© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

October 24: Archives Month - Marilyn Hudson Collection

Ways To Subscribe

October is Archives Month, a time when archives around the country celebrate the records in their holdings and recognize the archivists who assess, collect, organize, preserve, and provide access to information of lasting value. The North Dakota State Archives is part of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

The North Dakota State Archives preserves two-dimensional objects like papers, photographs, film footage, diaries, and maps that document the history of the state and region. In 2022, the archives received a donation from the family of Marilyn Cross Hudson. She was born in Elbowoods in 1936. She married Charles Kent Hudson Sr. in Parshall in 1959.

Marilyn worked across the country in various government positions, including with the United States Air Force in California, and as an administrator with the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Fort Berthold Agency. After her retirement in 1992, she became involved with the Three Affiliated Tribes Museum in New Town, becoming its administrator. She passed away on October 22, 2020, in Bismarck.

Her donated papers cover history from her heritage, including photos of her father, Martin (Old Dog) Cross, who lived between 1906 and 1964. He was educated at Wahpeton and Flandreau Indian Schools. Martin Old Dog enlisted in 1942 in the US Army-Air Corps, at which time he changed his name from “Old Dog” to “Cross.” He was elected in 1944 as Chairman of the Tribal Business Council and was active with the council throughout the next two decades. While he was working with his fellow tribespeople, the Garrison Dam became a reality. These waters would erase several communities, and especially affect the area of Fort Berthold and the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) people who lived there.

This collection documents more than a century of history relating to the MHA people, the building of the Garrison Dam, and the aftermath. The collection provides important documentation of a very impactful history. It’s available to view in the Reading Room of the State Archives, as are many related collections. Some of those related collections include oral histories with residents displaced by the Garrison Dam; photos of the construction; files of the State Water Commission; and newspaper coverage from across the state.

Dakota Datebook by Sarah Walker (Head of Reference Services, North Dakota State Archives)


Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Related Content