The Historical Society of the United States Courts in the Eighth
2001 Annual Report
Hon. Richard G. Kopf, President
The Executive Board met in July 2001, during the Eighth Circuit
Judicial Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. During the meeting,
presidency of the Society was turned over to District Judge
Richard G. Kopf. Thomas H. Boyd served as president of the
Society during the first half of 2001. Frances Ross succeeded
Judge Kopf as vice-president, and Circuit Librarian Ann
Fessenden continued as secretary/treasurer.
The executive board completed several projects in preparation
for the Judicial Conference. During the Conference, a
display featuring Eighth Circuit Judicial Conferences from
1934-1970 was exhibited, and the Society's eighth newsletter
was distributed. The Society also launched an internet website
that provides electronic access to the Society's mission,
directors, membership information, and newsletter. The website
also includes a separate section for information on each branch.
The U.S. Courts Library has assumed an expanded role in
the Society as it has taken over production of Judicial
Conference displays, the newsletter, and created the website.
The St. Louis library's new space in the Thomas F. Eagleton
U.S. Courthouse features an Archives Room dedicated to
housing and preserving Eighth Circuit history. The library
has added to its collection the donated Limbaugh rare books
and the Blackmun collection of pictures and memorabilia, of
which Circuit Librarian Ann Fessenden is curator. In addition,
library staff worked with the Kiku Obata & Company to develop
the Blackmun Rotunda in the Eagleton Courthouse.
Professor Jeffrey Morris has largely completed the draft of
an extensive written history of the Eighth Circuit. When
completed, the branch will submit the manuscript to the
University of Missouri Press. The branch has continued
to co-sponsor the renewed John F. Dillon essay competition
at the University of Iowa College of Law. This year's winner
was Matthew D. Spohn for his paper, Understanding America's
Scenic Parks as Cultural Property. The branch also prepared
a preface to the Eighth Circuit Practice Manual, articles
for the Society's newsletter, and material for the court
of appeals section of the Society's website. The website
material includes a short history of the Eighth Circuit
and a judicial bibliography.
Arkansas Eastern and Western
The Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas are participating
in a joint project to gather biographical essays on U.S.
district judges of Arkansas who assumed the bench between
1836 and 1960. Thirteen of the sixteen essays were completed
by July 2001. When all essays are completed, the project will
be submitted for publication. A group picture was taken of
Western District Judges Jimm L. Hendren (chief judge),
Harry F. Barnes, Robert T. Dawson, and H. Franklin Waters,
and hung in each of the district's courthouses. On August 2,
2001, the federal courthouse in Harrison, Arkansas, was named
for Circuit Judge J. Smith Henley.
Senior District Judge Donald E. O'Brien has completed a draft
history of the Northern District.
The branch is working on a series of projects: standardizing
practice among judges regarding preservation of their papers;
preparing information for the court's website; and planning
a judicial milestone exhibit. GSA acquired funding to
renovate the courthouse in Fergus Falls, and the branch
will help insure that it is completed with historical
accuracy. Oral histories on all newer judges have been
The Eastern District moved to the new Thomas F. Eagleton
U.S. Courthouse in January, 2001. Plans to videotape the
senior judges have been on hold due to the move. The branch
expects the courthouse learning center to be open within two
years. Non-appropriated funds are being used for the center,
which is a not-for-profit corporation. The new courthouse
has several permanent displays. The Blackmun Rotunda on the
27th floor is dedicated to the memory and legacy of
Justice Harry A. Blackmun. Senior District Judge Stephen
N. Limbaugh and his family donated a collection of rare
legal treatises which is on display in the U.S. Courts
Library's Archives Room. John Steuart Curry's mural studies
depicting historical themes, donated by Senator Thomas F.
Eagleton, are on display on the third floor. The southern
alcove of the first floor holds the Eagleton Display,
honoring the Senator for whom the courthouse is named.
Senior District Judge Edward L. Filippine took part in the
creation of a 17-minute film on the courthouse construction
project, which was debuted during the court of appeals en
banc dedication of the Blackmun Rotunda on July 11, 2001.
The branch's objective is to have a learning center similar
to that planned for St. Louis, but a more definite plan
is needed before soliciting funds from the bar may begin.
The official history of the District of Nebraska from
1863 through 1971 is being prepared by Professor John R.
Wunder. Research should be finished by summer 2002. Since
membership has dropped, the Nebraska branch plans to bolster
funds by sponsoring a signing of the history when published,
most likely by the University of Nebraska Press.
Ardell Tharaldson, law clerk to Senior District Judge
Patrick A. Conmy, is nearing completion of a written history
that will be published and sold in the state museum. On
August 6, 2001, the Grand Forks courthouse was renamed the
Ronald N. Davies Federal Building and U. S. Courthouse.
Senior District Judge John Bailey Jones' secretary, Peggy Teslow,
has organized a display of pictures and memorabilia.
2001-2002 Board of Directors
Hon. Richard G. Kopf, President
Frances Ross, 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.
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
F. Richard Lyford
District of Minnesota
Hon. John R. Tunheim
Randall M. Tietjen
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. Karen E. Schreier
Mark F. Marshall
Ex Officio Board Member
Hon. Richard W. Peterson
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©2001 by the Historical Society of the U.S. Courts in the Eighth Circuit