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DATES: 1927-1985, 2003

SIZE: 5.75 linear feet


ACQUISITION: The Eugene A. Burdick Papers were deposited in the Orin G. Libby Manuscript Collection by Eugene A. Burdick on November 8, 1985 (Acc. #85-1420). An addition was deposited by Curt Hanson, Department of Special Collections, in 2003. (Acc.#2003- 2610).

ACCESS: Available for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Department of Special Collections.


Eugene Allan Burdick was born on October 15, 1912, at Stony Creek Township, Williams County, North Dakota. He was the son of Usher Lloyd and Emma Cecelia (Robertson) Burdick. Eugene Burdick attended public school in Williston, North Dakota, and graduated from Williston High School in 1929. He attended the University of Minnesota, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1933. Following graduation, he enrolled at the University's law school, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1935. On February 14, 1939, Burdick married May Picard of Bainville, Montana and they had two children William and Elizabeth.

Burdick was admitted to the North Dakota bar in July 1935, and opened a general practice firm in Williston. He was first elected States Attorney for Williams County in 1939, and served three consecutive terms, until 1945. On June 1, 1953, Burdick was appointed Judge of the Fifth (now Northwest) Judicial District by North Dakota Governor C. Norman Brunsdale. Burdick was reelected to four six-year terms, before retiring on December 31, 1978.

Burdick was an active member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota. He served terms as Secretary, Vice President and President. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the State Bar Association in 1983. He was also active in the National Conference of State Trial Judges from 1959 to 1974, serving for a time as a member of the Executive Committee. Burdick was also active in the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws for more than forty years. He held several offices in this organization, including President.

Following his retirement from the bar, Burdick continued to live in Williston. Burdick and his wife moved permanently to Sarasota, Florida. Eugene Burdick died on November 3, 2000, in Sarasota.


The Eugene A. Burdick Papers date from 1927-1985 and are divided into three series: Personal Materials, Legal Materials-North Dakota, and Legal Materials-National.

Series I: Personal Materials
This series dates from 1927-1982 and contains biographical information along with correspondence. There is correspondence from Emma (his mother), Quentin Burdick (his brother) and also William Lemke, a prominent North Dakota politician. College documents, personal finance documents, organizations, documents about Williston, and a print-out of Burdick's personal website are also included in the first series. The website contains links to biographical information, his opinions on government and politics, grammar and choice of words, and his legal views. It also contains information on the National Conference of Commissions on Uniform State Laws, his own recipes, a list of favorite similes, and miscellaneous information. The website was assessed and printed out on January 8, 2003. The address was: http://home1.gte.net/eburdick/index.htm

Box 1, Folder 1-Box 1, Folder 30 and Box 5, Folder 8

Series II: Legal Materials-North Dakota
This series dates from 1962-1983 and consists of various committees that Eugene Burdick was involved with. The Judicial Council Committee published the North Dakota Century Code. The Judicial Educational Committee was composed of lawyers and judges set up a structure for continuing judicial education.

The Judicial System Committee was composed of legislators, judges and lay people to discuss rearrangement of the court system in North Dakota. They were instrumental in replacing country courts with the present district court arrangement. Burdick also served as a draftsman for the Juvenile Court Advisory Council. This council was composed of judges and Public Welfare Board Representatives to discuss matters of children and youth.

The Bench Book Project was set up by the Special Advisory Committee where Burdick was chairman. The project designed a book to assist district judges with court proceedings and other judicial information.

The North Dakota State Bar Association materials include correspondence and materials related to Burdick's duties as a drafter of uniform statutes. The material dates primarily from the 1960s. This material includes work on commercial codes, criminal procedures and extradition, rules of evidence, and the Notary and Metric Act. There are also some North Dakota Supreme Court documents and some miscellaneous North Dakota folders. Box 1, Folder 31-Box 4, Folder 17

Series III: Legal Materials-National
This series consists of material from 1973-1984 and contains documents such as the American Bar Association and the Model Act. The Model Acts were bills to help with adoption and other child related issues. Other miscellaneous folders are also included. Box 4, Folder 18-Box 5, Folder 7

Four photographs were separated and added to the Orin G. Libby Photograph Collection. Four audio tapes were separated and added to the Audio Tape Collection.


