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Robert Dingwell Papers

Identifier: UP000359

Scope and Content

Important subjects are: 1. Campaigns and elections- 1964, 1966, 1968. 2. Bills and legislative programs- 1965, 1966. The bulk of this material concerns highways and relocation, industrial safety, workmen's compensation, fiscal reform and pre-schoolnurseries. 3. The investigation of the State Labor Department and of Labor Commissioner Roy W. Johns in 1965. 4. A lawsuit for libel threatened by Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield in 1956.

Among the correspondents are: Governor George Romney, G. Mennen Williams, Senator Philip A. Hart, James M. Hare, August Scholle, Zolton Ferency, Joseph Kowalski, James Bradley, Roy W. Johns, Thomas Roumell, Burton I. Gordin and other officials of the Civil Rights Commission, Ardale W. Ferguson, Howard E. Hill, Neil J. McCormick, and Joseph Pollack.

Series Description: Series I Campaigns, 1950-1968: This series is arranged chronologically, then by form, and contains material such as campaign biographics and literature, correspondence, expenses, speeches, press releases, lists of workers, petition signers, delegates, and voting results.

Series II Subject Files, 1958-1967: Most of the material concerns the years 1964-1966 when Mr. Dingwell was elected to and served in the Michigan House of Representatives. It is arranged alphabetically by folder and within the folder by date. It consists of correspondence, copies of bills in various stages with rotations and reports.

Series III Correspondence, 1957-1966: This includes AFL-CIO, general and legislative correspondence, and two chronological file notebooks. The material for the most part is arranged chronologically, but there is overlapping because of the two notebooks. Letters and replies are often clipped together. There are separate files for certain types of correspondence such as invitations, jobs and form letters, but these are sometimes found elsewhere with relevant material. Correspondence will also be found in Series I and II on some of the same subjects, especially legislative problems.

Series IV Miscellaneous, 1954-1968: Newspapers, Maps, Pamphlets, Photographs. These are arranged according to type of material, then by year. Most of the clippings refer to campaigns and legislation, as do the pamphlets. The large map is of Lansing. There are many photographs of Mr. Dingwell alone and in groups. Photographs may also be found in the Archives general photograph file.


  • 1950 - 1968


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Robert E. Dingwell was born January 13, 1922 in Lansing, Michigan. A high school graduate (1940) he was married and fathered of five children.

During World War II he served with the Fleet Marines in the South Pacific and China from April, 1944 to February, 1946.

Among his previous occupations were managing a store, farming, factory welding. He is a former president of amalgamated Local 724, UAW and vice-president of the Michigan CIO Council (now Michigan State AFL-CIO), and at one time helped promote a national daily labor newspaper. For many years he was Educational Representative for Michigan in the AFL-CIO legislative office at Lansing and active in politics as a precinct delegate and delegate to county, state and national Democratic conventions. A Methodist he was involved with local and state civic groups.

In 1964 Mr. Dingwell was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives from the 58th Representative District, County of Ingham (part) after running unsuccessfully in 1954, 1956 and 1958. He failed to be reelected in 1966 and 1968. He was a member of the House Committees on Elections, Insurance, Labor and Towns and Counties and also served on special committees studying migrant labor problems, Michigan water resources, and employment of the handicapped. His interest lay strongly in social legislation, and he was a key figure in much of this legislation passed by Michigan's first Democratic legislature in over thirty years.


3.5 Linear Feet (7 MB)


Material from Mr. Dingwell, who served with the Michigan AFL-CIO Council and as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives (1964-66). Subjects include campaigns for state representative (1954-68); industrial safety legislation (1964-65); labor problems (1964-65); and workmen's compensation legislation (1964-65). Correspondents include Basil W. Brown, Frank Kelley, August Scholle, Donald Stevens, Robert Vander Laan, Nat Weinberg, G. Mennen Williams, and Myra Wolfgang.


Arranged in 4 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), Series 2 (Boxes 3-5), Series 3 (Boxes 5-7), and Series 4 (Box 7). Folders are arranged alphabetically or chronologically, depending upon the series.


The papers of Robert E. Dingwell were deposited with the Labor History Archives in September, 1969 by Robert E. Dingwell.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by EAA in June 1970.
Guide to the Robert Dingwell Papers
Processed by EAA.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA