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Manuscripts by Subject - Politics / Government - #11126

Title: Ardell Tharaldson

Dates: 1908-2011

Collection Number:  MSS 11126

Quantity: 2.5 feet

Abstract: Papers consist of correspondence, writings and research on ND political figures, the NPL, William Langer, ND Federal Judges, legal issues concerning Native Americans and the environment, the ND AFL-CIO, correspondence and papers of Hon. William A. Falconer, the papers from James Jungroth’s 1974 bid for the U.S. Senate and subsequent office files of Jungroth.

Provenance: The collection was donated by Pam and Jay Crawford on May 25, 2012. Jay was the executor of Tharaldson’s estate. The collection was processed and this inventory was created by Emily E. Schultz in May 2012. Posts from Tharaldson’s blog, “Political Prairie Fire” were printed and added to the collection.

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.  Researcher 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: The majority of the initial donation was offered to the State Archives’ Publications. Artifacts from the collection were offered to the Museum Division of the SHSND in June 2012. See case file for more information.

Collection notes: A large part of the collection consists of the files of James R. Jungroth and
Hon. William A. Falconer. Tharaldson served as staff director and campaign manager for the late James Jungroth in Jungroth's bid for a US Senate seat from ND in 1974. The two were also personal friends. It is unclear how Tharaldson acquired Falconer’s papers.

From Tharaldson’s funeral program, December 10, 2011

Ardell Tharaldson, 60, Bismarck, died December 6, 2011 at the St. Gabriel Nursing Home in Bismarck.

Ardell was born June 1, 1951, in Bismarck, the son of Ray and Leone Tharaldson. He was raised and educated in Bismarck, graduating from Bismarck High School. He later received his bachelor’s degree from Moorhead State University in Moorhead, MN, and his Juris Doctorate degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Upon graduating from law school in 1981, Ardell returned to Bismarck, and that summer began his legal career as an attorney and later partner in the law firm of Lundberg, Conmy, Nodland and Schulz, which later became Nodland, Tharaldson and Dickson.

After a number of years in private law practice, Ardell became legal counselor for then ND Insurance Commissioner, Earl Pomeroy, advising Pomeroy regarding new state rules to be adopted in compliance with those set forth by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Ardell later became chief law clerk for U.S. District Judge, Patrick Conmy, his former law partner. He remained in that position with the federal court for ten years until his retirement in 2001. He was the author of Patronage, a book published in 2002 dealing with histories and biographies of ND’s federal judges.

After graduating from high school, Ardell began what was to become a lifelong involvement in political matters. Early on, he was engaged in various political activities, including union organizing and environmental issues. He was a founding participant in the Dakota Resource Council, which advocated a conservationist approach to coal development and commercial development of ND as it related to the state’s land, air and water.

Ardell was the statewide campaign coordinator and worked on the national staff for George McGovern’s presidential campaign in 1972, during which he split his time between ND and Washington, D.C. He was the staff director and campaign manager for the late James Jungroth in Jungroth’s bid for a U.S. Senate seat from ND in 1974.

He remained actively involved in politics throughout his life, mostly behind the scenes. He once said he would describe himself as a “political consigliere.” He considered himself to have been mentored by what he called the “last group of Non-Partisan Leaguers,” men such as Quentin Burdick, Scott Anderson and Jungroth. To those when knew him, his political leanings were never in doubt. “I often didn’t vote for the Democrat but I never voted for a Republican,” he once said.

During his second year in law school, Ardell was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. While his illness progressively took his body, it could never touch his intellect, his wit or his spirit.

And, finally, according to Hal Simons, “on rare occasions, Ardell could also be an irritating little SOB, particularly when somebody such as myself took the opposing side in an argument, which at times resulted in me scurrying to a dictionary, only to find I had been dissed, albeit in a civilized manner. Nevertheless, I will miss you greatly my friend, as will we all.”

Ardell was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Leone Tharaldson, but leaves behind a great many friends, most notably among them, Jay Crawford, who enhanced his life beyond measure, and Shelly Mack and her daughter Deondra, who made each day possible in his later years.



