Aaron McGaffey Beede and Ralph Gordon Beede Papers, 1899-1969
Primary Creator: Beede, Aaron McGaffey (1859-1934)
Other Creators: Beede, Ralph Gordon (1895-1969)
Extent: 3.5 Linear Feet
The Aaron McGaffey Beede and Ralph Gordon Beede Papers (1899-1969) has been arranged so that items related to Aaron McGaffey Beede come first. This includes his extensive personal and professional correspondence, 1915-1934.
Materials for Ralph Gordon Beede, son of Aaron McGaffey Beede, are arranged next. These consist primarily of personal and professional correspondence (1925-1965). One folder containing the text of speeches delivered by Ralph Gordon Beede, as well as a folder of legislative materials, are also included.
The collection was rearranged in December 2004 so that similar files were organized together. Nothing was discarded during this process.
Date Acquired: 06/20/1972. More info below under Accruals.
Included are four ledgers: the first ledger, “A,” is undated and consists of an untitled literary manuscript. Ledger “B” contains the handwritten text of Beede’s speeches, as well as newspaper clippings consisting of the text of speeches. Ledger “C” consists of miscellaneous documents and entries regarding Beede’s missionary work. The final ledger, “D,” contains diary entries for 1919.
Arranged third are Beede’s eighteen handwritten journals, 1912-1922. The journals record his activities as an Indian missionary, as well as reflections on his life and times. Weather reports and local happenings were also frequent entries. Researchers are urged to note that the end date for some of the journals was difficult to determine. The listed dates in the inventory should not be viewed as absolute.
Several unpublished manuscripts, including a lengthy one on Indian customs, are also included. The manuscripts also include two essays written on the Dakota Indian Victory Dance, one mystery play, and one article written for possible publication. Beede’s finished publications are arranged next. Duplicate copies of publications were cataloged and added to the North Dakota Book Collection. Lastly, there are two folders of miscellaneous materials.
Aaron McGaffey Beede
A pioneer of North Dakota, Aaron McGaffey Beede began his travels in Sandwich, New Hampshire, where he was born January 15, 1859, to Captain Aaron Beede and Mary McGaffey. He was a versatile man and no one career or place was a staple for him. Throughout his life he would wear many cloaks: a minister of the Gospel, a missionary, scholar, lawyer, public official, and an author.
In 1884, Beede graduated with an A.B. degree as valedictorian of his class, from Bates College at Lewiston, Maine. After this degree, Beede taught and during his spare moments studied law. On November 3, 1887 these studies were interrupted when Beede married Rebecca M. Ridley, daughter to Captain Henry and Eunice (Purington) Ridley, in Athens, Maine. Beede then attended the Andover, Massachusetts, Theological Seminary, and in 1890 received a Bachelor of Divinity degree.
Between 1891 and 1894, Beede was a superintendent of schools at Alfred, Maine. This may be his last academic post in the east, which he left to take over the Chair of Greek and German in a school in Redfield, South Dakota in 1895. Once in the Midwest the Beedes would refrain from moving eastward again and from this point on they would spend the remaining years of their lives in North Dakota. The couple would eventually create a family there. The legislator, Ralph Gordon Beede was the youngest: Margaret Beede, an assistant professor of English at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, was the second youngest: the eldest, Carl Howard Beede, moved to Seattle, Washington where he was a superintendent of the city light, power and heat plant.
In 1899, Beede left this post and headed to Fargo, North Dakota to take over the post of Assistant President at Fargo College (1900-1901). Also, in 1899 Beede received a Doctorate degree in Philosophy from Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.
