DATES: 1911-1973

SIZE: 7 linear feet


ACQUISITION: The Clyde Duffy Papers were deposited in the Orin G. Libby Manuscript Collection. The acquisition records are unavailable.

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


F. Clyde Duffy was born on March 20, 1890, in Devils Lake, North Dakota. He was the son of Maurice and Margaret (Flood) Duffy. He graduated from Devils Lake High School, before entering the University of North Dakota. While at UND, Duffy was active in the A.D.T. Literary Society, the University Catholic Association, the Varsity Bachelor Club, the Bruce Law Club, and the Debating Board of Control. He also represented the University at two international debates with the University of Manitoba in 1910 and 1911. He graduated from UND with a Bachelor of Laws degree on June 12, 1912.

Duffy acted as city editor of the Grand Forks Herald in 1913, before opening a law firm with Torger Sinness in Minnewaukan, North Dakota. He married Exzelia Beauchamp in Fargo on September 11, 1915. The couple had two daughters: Margaret and Patricia.

Sinness and Duffy moved their law firm to Devils Lake in 1925. He served as an Special Assistant Attorney General from 1925-1930, and was appointed by North Dakota Governor John Moses in 1939 to investigate irregularities at the State Hospital for the Insane, the Motor Vehicle Registration Department, and the State Mill and Elevator. Duffy also acted as Code Commissioner from 1939-1944, and as the City Attorney for Devils Lake for many years.

Duffy was an active member of the Republican party, and served as precinct committee, chair of the Ramsey County Republican Committee, and member of the state Republican Central Committee. He was also a representative to the 1936 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. He was elected to the North Dakota Senate in 1948, serving until 1956. He acted as minority floor leader in 1953 and 1955, before being elected as Lieutenant Governor in 1956. In 1958, he unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for United States Senator versus the incumbent William Langer.

Duffy was the Director of the Otter Tail Power Company, the Ramsey National Bank, and the Northern National Insurance Company. He served as President of the North Dakota Bar Association, in addition to being active with the Kiwanis, the Knights of Colombus, and the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce.

Duffy retired in 1970, and died on December 17, 1977, in Santa Clara, California. He is buried at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Devils Lake.


The Clyde Duffy Papers date from 1911-1973, and consist mainly of correspondence. Duffy was an active member of the North Dakota Republican Party, and this is reflected in the large amount of political correspondence in the collection. Also included is correspondence, reports, and legal materials related to his service as a Special Investigator appointed by Governor John Moses. Other materials include several folders containing the text of his speeches, legal materials, and a 1973 autobiography entitled “Observations Along the Way.

The collection was re-processed in January 2005; material housed in Boxes 5 and 6 was re- arranged and placed into acid-free folders. Researchers should note that some material which was listed as being housed in these two boxes was not found when the collection was re- processed. The material in question consisted mainly of various political pamphlets collected by Duffy.

Several publications were separated and added to the North Dakota Book Collection. This includes four editions of The Red Flame, as well as several publications of the United States Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections. From 1941 and 1942, this committee investigated claims the Langer was not entitled to his Senate seat due to misconduct “as a public officer and as an attorney at law.” The committee ultimately recommended that Langer should not be seated, although the entire Senate voted 52-30 to seat Langer.


Box 1

  1. Family Correspondence: undated
  2. Correspondence, War Effort and Theodore Roosevelt Memorial: 1918-1919
  3. Correspondence, Knights of Columbus: 1928-1941
  4. Correspondence, Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce. 1932-1938
  5. Political Correspondence: 1916-1918
  6. Independent Voters Association (IVA) Organization Lists & Materials: 1920
  7. Political Correspondence: 1922-1928
  8. Correspondence, Guaranty Fund Commission: 1925-1931
  9. Briefs and Material, Guaranty Fund Commission: 1925-1931
  10. Briefs and Material, Guaranty Fund Commission: 1925-1931
  11. Briefs and Material, Guaranty Fund Commission: 1925-1931
  12. Briefs and Material, Guaranty Fund Commission: 1925-1931
  13. Correspondence, M.W. Duffy's Campaign for Secretary of State: 1928
  14. Political Correspondence, IVA Campaign: 1930
  15. Political Correspondence, IVA Campaign: 1932
  16. IVA Campaign Material: 1930
  17. Political Correspondence: 1933-34
  18. Political Correspondence: 1933-34
  19. IVA Campaign Material, County Reports, Campaign Organization: 1934
  20. Political Correspondence: 1935-1936
  21. Correspondence, State Bar Association: Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee; Frazier-Lemke Moratorium Act; 1936-1938

