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Manuscripts by Subject - Politics / Government- #11120

Title: Robert (Bob) Stenehjem  

Dates: 1980s-2011

Collection Number: 11120          

Quantity: 3 feet
Abstract: Papers consist of Stenehjem's correspondence, speeches, legislation, notes, newspaper clippings, publications, printed material and photographs.

Provenance: The collection was donated by Bob Stenehjem’s wife Kathy Stenehjem, March 12, 2012. The collection was processed and this inventory was created by Emily E. Schultz in March 2012.

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

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in 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 and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.                                                                  

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

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

Transfer: A variety of publications were transferred to the State Archives publications in March 2012, see case file for complete list.


From Stenehjem’s obituary in the Minot Daily News, July 22, 2011

Bob was born Jan. 12, 1952, in Minot, N.D. He graduated in 1970 from Bismarck High School and in 1973 from Bismarck Junior College with an associate of arts degree.

After working for the North Dakota Highway Department, Bob joined the Bismarck Streets Department in 1978, and rose to become the roads and street foreman for the city of Bismarck, a position he held at the time of his death.

Bob was a tireless upland game and waterfowl hunter. He could hunt for grouse and pheasants sunup to sundown during an entire weekend. He also loved to hunt deer in North Dakota. Alaska was one of his favorite hunting and fishing destinations. Bob was proud of bagging several Alaskan moose over the years, and he was an avid fisherman, catching many Alaskan salmon and halibut with his brother, John, who lives in Anchorage. Bob taught his sons to hunt, and was looking forward to passing on his love of hunting and fishing to his grandchildren.

Bob began his career in the North Dakota Senate in 1993 representing District 30. As he rose in seniority, he took on leadership roles in numerous committees. He was selected by his Republican colleagues in the Senate as majority leader of the Senate, a position he held for the last 10 years.

A tenacious conservative who was always willing to embrace fresh ideas, Bob was a champion of individual rights and personal responsibilities. He used his negotiating skills to fight for all citizens of North Dakota. Among his many accomplishments was helping to facilitate oil development on Indian reservations by bringing all parties together to ease the process through legislation he introduced. But everyone agrees his most celebrated accomplishments were achieved behind the scenes, quietly and without seeking credit or the spotlight for himself.

His leadership style was forceful yet respectful. He was known for his sense of fair play and for understanding that in leadership you get more accomplished through cooperation than adversity. Bob understood that there are legitimate differences between the various factions, and he insisted on respectful disagreement and debate.

Bob showed through his skillful work that he was truly "North Dakota's Master of the Senate," said his brother Wayne, North Dakota's current attorney general and former legislator, who served with Bob in the state Senate. Their brother, Allan, represented District 25 in the House at the same time, making them likely the only brothers to serve in a state Legislature together.

Bob was a member of Lutheran Church of the Cross in Bismarck. He also belonged to the Bismarck-Mandan Leadership Alumni. He was District Chairman, Ducks Unlimited; North American Boone and Crockett Club; the National Rifle Association; board member of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation; board member of the American Traffic Safety Services Association; board member of the American Public Works Association, and president of the Senate Presidents' Forum.

A major joy in his life was his "farm" south of Bismarck. He and his wife, Kathy, designed the home and did most of the work building the house and outbuildings. They enjoyed growing acres of sweet corn and potatoes, and raising farm animals, including hogs and horses.

Bob was a loving and devoted husband and father and an enthusiastic grandfather. He is survived by: his wife of 39 years, Kathy; children, Lisa Steckler (Shawn), Rob (Karen), Jason (Shanna Stewart-Stenehjem), and Elizabeth; grandchildren, Ashton Steckler, Daniel Stenehjem, and Sierra Stenehjem; brothers, John (JaVayne) of Anchorage, Alaska; Steve (Kim), Fargo; Wayne (Beth Bakke Stenehjem), Bismarck; and Allan, Bismarck; sister, Peggy Stenehjem-Titus (Corky), Fargo; brother-in-law, Patrick Brown (Susan), Fargo; and sister-in-law, Lisa Stenehjem, Bismarck; aunt, Gerridee Wheeler; numerous nieces and nephews, and many Stenehjem cousins.