Box 1


  1. Burdick Biographical and Genealogical Information


  1. Correspondence- Emma Burdick: 1927-1947
  2. Correspondence- Quentin Burdick: 1957-1982
  3. Correspondence- William Lemke: 1933-1948
  4. Correspondence- General: 1953-1977
  5. Correspondence- Congratulatory: 1953
  6. Correspondence regarding nominations to the senate: March 6 & 10, 1958
  7. Nomination letters, petitions & affidavit for Judge Burdick to become judge of the District Court: 1960
  8. Information and correspondence regarding Samoyede dogs: 1936-1950
  9. Political Campaign Material
  10. Correspondence regarding political information about Usher and Quentin Burdick: 1958-1960
  11. Eugene Burdick's appointment to the ND Supreme Court: 1978

College Documents

  1. Senior Prom and graduation ceremony-University of Minnesota: 1935
  2. Sigma Nu Fraternity membership material
  3. Speeches and Writings by Eugene Burdick
  4. "Zoning" by Eugene Burdick-a paper for Law School: 1932
  5. Equity Bill Authored by Eugene Burdick: 1936

Personal Finance Documents

  1. Life and Auto Insurance: 1934-1960
  2. Leases- Oil and Gas (Kjos), along with land affidavits and titles
  3. Leases- Gravel (Everist, Inc.): 1973-1978
  4. NW Federal Savings & Loan Account #207- Home Mortgage
  5. American Telegram & Telegraph Co. & Television Co. stock shares
  6. Star Oil Company Stocks- geological studies about land


  1. Elks Club documents, Willistom
  2. Kiwanis Club, Williston
  3. Williston Kiwanis Kibitizer: Feb.2, 1957-Dec. 8, 1958, The Minnekotan: April 1977, & Kiwanis Club Newsletter: 11/8/1972
  4. Correspondence about Federal Building in Williston & bills: 1954-1968
  5. Community Development Program suggestions by Judge Burdick: 1964
  6. Correspondence from Williston Chamber of Commerce: 1960 & 1962
  7. Correspondence regarding erection of a new post office in Williston: 1954-1967


Judicial Council Committee

  1. Drafts for bills
  2. Post-conviction remedies: 1967-1968
  3. Constitutional convention material
Judicial Educational Committee
  1. Letter to Judge Hatch about starting Judicial Training Committee: 4/25/83
  2. House bill to require judicial education
  3. Judicial educational grant proposal
  4. Information for seminar and pamphlet
  5. Copy of amendment to Rule 4
  6. Bylaws of the ND Judicial conference
  7. Membership documents: 1975
  8. Correspondence: 1976-1985
  9. Meeting Minutes: 1976-1985
  10. Judicial Educational Plan: July 1, 1975
  11. Grant application and policy statement
  12. Grant request for DUI seminar: 3/1/84
  13. Out-of-state training budget proposal: 1985-1987 biennium
  14. Instate programs: 1977 & out-of-state programs: 1981
  15. Judicial Training Committee material: 1980, 1981 & 1984
  16. Agendas for teaching seminars and conventions: 1975-1983

Box 2

  1. Seminar evaluations: 1975-1982
  2. Judicial Educational reports: 1976-1978
  3. Traffic safety program review
  4. Judicial Education News: June & Oct. 1975 & American Academy of Judicial Education booklet
  5. Other states educational information
  6. National College of the State Judiciary-Fall 1976

Judicial System Committee

  1. Correspondence: 1971-1977
  2. Meeting minutes and agendas: 1977-1978
  3. Fiscal year 1976
  4. Articles and bulletin about changes: 1978
  5. Maps for redistricting
  6. Miscellaneous brochures on judicial reform
Juvenile Court Advisory Council
  1. Juvenile Court Advisory Council: April 1968-Dec. 1972
  2. Correspondence & draft bills: Aug. 1960-July 1974
  3. Correspondence & draft bills: Jan 1973-Dec.1978
  4. Correspondence & draft bills: 1975-1978

North Dakota Bench Book Project

  1. Checklist and draft
  2. District Court Bench Book: May 1982
  3. Correspondence and papers: Jan.-Aug. 1981
  4. Correspondence and papers: August 1981-1982
North Dakota State Bar Association
  1. Uniform Laws Committee-membership: 1966-1976
  2. Uniform Laws Committee-committee job descriptions: June 1976
  3. Uniform Laws Committee-Correspondence: 1960-1972
  4. Uniform Laws Committee-bills and acts: 1961-1978
  5. Uniform Laws Committee-reports to National Conference on Uniform State Laws: 1968-1971
  6. Uniform Laws Committee-reports: 1968-1970
  7. Uniform Laws Committee-budget reports and information: 1973-1977
  8. Uniform Laws Committee-newspaper articles: 4/3/71
  9. Uniform Laws Committee-running a successful meeting: 3/19/74

