Skip to main content

Joseph H. Cash papers

Identifier: MS-032

Content Description

The Joseph H. Cash papers contain materials from Cash's time as a professor and administrator at the University of South Dakota.

The Research, Teaching, and Service (Boxes 1-54) series covers the years 1953 to 1991 and comprises the bulk of the collection and consists mostly of printed materials including articles, journals, book reviews, meeting minutes, clippings, and theses and lecture notes pertaining to Cash’s teaching at the University of South Dakota and as director of the Institute of American Indian Studies. The series, however, contains very little material from his term of service as Dean of the Arts and Sciences at the University of South Dakota. Topics within this series include his Duke Research Professorship, which consists of the Doris Duke Indian Oral History Project from various Universities across the United States which collected Indian Oral History interview recordings. This project incorporated Cash’s research interest in oral history and Native American history. Edited versions of the research reports and letters written between Cash and other researchers are included in the collection.

Research material pertaining to Cash’s thesis about the Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, South Dakota, which explores the relationship of the mining employee to his company, i.e. his type of work, supervision, housing, recreation, and general well-being as well as this book on the same topic. Homestake Company Newspapers and Cash’s thesis are included in this section.

Series also includes topics and materials pertaining to Cash’s teaching interests. The materials include students’ theses pertaining to topics such as American Indians. The lecture notes consist of the topic of American West Film, which focuses on the characterization of the actors of the American West.

Series includes topics and materials pertaining to Cash’s service experience. These topics and materials include his service on boards, such as the Cultural Preservation board, the South Dakota Centennial, South Dakota Historical Society, and his legal service as a researcher and witness for court cases about Oglala sovereignty and Wounded Knee. Oglala sovereignty materials include transcripts of court cases and Cash’s court testimony. Restricted materials are marked and closed off to researchers. Arrangement for the series is, primarily, in the order as received by the donor.

The Homestake Gold Mine materials are located in boxes 15, 53, and 54. The Duke Research materials are located in boxes 1, 9, 35. The Sovereignty materials are located in boxes 20, 28, 29, 38, 47, 48, and 52. The Board of Cultural Preservation materials are located in boxes 1, 9, 10, 11, 33, and 34. The South Dakota Centennial materials are located in boxes 8, 26, 27, 31, and 33.

The Missouri River Basin Committees (Boxes 55-66) series consists primarily of reports and minutes from the Missouri Basin Inter-Agency Committee (MBIAC), Interior Missouri Basin Field Committee annual reports, and Missouri River Basin progress reports between the years 1945-1981. These materials examine the relationship between federal and state government agencies. The MBIAC is a result of the Pick-Sloan Flood Control Act of 1944, which authorized the construction of dams and levees in South Dakota and elsewhere. The Federal Inter-Agency River Basin Committee established MBIAC, in 1945, to facilitate regional progress on the Pick-Sloan plan and provide a forum for discussion about authorized projects and technical aspects of the water program. The files reflect Cash’s research interests in the Missouri River Basin and its impact on its surrounding areas and its people. Cash did not serve on these boards rather he collected this information to help his preparation for the oral history interviews of Native Americans. The series is connected to the oral histories pertaining to the same topic located at the Oral History Center. Files are arranged chronologically by year.

The Rosene Dissertation Research Materials (Boxes 67-79) series primarily consists of notes, articles, and papers written by Dr. Linda R. Rosene, as well as completed and incomplete anonymous adoption questionnaires. Her research focused on how adoptions of Native American children by white families affected the children’s identity. The research spans from 1964-1983. Her research culminated in her dissertation titled, “Follow-up Study of Indian Children Adopted by White Families (Transracial Identity, Adolescent).” The research coincided with the enactment of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, which is a federal law that gives tribal governments a strong voice concerning American Indian child custody proceedings. Files are arranged with the questionnaires presented first then followed by supplemental research. This Series is restricted.

The Cash Family (Boxes 80-83) series consists of records pertaining to Cash’s family. The materials primarily include bank statements and information about the estate of this mother, Claudia B. Cash. This Series is restricted.

The Oversize (Box 84) series consists of materials from the Research, Teaching, and Service series and the Missouri River Basin series. These materials cover Cash’s interests in genealogy, Native American issues, and the Pick Sloan Act. The materials date from 1944 to 1975. The files are arranged in chronological order.


  • Creation: 1945 - 1994
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1966 - 1989


Conditions Governing Access

This collection contains some restricted material. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting.

Closed are files containing personally identifiable information or materials protected by FERPA. The Rosene Dissertation Research Materials are also restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph H. Cash was born on January 3, 1927 in Mitchell, South Dakota. After graduating from Bonesteel High School (SD), he served in the Marine Corps. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1949 and a master’s degree in 1959 both from the University of South Dakota. On December 18, 1952, Cash married Margaret Ann Halla in Vermillion, SD.

Between 1951 and 1962, Cash taught and coached in Scotland, Pierre, and Lead high schools (SD). He then moved to Montana to teach at Eastern Montana College in Billings for 3 years and spent summers conducting oral history interviews on South Dakota's Indian Reservations. In 1966, he earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Iowa. In 1968, he joined the faculty of the University of South Dakota's (USD) history department, where he remained for the next 23 years. In 1972, Cash was named the Duke Research Professor of History at the University of South Dakota, funding for which came from the Doris Duke Foundation. From 1969-1973, Cash served as the Director of the American Indian Research Project. From 1970-1973, he served as the Director of the South Dakota Oral History Project. During this same time, he was also Director of the Division of Indian Research within the Institute of Indian Studies. In 1977, Cash was named Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, a position he held for 10 years before returning to full-time teaching in the Department of History. In 1987-1990, Cash served as director of the Institute of American Indian Studies.

In 1974, Cash received the Distinguished Service Citation Award from the University of South Dakota Institute of Indian Studies. Cash authored 10 books and numerous articles on South Dakota history, mining, American Indians, and oral history, including “To be an Indian,” “The Sioux People,” and “The Practice of Oral History.” His book “Working the Homestake” was a Francis Parkman Prize nominee. In 1990, Cash received the Robinson Award in recognition of his work in South Dakota history. This award recognized his accomplishments at USD and his service as president of the South Dakota Historical Society and member of its board of directors, member of Cultural Preservation, and as a charter member of the South Dakota Committee of Humanities. Cash was also a member of the South Dakota Centennial Commission that planned the state's 100th birthday celebration in 1989. He lobbied for the creation and funding of the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. In addition, he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was active in professional history associations.

On April 23, 1991, Cash died at the age of 64 in Vermillion, SD. He was inducted posthumously into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1995.


44 linear feet (80 document boxes and 4 record cartons)

Language of Materials



The Joseph H. Cash papers contain materials from Cash's time as a professor and administrator at the University of South Dakota.


The Joseph H. Cash Papers are organized in five series, Research, Teaching, and Service; Missouri River Basin Committees; Rosene Dissertation Research Materials; Cash Family; and Oversize.

Related Materials

South Dakota Oral History Center has oral histories of Joseph Cash as both the interviewer and interviewee.

Joseph H. Cash papers
Kelly Goertzen
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USD Archives and Special Collections Repository