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Bernice Britton Fleckten papers

 Collection
Call Number: WA MSS S-2566

Scope and Contents

The Bernice Britton Fleckten Papers document social and family life in North Dakota and Saskatchewan in the early twentieth century. The papers consist primarily of Fleckten's personal correspondence with her father, with other family members, and with friends, as well as business correspondence, third-party correspondence addressed to her first and second husbands, financial and legal papers, receipts, and printed ephemera.

Series I. Bernice Britton Fleckten Correspondence includes thirty-six letters from Judge Niederriter to Fleckten, spanning 1907-1928, documenting Judge Niederriter's concern for his daughter and his interest in horticulture. His letters relay news about Kenmare, noting the sale of local property, town scandals including a suicide, his care of Kenmare parks, and social events with neighbors and friends. Fleckten's 19 letters to her father and his wife Malvina date between 1928 and 1929; the first five are written from Moose Jaw and apprise her father of monetary difficulties following Detlefson's departure. Letters written after Fleckten's divorce and return to North Dakota carry news of her personal life, including details of the accident and her hospitalization after she and Senator Fleckten were struck by a speeding driver in Bismark, North Dakota.

The papers include 65 other letters, spanning from 1900 to 1937. These are primarily from Fleckten's female friends in Saskatchewan and North Dakota, relaying personal news, marriage and birth announcements, and opinions about local happenings. One letter includes a reference to North Dakota Ku Klux Klan leadership. Business correspondence documents Fleckten's struggles to pay off debts in Moose Jaw.

Series II. Third Party Correspondence consists of letters to Fleckten's husbands, Fred R. Detfelson and John E. Fleckten.

Series III. Other Papers contains legal and financial papers, including assessment notices and a 1917 insurance policy for a property in Neville, Saskatchewan. Printed ephemera in the collection includes a map of the 1925 Provincial Exhibition in Regina, Saskatchewan; a map of the "Willow Bunch Constituency"; a handbill for a public speech in Kenmare; and copies of Fleckten's Conciliation Court business card.

Dates

  • 1900-1938 1919-1930
  • Majority of material found within 1919 - 1930

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Bernice Britton Fleckten Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Carmen D. Valentino on the Arthur Corbitt Hoskins Memorial Fund, 2006.

Extent

0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.fleckten

Overview

The papers document social and family life in North Dakota and Saskatchewan in the early twentieth century. They consist primarily of Fleckten's personal correspondence with her father, with other family members, and with friends, as well as business correspondence, third-party correspondence addressed to her first and second husbands, financial and legal papers, receipts, and printed ephemera. Thirty-six letters from Judge Niederriter to Fleckten, spanning 1907-1928, document Niederriter's concern for his daughter and his interest in horticulture. His letters relay news about Kenmare, noting the sale of local property, town scandals including a suicide, his care of Kenmare parks, and social events with neighbors and friends. Fleckten's 19 letters to her father and his wife Malvina date between 1928 and 1929; the first five are written from Moose Jaw and apprise her father of monetary difficulties following Detlefson's departure. Letters written after Fleckten's divorce and return to North Dakota carry news of her personal life, including details of the accident and her hospitalization after she and Senator Fleckten were struck by a speeding driver in Bismark, North Dakota.
The papers include 65 other letters, spanning from 1900 to 1937. These are primarily from Fleckten's female friends in Saskatchewan and North Dakota, relaying personal news, marriage and birth announcements, and opinions about local happenings. One letter includes a reference to North Dakota Ku Klux Klan leadership. Business correspondence documents Fleckten's struggles to pay off debts in Moose Jaw. Legal and financial papers include assessment notices and a 1917 insurance policy for a property in Neville, Saskatchewan. Printed ephemera in the collection includes a map of the 1925 Provincial Exhibition in Regina, Saskatchewan; a map of the "Willow Bunch Constituency"; a handbill for a public speech in Kenmare; and copies of Fleckten's Conciliation Court business card.

BERNICE BRITTON FLECKTEN (b. 1884)

Bernice Britton ("Birdie") Fleckten, born circa 1884, was the daughter of Judge William F. Niederriter of Kenmare, North Dakota. Niederriter was a gardener, nurseryman, real estate speculator and public park promoter who corresponded regularly with his daughter after she married Canadian Fred R. Detlefson circa 1917 and moved to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 1920. After eight years in Moose Jaw, Detlefson abandoned Fleckten. The couple divorced in 1928, and Fleckten returned to Kenmare where she briefly assumed the name "Bernice B. Britton." She married North Dakota State Senator John E. Fleckten in 1929, the same year her father passed away. Fleckten, who supported herslef in Moose Jaw by painting scarves, leasing property and assisting local lawyers with defense cases, later became a judge in the Ward County Conciliation Court in Kenmare, North Dakota.
Title
Guide to the Bernice Britton Fleckten Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
by Kathleen T. Burns
Date
July 2006
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.