Wynona Huchette Wilkins, a native of western Pennsylvania, attended West Virginia University, and holds a M.A. degree in history from Indiana University. She taught at the University of Oklahoma from 1962-1963, and in the Tunisian program of the United States Peace Corps in 1963. From 1964-1967 she taught French and European history at the Ironton Center of Ohio University. In 1967, she became a member of the UND Language Department and taught French.
Wynona and her husband, Dr. Robert Wilkins, professor of history, co-authored God Giveth the Increase: The History of the Episcopal Church in North Dakota (1959) and North Dakota: A Bicentennial History (1977). She has also written several articles, including "The Idea of North Dakota" (contained in this collection), which appeared in 1971 in the North Dakota Quarterly, a journal which she helped her husband edit.
Wynona Wilkins retired from the University of North Dakota on May 15, 1987. She died in Grand Forks on December 23, 2021.
Donation; Acc. #94-1979
God Giveth the Increase: The History of the Episcopal Church in North Dakota by Robert and Wynona Wilkins. Fargo: North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies, 1959.
North Dakota: A Bicentennial History by Robert and Wynona Wilkins. New York: Norton, 1977.
The Wynona H. Wilkins Papers consist mainly of newspaper clippings dating from 1956-1994. These along with magazine articles, postcards, greeting cards and letters are arranged alphabetically by topic. The majority of the material dates from the 1970's.
Wilkins initially gathered items to illustrate the thesis of her article "The Idea of North Dakota", that is, people viewed North Dakota negatively because they were not familiar with the state. Wilkin's project started almost by accident. She was in Oklahoma City, Okla., in a card shop. She picked up a greeting card that read "Hi there! I just arrived here in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and that's a bit of a blow 'cause I'm supposed to be in Furdsville, North Dakota. Oh well, see you soon!" She bought it, the first entry in her collection.
Photograph 1: Robert and Wynona Wilkins
Photograph 2: Robert and Wynona Wilkins present first-edition copy of North Dakota: A History to Congressman Mark Andrews
Photograph 3: Robert and Wynona Wilkins present first-edition copy of North Dakota: A History to Senator Quentin Burdick
Photograph 4: Joseph Duffey, Robert and Wynona Wilkins, Eleanor Goodall, and Everett Albers
Photograph 5: Robert and Wynona Wilkins with Arthur and Grace Link
Photograph 6: Robert and Wynona Wilkins autographing their books for Arthur Link