SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Politics/Government > 10118

OCLC WorldCat Logo

Digital Horizons

Federal Depository Library Program

Manuscripts by Subject - Politics / Government - #10118

Title:  Robert Byrne

Dates: 1916-1965

Collection Number: 10118

Quantity: 5 feet

Abstract: Correspondence, subject files, publications, notes, minutes of the State Planning Board (1934-1935), and newspaper clippings relating to business and political activities, McCabe Methodist Church, Ida P. Lee, NYA, William J. Bryant, William Langer, Alta J. Land, and Sr. M. Inez Hilger.

Provenance: The Robert Byrne Papers were found in the basement at Camp Hancock by Jim Sperry October 6, 1972.

Property Rights:
The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


Robert Byrne was born February 4, 1886 in Ingraham, Illinois and received his education in Illinois. He lived in Henry and Bradford Illinois where he taught school prior to coming to Taylor, ND in 1902. He worked on farms near Taylor and in 1906 homesteaded in McKenzie County. He married Maude Rhodes April 6, 1910 and they had three children, Jean, Howard, and Lynn.

Mr. Byrne was an active Republican serving in the state House of Representatives from 1917-1921 representing McKenzie County and Arnegard. He was state senator from 1921-1925 and was elected Secretary of State in 1925 where he served until 1935. According to Wikipedia, Byrne saved an original copy of the state constitution while the original Capitol building was burning in 1930.

He was procurement officer for the North Dakota Resettlement Administration. He was project manager of the acquisition of lands in 1935 and 1936 during which time he acquired the land which is now Theodore Roosevelt National Park. From 1936 to 1942 he was director of the North Dakota National Youth Administration and from 1942 to 1959 he was the project manager for the NYA.

For many years he was a representative of the Mutual Life Insurance Co. Mr. Byrne was past state president of the Navy League of the United States and the past national president of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

Mr. Byrne was scoutmaster of the Elks Boy Scout Troop 11 for 20 years having organized it in 1928. He was presented with the scoutmasters key and the Silver Beaver Award. He was past president of the Missouri Valley Council of Boy Scouts of America and for eight years was a member of the National Council of Boy Scouts.

Mr. Byrne helped form and served a secretary-treasurer of the Watford City Guide. He was past director of the Arnegard School Board. He was named North Dakota softball commissioner after serving on the softball commission for three years and organizing the Bismarck City Softball League.

For many years, Mr. Byrne served as director of the State Historical Society and State Parks Board. He was very interested in Indian life and culture and on July 1936 he was adopted as the son of Chief One Bull of the Sioux Tribe. He was a member of the McCabe Methodist Church and in recent years he served as custodian of the Camp Hancock Museum. His wife preceded him in death in 1964.

Source: Bismarck Tribune Jan. 3, 1968


Box 1:
1 Personal Correspondence 1923-1967
2 Personal Correspondence, Alta Jean Land 1962-1965
3 Personal Correspondence, Sister M. Inez Hilger 1963
4 Personal Correspondence, birthday, Christmas and get well greetings
5 Personal Correspondence, invitations and funeral programs
6 Personal Correspondence 1932-1942
7 Correspondence 1916-1919
8 Correspondence 1920-1925

Box 2:
1 National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) 1929-2930
2 NASS 1931
3 NASS 1932-1935
4 Procurement Officer for International Peace Garden and the Badlands
5 State Historical Society 1940, 1963
6 Ida Prokop Lee Donation 1957
7 William Bryant grave marker Theodore Roosevelt North Unit 1963
8 National Youth Administration 1938-1943
9 Bismarck Elks Lodge #1199 1963-1965
10 Foundation of American Indian Culture 1963
11 McCabe Methodist Church 1960-1964

Box 3:
1 North Dakota Maps
2 William Langer, 1919, 1934
3 Membership and business cards
4 Mt. Pleasant Iowa
5 North Dakota Legislative Assembly publications
6 North Dakota Statuary Hall Commission reports 1961
7 Newspaper Clippings
8 Notes and notebooks, misc.
9 Misc.
10 Final Report Roosevelt Regional Park
11 Camp Hancock
12 Resettlement Administration 1935-1936
Toys and Equipment that Can Be Made at Home 1938
A Brief History of the National Youth Administration in North Dakota by Arnold Goplen, 1935-1943 Fallout Protection for Homes with Basements
Wedding portrait, unidentified

Box 4:
1 Planning Board correspondence 1934-1935
2 Parks – newspaper clippings
3 Recreational Demonstration Project: Daniels Co. MT 1934-1935
4 North Unit Regional Park; Binford Boulder Serpent
5 NYA 1941-1942
6 NYA 1939-1942
7 Theodore Roosevelt National Monument 1934-1935
8 Clippings, Political 1921-1925

Box 5:
1 State Planning Board minutes 1934-1935
2 Recreational Demonstration Project 1936
3 Planning Board Legislation 1935-1936
4 Langer; NASS 1934-1935
5 Various small projects ND 1934-1935
6 Newton Hills Area, SD 1935
7 Newton Hills Project Lincoln Co., SD
8 Chamberlain SD Recreational Demonstration Project 1935
9 Oakwood Lakes Project Brookings SD 1935
10 Recreational Demonstration Project 1935
11 Various Small Projects SD 1935
12 Recreational Areas 1935
13 State Parks 1934-1935
14 Proposed Recreation Areas SD and MT
15 Ramsey Lake Project SD 1935

Box 6:
1 Camp Hancock Visitor Register 1965-1966
2 Camp Hancock Visitor Register 1967
3 Camp Hancock Visitor Register 1968
4 Newspaper clippings
5 Photographs
6 Custer Trail Signs 1940

Box 7:
1 Roosevelt State Park 1934
2 General Highway maps of Billings, Golden Valley, Morton, and Stark Counties
3 Custer Trail 1876
4 Custer Trail Camp Sites
5 ND state maps

Box 8:
Panoramic photos of CCC camp, Medora
Portrait of Robert Byrne

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
We will also be closed on Christmas Eve this year.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666