In 1901 Beede returned to the ministry to do episcopal missionary work in the Sioux County area. He was responsible for much of the Indian work in Sioux County between 1901-1916, a post which was well suited for Beede since he had learned the Sioux language at fifteen when he spent two years visiting Sioux and Chippewa Indians. There are many recorded stories exemplifying Beede's commitment to his missionary work. Beede would bring his own food and clothing to the Turtle Mountain Reservation when he found the 40 members of the church in a deplorable plight; Beede built the Chapel of St. Denys with his own hands; Beede traveled as far as 70 miles on foot to see a sick man. In 1916 his missionary service ended abruptly when the fiery Beede resigned from the church. Bishop John Poyntz Tyler discussed complaints issued by touring Episcopalians. The complaints criticized the manner Beede was handling the distribution of clothing that had been donated by individuals and guilds of the Eastern Churches.
With the end of his missionary work Beede entered law. Governor L.B. Hanna had already appointed him the first county judge of Sioux County in 1914. From information collected from History of North Dakota by Lewis F. Crawford and God Giveth the Increase: The History of the Episcopal Church in North Dakota by Robert P. Wilkins, it may be deduced that Beede served concomitantly as missionary and judgeship for Sioux County. He left this judgeship in 1922 to enter private practice. In 1924, however, he interrupted his law practice to serve as state Attorney for the same county between 1925 and 1927.
Beede was a member of the District's Social Service Commission, which he served along close friend Orin G Libby. Beede resigned over ideological differences he could no longer stomach. As the Church began to amble farther away from Beede's own ideological view, his resignation was all that would have saved the disheartened Beede. The Church's support of World War I and its attacks on trade unions and civil liberties were signs the Church and Beede held distinctly and opposite views and beliefs. In a letter to Libby, Beede writes that between the two of them he was the less hypocritical one: this quality made Libby an excellent choice as a substitute for Beede as the Commission's chair.
Beede was a radical in matters of politics and economics. Some of his publications attest to this radicalism. He wrote at length about social problems. He authored Some Hindrances to Social Progress in the United States in 1899, and Social Teaching of St. Paul in 1900. Other publications show Beede the playwright and poet, including Sitting Bull Custer (1913), Heart-in- the-Lodge (1915), and Towards the Sun, poems by A. McG. Beede (1916). Aaron McGaffey Beede died October 5, 1934, in Rochester, Minnesota. He is buried alongside his wife in a family plot in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Ralph Gordon Beede
Ralph Gordon Beede was born June 3, 1895, in Redfield, South Dakota, to Aaron McGaffey Beede and Rebecca M. (Ridley) Beede. A lawyer and newspaper publisher, Beede was also a politician who served nine sessions in the State Legislature from 1939-1943 through 1947-1959.
He attended the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks into his senior year. He did not graduate, but taught at schools in McClusky and Goodrich for four years until he was inducted into the U.S. Army March 11, 1918, due to World War I. He was stationed in Hawaii as part of the Hawaiian Infantry until he was discharged in February 1919.
After leaving the service, Beede moved to Fort Yates, North Dakota, where he purchased the Sioux County Pioneer. Beede studied law under his father, while also running the newspaper. He was admitted to the bar in July 1924. Soon after, Ralph Gordon Beede began an apprenticeship with F.B. Lambert in Minot until December 1925. Moving to Elgin after his association with Lambert ended, Beede purchased Elgin News changing its name to Grant County News. He would publish this newspaper, intermittently practicing law and government, in Elgin until 1960, when it was sold to A.J. Sondag.
An active Nonpartisan League member, Beede served as State Representative of Sioux County, 1939-1944 and 1951-1960. He acted as House Speaker during the 1943 session, in addition to acting as the minority leader in 1941, 1951, and 1955. He was endorsed for the United States Congress in the Republican Primary in 1944 and was candidate for Attorney General in 1945. At the end of the 1967 North Dakota State Legislature, Beede was honored in joint session for his "outstanding services to his community, state, nation, and especially to the North Dakota Legislative Assembly." In that same year, Beede's health worsened to the point he gave up his law practice. Ralph Gordon Beede died December 4, 1969.
Sources: History of North Dakota by Lewis F. Crawford; God Giveth the Increase: The History of the Episcopal Church in North Dakota by Robert P. Wilkens; South of the Cannon Ball: A History of the Sioux, the War Bonnet County by May E. Hinton
Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.
