancy. From 1962 to 1971, she worked as a teacher, including a position as head of the science department of St. Katharine's School, an all-girl college preparatory school. In 1969, Martin was honored with the Quad-City Science Teacher of the Year Award, and honored at the National Youth Conference on the Atom in Chicago.

Returning to school between 1968 and 1971, she did graduate work in both Earth Science and Biology through both Iowa State University and the University of Iowa at distance locations in the Quad Cities. During that time, she was one of seven women in the country to be accepted for a National Science Foundation grant to study with the Earth Science Curriculum Project at the Boy Scouts' Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

Mona Martin's political activism began in 1972 when she joined the League of Women Voters of Scott County. She was state president of the League from 1981 to 1983 and moderated a live debate during the 1982 gubernatorial campaign. For two years, 1978-1980, she chaired the U.S. Department of Energy Consumer Affairs Advisory Committee, supporting energy conservation and alternative energy sources. She also served as president of the Iowa Division of the United Nations Association and for seventeen years on the Davenport Plan and Zoning Commission, where she became the first female chair.

Mona Martin was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives, District 43, as a Republican Party member in 1992. She served four terms before retiring in 2001. During that period, she chaired the State Government Committee for six years and served on various other committees, including the Human Resources, Economic Development, Ethics, and Health and Human Rights Appropriation committees. While in the House, she sought legislation to protect the elderly, particularly in nursing homes, and to ensure longer hospital stays for mothers after delivery. She also worked on bills pertaining to gambling, juvenile justice, and reproductive rights.


18.30 Linear Feet

Photographs in box 1, 20, 28. Two campaign yard signs shelved in map case. Material in audio-visual collection: d0082, v480, v481, AC1486. boxes

Language of Materials



Mona Martin (1934- ) served in the Iowa House of Representatives from Scott County from 1993-2001.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1205) were donated by Mona Martin in 2010.

Margaret Halterman
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)