Box 2

  1. Political Correspondence: 1936
  2. Political Campaign Material: 1936
  3. Correspondence and Welfare Board Records: 1938
  4. Political Correspondence: 1938
  5. Briefs, Reports, and Other Material of the N.D. Code Revision Committee: 1939- 1941
  6. Political Correspondence, Investigations: 1939
  7. Correspondence and Briefs, Special Investigator and Workmen's Compensation Case: 1939
  8. Correspondence and Other Material, Special State Examiner, Issuance of County Bonds. 1939
  9. Correspondence, State Hospital Investigation: 1939
  10. State Hospital Investigation Report, Travel Expenses, Evidence: 1939
  11. Correspondence and Legal Documents, KFJM: 1939
  12. Special State Examiner, Official Records and Correspondence of the Removal of Jennie Ulsrud and R.A. Kinzer from Board of Administration: 1939
  13. Correspondence, Report of Corruption, and Evidence, Investigation of State Mill and Elevator, William Langer Administration: 1936-41
  14. Reports to Governor John Moses Concerning Fraud in State Administration: 1939
  15. Reports and Evidence Collected as Special State Examiner: 1939
  16. Correspondence, Special Investigator of the State Highway Department: 1939-40
  17. Official Records and Evidence, Investigation of State Highway Department: 1939
  18. Correspondence Concerning Seating of William Langer in the United States Senate: 1941
  19. Correspondence and Evidence Concerning Work as Special Investigator: 1941

Box 3

  1. Correspondence and Legal Briefs, Duffy v. Erickson: 1941
  2. Correspondence as Attorney for Petitioners, Moses v. Thorson: 1941
  3. Legal Documents, Moses v. Thorson: 1941
  4. Correspondence and Official Records, State v. Anderson: 1941-42
  5. Correspondence, Removal of Frank Vogel as Manager of the Bank of North Dakota: 1941-42
  6. Notes for the Compilation of "Report of the Special Examining Commissioner to the Governor," by A.J. Klaudt: 1943
  7. Notes for the Compilation of "Report of the Special Examining Commissioner to the Governor," by A.J. Klaudt: 1943
  8. Action Against Oscar Erickson, State Insurance Commissioner: 1943-1945
  9. Political Correspondence: 1940
  10. Political Correspondence: 1940
  11. Wilkie-McNary Club of Ramsey County, Membership Information, Campaign Material: 1940
  12. Political Correspondence: 1941
  13. Political Correspondence: 1942
  14. Material Regarding the Graduated Land Tax: 1942
  15. Political Correspondence: 1943
  16. Political Correspondence: 1944
  17. Campaign Material: 1944
  18. Political Correspondence: 1945-1946
  19. Correspondence, Liquor Law: 1946; Political Correspondence: 1947-1949
  20. Political Correspondence, Especially Organization of Republican Organizing
    Committee (ROC): 1950-1952
  21. Campaign Material, Precinct Data: 1952
  22. Political Correspondence: 1953-1955
  23. Reports and Minutes, ROC: 1953-1954

Box 4

  1. Reports, Legislative Measures: 1954-1955
  2. Reports, Executive Committee of the Citizens Highway Committee: 1955-1956
  3. Peace Gardens: 1953-1955
  4. Material Regarding Monopolies and Trusts for UND Debates: 1911
  5. Speeches
  6. Speeches, Education
  7. Speeches
  8. Speeches
  9. Speeches
  10. Speeches
  11. Abraham Lincoln Material
  12. Material for Speeches
  13. Campaign Speeches
  14. Correspondence: 1960s
  15. Miscellaneous
  16. Miscellaneous

Box 5

  1. Autobiography: “Observations Along the Way,” by Clyde Duffy: 1973
  2. Article, “The Building and Loan, Savings and Loan Association and Investment Companies,” by Clyde Duffy. North Dakota Banker: July 1930
  3. Article, “To What Extent Should the Decisions of Administrative Bodies Be Reviewable by the Courts?” by Clyde Duffy. American Bar Association Journal: October 1939
  4. Clyde Duffy Campaign Material: 1956, 1958
  5. Newspaper Clippings
  6. Legal Material: Western Surety Company v. City of Devils Lake, 1931
  7. Legal Material: State of North Dakota v. Jennie Ulsrud and R.A. Kinzer, February 23, 1939, Hearing in the Stutsman County Courthouse, Jamestown
  8. Legal Material: State of North Dakota v. Jennie Ulsrud and R.A. Kinzer, March 6, 1939, Hearing in the State Capitol Building, Bismarck
  9. Special Examiner’s Highway Department Report: 1939
  10. Special Examiner’s Highway Department Report: 1939

