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Kathryn Joanna (Davis) Van Fleet Collection

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: H2017-083

Content Description

The collection consists of items pertaining to Kathryn Joanna (Davis) Van Fleet. Kathryn Joanna Davis was born January 25, 1913 to William and Agnes (Marsh) Davis on the family farmstead north of Yale (S.D.). She attended grade school at Connell School, a country school south of the farm. She later attended Notre Dame Academy, a Catholic boarding school, in Mitchell (S.D.) where she graduated in 1931. She received her teaching certificate from Northern State University and went back to teach at the Connell School. She taught at Newell (S.D.) from 1938 to 1942 and Custer (S.D.) from 1942 to 1944. In May 1944, Kathryn began a thirty-one-year career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C. She married Lawrence Van Fleet on August 6, 1949. Kathryn retired as an FBI Special Agent in 1975. After retiring, Kathryn moved to Huron (S.D.) and later to Pierre (S.D.) in 2010. She died March 11, 2014 and is buried at St. William’s Cemetery near Yale (S.D.) with many of her family members. The collection includes photographs, certificates, a photo album, school children photographs, news clippings, and correspondence. Photographs and correspondence from former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover are also in the collection. Kathryn made several trips around the United States and the World. The collection includes diaries and photographs of these trips. Also included is information on Father Walter Ciszek, S.J. (1904-1984) and Bishop David E. Foley, D.D. (1930-2018), information on various organizations Kathryn was involved with and newsletters concerning St. William’s Cemetery. Two duplicate DVDs accompanied the collection and include an interview done with Kathryn at Parkwood Senior Apartments in Pierre around 2013. The interview was added to the South Dakota State Archives, Digital Collections folders. A booklet on Kathryn’s life written by her niece Carol Axtman is also included. The collection is an accretion to the Irish in South Dakota Collection held at the South Dakota State Archives.

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



  • ca. 1910s-2010s



1.25 Cubic Feet

2170 Megabytes