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Magdalen Meade papers

Identifier: IWA0648

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Scope and Contents

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.


  • Creation: 1891-1992


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

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

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.


7.00 linear inches

Photographs in Box 1; 7 audiocassettes [AC826-832] boxes

Language of Materials



Iowa farm woman and political organizer who was active in Roxanne Conlin's gubernatorial campaign in 1982.

Method of Acquisition

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

Related Materials

Roxanne Barton Conlin papers (IWA): Magdalen Meade worked on Conlin's 1982 gubernatorial campaign.

Rita Meade Dohrmann papers (IWA): Magdalen Meade was Rita Dohrmann's mother.

Stacy Ross, 2002
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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)