Collected Materials

  1. “Academic Freedom and Tenure,” Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors: Spring 1956
  2. American Bar Association
  3. Americanism vs. Socialism: A Declaration of Principles, Republican State Campaign Committee, Fargo, 1920
  4. The “Authority” Issue, by Clifford H. Stone
  5. Better Roads for North Dakota: Engineering Analysis and Recommendations, North Dakota Legislative Committee: November 1952
  6. Bountiful North Dakota: Land of Opportunity, Greater North Dakota Association
  7. Devils Lake and Ramsey County Historical Information
  8. An Engineering Study of North Dakota’s Roads and Streets and a Plan for the Future, Automotive Safety Foundation with the North Dakota State Highway Department and the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads: September 1952
  9. Facts and Figures on North Dakota Issues, Republican Campaign Committee
  10. The Farmer and the New Farm Bill, Speeches by Gerald Nye in the U.S. Senate: December 1937 and April 1938
  11. Fourteenth Report Senate Investigating Committee on Education, California Legislature: 1956
  12. General Information Concerning the Legislative Research Committee, Municipal Government, and the 35th North Dakota Legislative Assembly
  13. Golden Jubilee Edition, Catholic Action News: 1939
  14. Hearings Before the Committee on Military Affairs, United States Senate: April and May 1918
  15. I.V.A. Platform
  16. Lakota’s 75 Years
  17. Langer: Hearings Before the Committee on Privileges and Elections, United States Senate: A Protest to the Seating of William Langer, A Senator from the State of North Dakota: November 1941
  18. Message from the President of the United States to the House of Representatives: February 26, 1931; Message from the President of the United States to the Senate: March 3, 1931
  19. Message to the Legislature by R.A. Nestos, Governor: 1925
  20. Montana Bar Association: 1939
  21. National and International Political Issues (Newspaper Clippings): 1930s-1950s
  22. Nineteenth and Twentieth Annual Reports of the Board of Administration to the Governor: 1938
  23. North Dakota Publicity Pamphlet: 1922, 1928, 1932, 1944, 1946, undated

Box 6

  1. North Dakota Stockmen’s Association Official Magazine: January 1958
  2. North Dakota Wheat
  3. Oil Production and Development in North Dakota
  4. Our Taxes and the Cost of Our State Government, Joint Campaign Committee
  5. Pembina: North Dakota’s Oldest Settlement
  6. Pinkerton Detective Agency Report to North Dakota Governor John Miller on the Effort Made to Legalize the Louisiana Lottery
  7. Prospectus, Great Life Investment Company: May 1959
  8. The Public Dollar: Chamber of Commerce of the United States, 1931 and 1932
  9. Remarks of Hon. George M. Young of North Dakota in the House of Representatives: 1923
  10. Report of the North Dakota Budget Board: Biennium, 1939-1941
  11. Report of the North Dakota Legislative Committee: 1953
  12. The Roosevelt Record in Red!, Republican National Committee: 1940
  13. Socialism and Religion, Republican Headquarters, Fargo
  14. Social Science Course of Study, Grade Four, Devils Lake Public Schools
  15. State Bar Association of North Dakota: 1940-1956
  16. State Mill and Elevator Audit Report: 1938
  17. State of North Dakota Directory: 1921-1937
  18. A Volume of Truth in Words and Pictures by Theo G. Nelson
  19. Vote Right on June 30th
  20. Voter’s Guide, Joint Campaign Committee, Fargo
  21. Water Resources Development Program, North Dakota State Water Commission
  22. What Have North Dakota State Industries Done for You?, Independent Voters Association, Bismarck
  23. Why Did the Attorney General Whitewash the Crooked Insurance Claim at theState Tuberculosis Sanitarium?, by Otto R. Vold


Several publications were separated and added to the North Dakota Book Collection:

The Red Flame: volume 1, numbers 1, 3, 4, and 5

Hearing Before the Committee on Privileges and Elections, United States Senate, on the Protest by Various Citizens of North Dakota to the Seating of William Langer, as a Senator from the State of North Dakota. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1941.

Report and Memorandum of Information Submitted to the Committee on Privileges and Elections, United States Senate, on the Protest by Various Citizens of North Dakota to the Seating of William Langer, as a Senator from the State of North Dakota. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1941.

Report of the Committee on Privileges and Elections on the Various Citizens of the State of North Dakota to the Seating of William Langer, as a Senator from the State of North Dakota. Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1942.

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