Box 3

  1. Uniform Commercial Code: 1966-1977
  2. Uniform Criminal Procedures: 1972-1973
  3. Uniform Criminal Procedures: 1974
  4. Uniform Criminal Extradition: 1971-1978
  5. Uniform Jury Selection & Service Act: 1971
  6. Uniform Metric Act: 1978
  7. Uniform Notary Act-correspondence, acts & drafts, & information: 1976-1982
  8. Uniform Periodic Payments: 1977-1981
  9. Uniform Rules of Evidence
  10. Uniform Time Share Ownership Act: March 1977-1978
  11. Other Uniform Acts: 1968
  12. National Commissioners Conference 1977
  13. National Commissioners Conference 1978

Box 4

  1. Proposed rules for Appellate Procedure-by the State Bar Association of ND: 1971

North Dakota Supreme Court Documents

  1. Supreme Court Documents: 1971-March 1976
  2. Supreme Court Documents: 1976-1978
  3. Court rulings from Supreme Court of North Dakota

Miscellaneous ND Documents

  1. Adoption Bills: 1980
  2. Audit Report of Governor's Council on Human Resources: July 1969
  3. Civil Procedures
  4. Code of Trial Conduct information
  5. Correspondence regarding expense reimbursement: 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978
  6. ND Estate Tax Law, rules and regulations: July 1, 1975
  7. Fifty years of bar integration in ND: June 1971
  8. Information for Uniform Probate Code for ND
  9. Juvenile Procedure Committee-correspondence & bill drafts: 1980-1982
  10. 1979 Legislation
  11. Lewis and Clark Trail Commission-correspondence: 1962 & 1966
  12. State Historical Society documents: June 23, 1965-May 23, 1967
  13. Surrogate Judges bill: 1979-1981


  1. Alaska Judicial Conference: 1967, 1968, & 1971
  2. Alaska Judicial Council Interim report: May 1, 1977
  3. American Bar Association Washington letter: March 4, 1966
  4. American Bar Association correspondence: June 1972-March 1978
  5. Law Schools Bar Admission Requirements & report on Iowa Law School
  6. Committee on Judicial Seminars-National Conference of State Trial Judges: Oct. 1965-Oct. 1966
  7. Joint Committee for the effective administration of justice-correspondence and newsletters: Aug. 1963-Sept. 1964
  8. Judicial Administration-correspondence & newsletters: 1957-1978
  9. Model Laws Committee--National Council of Juvenile Court Judges: 1971-1978
  10. Model Act for freeing children for Adoption: Nov. 1961-Oct. 1977
  11. Model Subsidized Adoption Acts & correspondence: 1974-1975

Box 5

  1. National Center for Juvenile Justice-brochures and correspondence: 1975
  2. National Council of State Committees for children and youth officers-correspondence: Oct. 7, 1963
  3. National Institute for Trial Advocacy-correspondence & newsletters: 1972-1978
  4. National Notary Association Conference Report: 1981
  5. The National Notary, Press Releases, & Notary Viewpoint: 1976-1984
  6. "Quest for Justice" by the Commission on a National Institute of Justice: 1972
  7. White House Conferences on children & youth: Aug. 1970-Dec. 1970


  1. Burdick's Personal Website, http://home1.gte.net/eburdick/index.htm: Printed out January 2003

Four photographs were separated and added to the Orin G. Libby Photograph Collection.

OGL#1043-1: Eugene Allan Burdick: April 18, 1985
OGL#1043-2: Eugene A. Burdick and H.E. Schumacher at Burdick's oil well. Gideon No. 1 Russell, KS. August 1935

OGL#1043-3: Eugene A. Burdick's oil well. Gideon No. 1 Russell, KS. August 1935
OGL#1043-4: Eugene A. Burdick's oil well. Gideon No. 1 Russell, KS. August 1935


Four audio tapes were separated and added to the Audio Tape Collection:  

#2052: Interview with Alice (Jones) Huntington at Bethel Home, Williston, ND 3/25/83 by Eugene A. Burdick. Sylvia (Penman) Larson was present, Alice's niece.
#2053: Interview with Judge Eugene Burdick and May at Williston, ND. Conversation with Edward C. Blackorby. 10/26/81

#2054: George G. Harvey November 4, 1981

#2055: George G. Harvey November 4, 1981

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