Box 1:
1 Correspondence, 1995-1998
2 “Political Prairie Fire blog” with biographical information and articles, 2006-2011 (Jim Jungroth, Howard Zinn, the William Guy documentary, Ted Kennedy, Minot teacher’s strike, “Zap-in,” First Western Bank, Afghanistan, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Pick-Sloan and Garrison Dam, American Indian Movement, Kurt Vonnegut, Iraq and Health insurance, Gerald Ford’s funeral, “clean coal,” Kristin Hedger, Terri Schiavo, the NPL, and political reminiscences)
3 Research for the book Patronage: Histories and Biographies of North Dakota’s Federal Judges, ca. 2002
4 Research for the book Patronage: Histories and Biographies of North Dakota’s Federal Judges, ca. 2002 (continued)
5 Preface for Patronage, ca. 2002
6 Patronage research – news clippings, ca. 2002
7 “Federal District Court Judges and the History of Their Courts,” Erwin C. Surrency, 1967 (copy)
8 Fort Berthold Indian Reservation legal issues
9 Fort Berthold Indian Reservation legal issues (continued)
10 Fort Totten Indian Reservation maps
11 American Indians and legal issues
12 Leonard Peltier
13 Russell Means            
14 “Protracted Value Configurations in the Stoney (Nakoda Sioux) Nation: The Old Ways Prevail,” John W. Friesen, prepared for the 32nd Annual Northern Great Plains History Conference, September 24-27, 1997
15 “The Spirit of the Plains” United Tribes Indian Art expo, May 24-25, 1997
16 Hon. William A. Falconer correspondence from Alexander McKenzie, 1908
17 W. A. Falconer correspondence, ca. 1920s-1930s 
18 W. A. Falconer correspondence, ca. 1920s-1930s (correspondence)
19 “Did Our Government Willfully Violate the Treaty of 1868?” by W. A. Falconer
20 W. A. Falconer – Custer Trail Committee, 1939
21 Transcribed letters between F. H. Stoltze, E. E. Heerman and M. I. McCreight, 1913 (Northwestern Bone Syndicate – disposal of buffalo bones in ND, MT and Canada from about 1884 to 1891)
22 Robert Vogel NPL material, 1991
23 Bank of North Dakota, 1938
24 Environmental issues – coal leasing, Clean Air Act, water issues, Sierra Club, 1973-1975
25 H. C. Warren and Kenneth B. Muir, 1981
26 ND AFL-CIO, 1975-1976
27 “First Empire Builder of the Northwest” (James J. Hill), Minna Morse
28 Northern Lights movie newspaper, ca. 1978
29 James Jungroth campaign for U.S. Senate, 1974, correspondence
30 Jungroth campaign correspondence (continued)
31 Jungroth campaign printed material, 1974
32 Jungroth campaign news clippings, 1974
33 Jungroth campaign slides, 1974
34 Jungroth campaign miscellaneous, 1974
35 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
36 Miscellaneous family material, 1996, 1999
37 Funeral programs, 1993-1995
38 Letter to Quentin Burdick from Jim Grahl about the Vietnam War, 1969
39 Photographs and post cards

Box 2:
1 William Langer
2 Burleigh County NPL Executive Committee, 1930s
3 Jungroth – Advise and consent, 1970-1991
4 Jungroth – ALTA (American Trial Lawyers Association) Lobbying, 1986-1997
5 Jungroth – Balanced budget amendment, 1994-1996
6 Jungroth – Burdick, Quentin N., 1976-1992
7 Jungroth – Burdick, Quentin N. (continued), 1969-1977
8 Jungroth – Burdick campaign file, 1987-1988
9 Jungroth – Burdick election, 1988         
10 Jungroth – Conrad, Kent, 1990-2002
11 Jungroth – Conrad, Kent (continued), 1987-1990
12 Jungroth – ND Wildlife Association constitution and by-laws, ca. 1969-1970
13 Jungroth – Devils Lake, 1974-1996
14 Jungroth – Dorgan, Byron, 1991-2002
15 Jungroth – Dorgan, Byron, 1988-1991 (continued)
16 Jungroth – Dorgan, Byron, 1981-1987 (continued)
17 Jungroth – Dossier, 1974-2001
18 Jungroth – Drug correspondence, 1989-1995
19 Jungroth – flag burning, 1989-2001
20 Jungroth – FHA-Land, 1985-1987
21 Jungroth – Health care reform, 1994
22 Jungroth – Heigaard, Bill, 1992
23 Jungroth – Insurance Commissioner, 1989-1991
24 Jungroth – Legislation, 1991

Box 3:
VHS: Benson, Judge – interview with Lynn Boughey, 1/27/1995 (3 tapes)
Conmy, Pat – interview, 10/2/1991
Conmy and Webb – interviews
Davies, Judge – interview Boyd Christenson show, 11/1/1979
Van Sickle – interview, 7/10/1992 (2 tapes)
Webb – interview, 6/15/1993    
Unidentified tape

DVDs: “The People and the Land are One” Standing Rock Reservation (2 copies)
United Tribes Technical College Indian Land Tenure Foundation Grant, Raw interview footage, Raymond Cross, 7/12/2005
Peltier raw footage, Bismarck
Governor Guy Project – reference disc, Jim Jungroth interview, 11/19/2009

Cassettes: Jungroth 1974 campaign (2 cassettes)

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