Acquisition Source: William McGaffey Beede, Minot, North Dakota
Acquisition Method: Donation
Sitting Bull & Custer by Aaron McGaffey Beede. Bismarck Tribune: 1913. Call Number: E83.876 B4
Large Indian Cornfields in North Dakota Long Ago, and an Indian Drama Petite for School Children by Aaron McGaffey Beede. Bismarck Tribune: 1914. Call Number: E78.N75 B4
Heart-in-the-Lodge, “All a Mistake” by Aaron McGaffey Beede. Bismarck Tribune: 1915. Call Number: E99.D1 B4
Toward the Sun, Poems by A. McG Beede, Ph.D., with Commentary Notes by Melvin R. Gilmore. Bismarck Tribune: 1916. Call Number: PS3503.E243 T6 1916
Self Sloughed-Off Person Free: Heart and Pluck in this Epoch by Aaron McGaffey Beede. Grant County News: 1934 Call Number: PS3503.E243 B43
Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). Aaron McGaffey Beede and Ralph Gordon Beede Papers. OGLMC 206, Box #, Folder #. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections. Chester Fritz Library. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.
Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid added to Archon in July 2012.
Browse by Series:
[Series 1: Introductory Materials],
[Series 2: Aaron McGaffey Beede],
[Series 3: Ralph Gordon Beede],
- Series 1: Introductory Materials
- Series 2: Aaron McGaffey Beede
- Box 1
- Folder 3: Correspondence, 1915-1919
- Folder 4: Correspondence, 1920-1922
- Folder 5: Correspondence: Citizens State Bank vs. Olaf G. Smealand, 1921
- Folder 6: Correspondence, 1923
- Folder 7: Correspondence: Bearpaw Land Papers, including sale to Ordway and correspondence with the Bank of North Dakota, 1923-1928
- Folder 8: Correspondence, 1924
- Folder 9: Correspondence, 1925
- Folder 10: Correspondence, 1926
- Folder 11: Correspondence, 1927
- Folder 12: Correspondence, 1928
- Folder 13: Correspondence, 1929
- Folder 14: Correspondence, 1930
- Folder 15: Correspondence, 1931
- Folder 16: Correspondence, 1932
- Folder 17: Correspondence, 1933
- Folder 18: Correspondence, 1934
- Folder 19: Correspondence, undated
- Folder 20: Ledgers: “A”, undated literary manuscript
- Folder 21: Ledgers: “B”, undated, text and clippings of speeches
- Folder 22: Ledgers: “C”, 1900-1902
- Folder 23: Ledgers: “D”, 1919
- Folder 24: Journal 1, 1912-August 1913
- Folder 25: Journal 2, December 1913-February 1914
- Folder 26: Journal 3, February-August 1914
- Folder 27: Journal 4, August 1914-February 1915
- Folder 28: Journal 5, February-May 1915
- Box 2
- Folder 1: Journal 6, May-June 1915
- Folder 2: Journal 7, October-December 1915
- Folder 3: Journal 8, December 1915-February 1916
- Folder 4: Journal 9, February-June 1916
- Folder 5: Journal 10, June-August 1916
- Folder 6: Journal 11, August-September 1916
- Folder 7: Journal 12, September-October 1916
- Folder 8: Journal 13, October-December 1916
- Folder 9: Journal 14 (plus loose sheets from August 1914), December 1916-July 1917
- Folder 10: Journal 15, July-September 1917
- Folder 11: Journal 16, September 1917-November 1918
- Folder 12: Journal 17, January 1919-April 1920
- Folder 13: Journal 18, March 1920-January 1922
- Folder 14: “Extract’s from Dad’s Journal,” article submission to Atlantic Monthly, 1943
- Box 3
- Folder 1: Writings by A.M. Beede and about A.M. Beede, 1906-1983
- Folder 2: Manuscript - “The Dakota Indian Victory-Dance”
- Account of a ceremonial dance at Fort Yates in November 1918. Several drafts are present.
- Folder 3: Drafts of Four-Act Play - “The Man Soul: Indian View of Life, Death, Flowers, Animals, Ghosts, and Whitemen," undated
- Folder 4: “Western Sioux Cosmology" and "Letting Go of the Ghost" - drafts and correspondence, 1918-1919
- Folder 5: Indian manuscript - outline and assorted sections
- Folder 6: Indian manuscript - sections A-B
A - Relics
B - History
- Folder 7: Indian manuscript - sections C-E
C - Symbolic drawings
D - Intelligence
E - Customs and habits
- Folder 8: Indian manuscript - sections F-L
F - Personages (mainly Black Ball and Sitting Bull)
G - Flowers used as medicine
H - Sioux physical appearance
I - Sybolism of dreams
J - Tolerance
K - Deaths and funerals
L - Christmas
- Folder 9: Indian manuscript - sections M-Q
M - Superstitions
N - Treatment by white men
O - Farming
P - Sayings
Q - Indian doctors
- Folder 10: Indian manuscript - sections R-T
R - Treatment by government agencies
S - Idea of life
T - Belief in God
- Folder 11: Indian manuscript - sections U-Z
U - Attitudes toward miracles
V - Institutions
W - Freedom from government
X - Laborers for white men
Y - Physical condition
Z - Beef trust (cattle)
- Folder 12: Heart-in-the-Lodge (1915) and Large Indian Cornfields in North Dakota..." (1914)
- Folder 13: Sitting Bull and Custer (1913) and Self Sloughed-off, Person Free (1934)
- Folder 14: Social Teaching of Paul (ca. 1900) and The Terrible Rat..." (undated)
- Folder 15: Some Hindrances to Social Progress in the United States (1899) and Toward the Sun (1916)
- Folder 16: Newspaper clippings, membership cards, and check stubs, 1919-1932
- Folder 17: Maps - New Leipzig, ND, and North Dakota publications, 1924-1964
The School Bell, ca. 1924
Manual for the State of North Dakota, 1926
North Dakota Historical Quarterly, October 1940
Maps (2) of New Leipzig, ND - Street improvements, 1964
- Folder 18: Assorted publications, 1913-1925
Souvenir Programs, Department of Public Speaking, North Dakota Agricultural College, 1913-1914
Public Programs, North Dakota Agricultural College, 1914-1915
A Buffalo Sweatlodge and Early Cheyenne Villages, by George Bird Grinnell, 1918-1919
Bird Lore and Bird Songs of the North American Indian by N.W. Jipson, 1922
A History of... (North Dakota writings on Indigenous peoples, etc.), 1925
- Series 3: Ralph Gordon Beede
- Box 4
- Folder 1: Correspondence, 1925-1939
- Folder 2: Correspondence - William G. Bek to R.O. Wilson regarding Beede’s Ph.B. degree and lesson sheets for a short story correspondence course at UND, undated
- Folder 3: Correspondence, 1940-1943
- Folder 4: Correspondence, 1944-1948
- Folder 5: Correspondence, 1950-1959
- Folder 6: Correspondence, 1960-1965
- Folder 7: House and Senate Bills and Miscellaneous
- Folder 8: Speeches, undated
- Folder 9: Correspondence, etc. - induction of Ralph Gordon Beede into the North Dakota Newspaper Hall of Fame, 1983
- Folder 10: Photographs
206-1: Two unidentified Dakota Indians
206-2: Hokanson Brothers store, Fort Yates, ND (postcard)
206-3: Black Hills Council, Fort Yates, ND, September 1923
206-4: Gray Hawk, Dakota Sioux, 1923
206-5: Francis Zahn, Aaron McGaffey Beede, and others, Wahpeton, ND, ca. 1918
206-6: Ralph G. Beede and Usher Burdick, Elgin, ND, June 1960
Browse by Series:
[Series 1: Introductory Materials],
[Series 2: Aaron McGaffey Beede],
[Series 3: Ralph Gordon Beede],