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A Finding Aid for the Woodbridge N. Ferris Memorial Dinner Records 1973-1983

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Woodbridge N. Ferris Memorial Dinner Records

Creator: Mecosta County Democratic Party

Dates: 1973-1983

Abstract: The Woodbridge N. Ferris Memorial Dinner Records Consist of programs for a fundraising dinner held by the Mecosta County Democrats. This dinner featured current and aspiring political leaders.

Language: English

Quantity: 0.4 cubic feet; 1 Hollinger boxes

Identification: MSS-3

Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program

Historical Note

On 28 October 1973, the Mecosta Democratic Party held its first Woodbridge N. Ferris Memorial Dinner. Dinner chairman Dan Shafer notes that "for too many years, the accomplishments of the late Governor and United States Senator Woodbridge N. Ferris have been collecting in dusty files and sitting on little-used shelves in out of the way places." The Party has never acknowledged its debt to one of its great all-time Michigan leaders. Introducing the keynote speaker Supreme Court Justice G. Mennon Williams (the governor who signed the bill making Ferris Institute a state college) was Fridolf Johnson, a former Ferris Institute faculty member.

William H. Noud, local resident and party activist, spearheaded and helped to organize the event for the next several years (he died in 1979). The dinner was primarily sponsored by the Mecosta County Democrats- although when Congressional speakers were featured, it might include surrounding counties such as Isabella, Montcalm and Osceola. Each dinner featured a prominent Democrat speaker and allowed party members (a minority group in Mecosta County) to have a place to gather and promote their values and candidates.

Scope and Content Note

Woodbridge N. Ferris ran successfully for Governor of Michigan in 1912 as a member of the Democratic Party. He remains a figure of admiration for the Mecosta County Democratic party. For a period of time during the nineteen-seventies, they used this connection to Ferris as the basis for their major fundraising dinner. Each year, they paid tribute to his past and the party's present. At this dinner, local politicians and candidates for office spoke. These records consist entirely of dinner programs- listing speakers and candidates, and containing advertisements from local businesses who sponsored the event. Many of the sponsors and speakers also had connections to Ferris State College. The event appears to have ceased shortly after the death of the original organizer.


The papers are contained in a single series.

Access Information

Conditions of Access

The Woodbridge N. Ferris Memorial Dinner Records are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.

Conditions of Use

Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Copyright interests for this collection have not been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.

Subject Headings

Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.

Related Materials

None specified.

Administrative Information


Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Woodbridge N. Ferris Memorial Dinner Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.

Provenance (Acquisition Information)

The Woodbridge N. Ferris Memorial Dinner Records were donated to the University Archives prior to 2002 by an unknown donor.

Processing Information

The Woodbridge N. Ferris Memorial Dinner Records were processed to the folder level by Nicole Vanderlaan in March 2004. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A revised finding aid was created in January 2008. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).

Separated Materials

During processing, duplicate materials were discarded. There were no other materials placed in other collections.

Technical Requirements

This collection consists of paper based materials. No specialized hardware or software is required for viewing.

Content Listing

Series 1. Programs. 1973-1980.

The Woodbridge N. Ferris Memorial Dinner Records are organized into a single series of dinner programs.

The programs are arranged chronologically.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 First annual dinner. 28 October 1973.
1 2 Second annual dinner. 29 September 1974.
1 3 Third annual dinner. 28 September 1975.
1 4 Fourth annual dinner. 24 October 1976.
1 5 Fifth annual dinner. 6 November 1977.
1 6 Sixth annual dinner. 22 October 1978.
1 7 Seventh annual dinner. 30 September 1979.
1 8 Eighth annual dinner. 28 September 1980.
1 9 Tenth annual dinner. 24 September 1983.