Eighth Circuit Historical Society

The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth Circuit

2000 Annual Report

Thomas H. Boyd, President

The primary activities of the Society's Executive Board have been to work on development of a web site and also to encourage the branches to appoint historians and to sponsor essay programs and lecture series. The Board of Directors did not meet in 2000, but the following activities have been described by the branches in their written reports:

The Court of Appeals Branch's principal project is the preparation and publication of an extensive written history. The author is Professor Jeffrey Morris, who has completed five of the anticipated seven chapters of the manuscript. Arrangements for publication are being made with the University of Missouri Press. Also, the Appeals Branch made its first award of the renewed John F. Dillon essay competition at the University of Iowa College of Law. The winner was Kyle T. Murray, who wrote a paper entitled, Looking for Lochner in All the Wrong Places: The Iowa Supreme Court and Substantive Due Process.

Arkansas Eastern and Western
The Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas are participating in a joint project to gather biographical essays on Arkansas United States District judges. The project will include judges who assumed the bench between 1836 and 1960. When complete, the essays will be submitted for publication. Twelve of the sixteen essays were substantially complete by July, 2000.

Iowa Northern
The Iowa Northern branch is exploring the possibility of jointly sponsoring "legal milestone" projects in Iowa with the Iowa State Bar Association Legal Heritage Committee.

Iowa Southern
The branch has continued its efforts to locate a display case for the U.S. Courthouse in Des Moines for court memorabilia. The branch received information from the General Services Administration that completion of restoration of a painting entitled, "Wheelwright" was expected by the end of the year. The painting had been on display in the Des Moines Courthouse and was to be returned there after restoration.

Magistrate Judge Richard Peterson (Retired) was appointed Court Historian. Also, Judge Peterson has now expanded his 1995 World War II commemoration account of his experiences into an article entitled "Day of Destiny; D-Day, 1944." It has been distributed to various members of the Society. Copies of this and his earlier account, "Hilltops of Attendorn," will be permanently maintained in the archives of the Eighth Circuit Library in St. Louis.

Missouri Eastern
The Branch has been relatively dormant, awaiting the move to the new Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse. The Court of Appeals occupied the new building in August 2000, and District and Bankruptcy Courts were scheduled to move in January, 2001. A committee has been working with the Kiku Obata Company on designing and planning an Education Center which will be located on the first floor of the new courthouse.

Missouri Western
The Western District of Missouri Historical Society expended approximately $17,000 to fund a conceptual plan for a permanent historical display in the new Kansas City Courthouse. The Society has named a three-person fund-raising committee to raise between $150,000 and $175,000 to fund the project. Fund-raising was scheduled to begin in fall, 2000.

The official history of the District of Nebraska from 1863 through 1971 is being prepared by Professor John R. Wunder of the University of Nebraska, with completion expected by March, 2001. Professor Wunder and his research assistant, John Husmann, visited the Federal Records Center in Kansas City and reported that the extensive collection of private papers of Judge Thomas C. Munger (1907-1941) may be one of the most significant collections of its kind in the history of the United States Courts.

North Dakota
Interviews have been completed and videotapes made of Judges Benson, Van Sickle, Conmy, and Webb. A committee is collecting various courtroom and chambers artifacts, which are being organized and indexed by the Eighth Circuit Branch Library in Fargo. Magistrate Judge Kautzmann, Chair of the North Dakota Branch, is collecting Presidential oaths of office from the Judicial Officers in the District, and Ardell Tharaldson, law clerk to Judge Conmy, is preparing a written report of the District's history. Efforts are being made to increase membership through former law clerks and possibly the state's legal secretary association.

2000-2001 Board of Directors

Thomas H. Boyd, President
Hon. Richard G. Kopf, Vice-President
Ann T. Fessenden, Secretary - Treasurer

Court of Appeals
Hon. Donald P. Lay
Thomas H. Boyd

Eastern District of Arkansas
Hon. William R. Wilson, Jr.
Frances Ross

Western District of Arkansas
Hon. Jimm L. Hendren
Katherine C. Gay

Northern District of Iowa
Hon. Mark W. Bennett
Eric W. Lam

Southern District of Iowa
Hon. Ronald E. Longstaff
Hon. Richard W. Peterson

District of Minnesota
Hon. John R. Tunheim
Duane W. Krohnke

Eastern District of Missouri
Hon. Edward L. Filippine
Ann E. Buckley

Western District of Missouri
Hon. Howard F. Sachs
F. Russell Millin

District of Nebraska
Hon. Richard G. Kopf
Mary J. Hewitt

District of North Dakota
Hon. Dwight C.H. Kautzmann
M. Daniel Vogel

District of South Dakota
Hon. Lawrence L. Piersol
Hon. Mark F. Marshall

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Updated 10/03/02
©2001 by the Historical Society of the U.S. Courts in the Eighth Circuit