Bob was preceded in death by his father, Martin "Buck" Stenehjem; mother, Marguerite "Peg" McMaster Stenehjem; sister, Susan Stenehjem-Brown; grandparents, aunts and uncles.


Box 1:
1 Correspondence, 1988-2005   
2 Correspondence, 2006-2011  
3 SB 2012 DOT, 2009       
4 SB 2012 DOT, 2009 (continued)
5 SB 2014 BND, 2005      
6 SB 2015 OMB, 2007    
7 Investment Boards (SB 2302 and SB 2344), 2011            
8 SB 2308, 2011
9 SB 2348, 2011
10 SB 2369 testimony and SB 2370 testimony, 2011         
Box 2:
1 SB 2375 testimony, 2007           
2 SB 2390 testimony, SB 2418 and SB 2419 testimony, 2007          
3 SB 3045 testimony, 2007          
4 HB 1180, n.d. 
5 HB 1263 Fighting Sioux logo, 2011        
6 HB 1467 and HB 1499 testimony, 2007 and 2011             
7 Election bills, 2003      
8 Higher Education bills, 2009     
9 Taxes, 2006-2007
10 Miscellaneous speeches and writings, 2005-2007        
11 Printed material: elections, certificates, programs, 1993-2009               
12 News clippings: Stenehjem and miscellaneous, 1989-2009     

Box 3:
1 ND Legislature news clippings, 2005
2 ND Legislature news clippings, 2005 (continued)
3 News clippings, 2005 
4 News clippings, 2007     

Box 4:
1 News clippings, 2007 (continued)
2 News clippings, 2007 (continued)
3 ND Senate news clippings, 2009            
4 ND House news clippings, 2009             
5 Photograph 11120-01 - Bob Stenehjem speaking at unidentified event, ca 2002             
Photograph 11120-02 - Bob Stenehjem with Lt. Governor Rosemarie Myrdal, 1990s        
Photograph 11120-03 - Bob Stenehjem with J. Dennis Hastert (left) and Rick Clayburgh
Photograph 11120-04 - Breaking ground at the Bank of North Dakota groundbreaking ceremony, from right to left: unidentified, Todd Porter, Ron Carlyle, Bob Stenehjem, Governor John Hoeven, Eric Hardemeyer, Wayne Stenehjem, and Roger Johnson, 2006     
Photograph 11120-05 - Bob Stenehjem with Bruce Bowman at the podium of the Senate Chamber, ca. 2002       
Photograph 11120-06 - Bob Stenehjem at desk with Stan Lyson (left) and Jerry Kline (right), ca. 2002      
Photograph 11120-07 - Bob Stenehjem at desk, ca. 2002
Photograph 11120-08 - Bob Stenehjem at desk, ca. 2002               
Photograph 11120-09 - 53rd Legislative Assembly, North Dakota Senate composite, 1993
Photograph 11120-10 - 54th Legislative Assembly, North Dakota Senate composite, 1995
Photograph 11120-11 - 55th Legislative Assembly, North Dakota Senate composite, 1997
Photograph 11120-12 - 56th Legislative Assembly, North Dakota Senate composite, 1999
Photograph 11120-13 - 57th Legislative Assembly, North Dakota Senate composite, 2001
Photograph 11120-14 - 58th Legislative Assembly, North Dakota Senate composite, 2003
Placemat - Members of the House of Representatives/Senate Seating arrangement, 54th Assembly of the North Dakota Legislature, 1995
Placemat - Members of the House of Representatives/Senate Seating arrangement, 55th Assembly of the North Dakota Legislature, 1997             
Placemat - Members of the House of Representatives/Senate Seating arrangement, 56th Assembly of the North Dakota Legislature, 1999             
Computer print of Bob Stenehjem and two unidentified men, ca. 2002

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