Mildred T. Powell papers, 1928-2000  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Powell, Mildred T., 1886-
Title
Mildred T. Powell papers
Dates
1928-2000 (inclusive)
Quantity
2.21 cubic feet (4 boxes)
Collection Number
1829
Summary
Materials related to Mildred T. Powell, political activist and civic leader
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Mildred Towne Powell was a Seattle area political activist and civic leader. She served as the only woman member of the Seattle City Council from 1935-1955, and is the second longest serving woman on the council. She was born on February 9, 1886, in New London, CT, to parents Walter Alanson Towne and Alice Nichols Warner. Following her graduation from New London's Williams Memorial High School (a public school for girls), Powell attended Wellesley College for one year before transferring to Smith College where she received a bachelor’s degree in 1908. She taught school in Connecticut and Massachusetts until 1910, when she married Francis Foster Powell and moved to Montana. In 1923, the Powell family--including children Francis, Jr., Alanson, and Alice--moved to Seattle. Powell was actively involved in the local community, including serving as the president of the Seattle Parent Teacher Association. After her husband died in 1934, she was urged by prominent leaders, among them Bertha Knight Landes, to run for the City Council. She ran as Mrs. F. F. Powell (in honor of her husband) and was elected in 1935. She was re-elected for her second term in 1938 with the highest number of votes of any candidate and was the third woman to ever sit on the City Council. She served in many positions on the Council including the Council President and acting Mayor of Seattle (three times).

At the end of WWII, she was chosen to represent the U.S. to lecture on municipal government in England and Germany. In 1950, she ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the First Congressional District. She was active in the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) movement, which was based on Christian ideals that promoted world peace and unity and opposed Communism. It was founded by Frank Buchman in the 1920s, was ecumenical in nature, and by the 1950s, encouraged the spread of the MRA ideology through the production of plays such as The Vanishing Island . At that time it maintained a popular international following and worked to stop the spread of Communism. In 1955, she was invited to join a peacemaking journey to 28 countries in Asia and the Middle East by the MRA. She encouraged Myrtle Edwards to fill her Council position. When Mildred resigned from the City Council, more than 40 organizations and leaders, including the Governor of Washington, praised her years of service on the Council. She continued to be active in the MRA for many more years until her health brought her home to Seattle, where she died on June 16, 1977.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Correspondence, speeches and writings, newsletters, news releases, speech notes, travel notes, ephemera, clippings. Documents Powell's activities on behalf of the international movement, Moral Re-Armament, ca. 1945 to 1965. Other material relates to her election campaigns for the Seattle City Council and Congress, ca 1935 to 1955, and civic activities.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Creator's copyright varies by accession.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Accession No. 1829-003: Mildred T. Powell papers, 1928-1965Return to Top

1 cubic foot (1 box)

Scope and Content: Correspondence, speeches and writings, newsletters, news releases, speech notes, travel notes, ephemera, clippings. Documents Powell's activities on behalf of the international movement, Moral Re-Armament, ca. 1945 to 1965. Other material relates to her election campaigns for the Seattle City Council and Congress, ca 1935 to 1955, and civic activities.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights not transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Donated by Mildred Powell, 1/20/1972.

Accession No. 1829-004: Mildred T. Powell papers, 1940-1955 (bulk 1955)Return to Top

0.21 cubic foot (1 box)

Scope and Content: Contains speeches, writings, and correspondence from Powells time in public service.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Donor: Marbeth S. Powell, 11/9/2012.

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder Accession
1 1829-004
Powell's Speeches, News Clippings, & Tributes.
1942-1949
2 1829-004
Community Letters & Acknowledgment, Correspondence re: retirement.
1955
3 1829-004
Moral Re-armament (MRA) Organization News Clippings, Writings, and Correspondence.
1940-1950
4 1829-004
MRA "Report of Address of Mrs. Mildred Powell at Civic Reception and Dinner" & Media Mentions
1949-1950

Accession No. 1829-005: Mildred T. Powell papers, 1930-2000Return to Top

1 cubic foot (2 boxes)

Scope and Content: This collection contains materials primarily related to Mildred Towne Powell's twenty years of service on the Seattle City Council, as well as her later involvement with Moral Re-Armament. Materials include newspaper clippings, correspondence, an election scrapbook, and photographs. Miscellaneous materials include a 1938 issue of "Better Homes and Gardens" featuring the Powell home, obituary and funeral information for Mildred Towne Powell and her husband (Francis F. Powell), biographical information, 1970s newspaper clippings/information on women's progress, and exhibit posters with biographical information and photographs.

Restrictions on Access: Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use: Creator's literary rights transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Acquisition Info: Gretchen T. Bersch, 2014-05-29

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder Accession
1 1829-005
Biographical information, newspaper clippings, photographs, correspondence, City Council materials, and Moral Re-Armament materials.
circa 1930s-1970s
2 1829-005
Exhibit posters: "Mrs. F. F. Powell: Seattle’s City Councilwoman and Feminist"
2010

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • City councils--Washington (State)
  • Elections--Washington (State)
  • Moral re-armament
  • Municipal government--Washington (State)
  • Women--Political activity--Washington (State)
  • Personal Names :
  • Landes, Bertha Knight, 1868-1943
  • Langlie, Arthur B. (Arthur Bernard), 1900-1966
  • Powell, Mildred T., 1886- --Archives
  • Corporate Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.). City Council
  • United States. Congress. House--Elections, 1950
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government
  • Washington (State)--Politics and government--1889-1950
  • Washington (State)--Politics and government--1951-

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)