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Katherine Stroud papers

Identifier: IWA0420

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Scope and Contents

The Katherine Stroud papers date from 1940 to 2001 and measure 4 linear inches. The papers are arranged in nine 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


  • Creation: 1940-2001


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor.

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

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.


4.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Leader of the 1949 campaign to reform Des Moines city government and adopt the city manager plan.

Method of Acquisition

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

Related Materials

League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Des Moines (IWA): This collection contains additional information concerning the campaign for the city manager plan. See Box 15; History; Scrapbooks; City Manager Campaign[disbound], 1948-1949.

Jamie Nelson, 2000.
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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)