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Digital Archives

Home  >  Digital Archives  >  People of the North  >  Politicians
Dora M. Sweeney, 1907-2001
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Dora M. Sweeney was one of six women among the 55 delegates to the Alaska Constitutional Convention. Her career in politics began in 1953, when she served as secretary to the Territorial Senate. A Democrat, she was elected a representative from Juneau to the State House of Representatives from 1955 to 1965. Later she served as Legislative Historian from 1965 to 1970, and was selected as a delegate to the 1970 White House Conference on Aging.

Born Dora Lundstrom on June 19, 1907, in Biwabi, Minnesota, she was the daughter of Finnish immigrants, and the family moved to Juneau when she was still a baby. Dora relocated to Seattle to attend business college, but after her marriage to Edward C. Sweeney, they settled in Juneau. In an unpublished biography by her niece, Katherine A. Brown, Dora's work history draws the picture of a dedicated worker. She worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs from 1930 to 1940; the Territorial Health Department from 1940 to 1942; Shattuck Insurance Agency from 1942 to 1952; and Sommers Construction Company from 1958 to 1984 in a part-time capacity.

Meanwhile, her civic service in local organizations included the Federation of Business and Professional Women, Community College Advisory Council, Alaska Order of Rainbow Girls, Order of the Eastern Star, and the Northern Lights Presbyterian Church.

Dora was a member of a special organization calling themselves the Omega/Alpha group -- individuals who had been members of both the last Alaska Territorial Legislature and the first Alaska State Legislature. She also was an officer in the Pioneers of Alaska. She died on September 30, 2001.

Dora and her husband had enjoyed gardening, travel, and photography. A selection of her color images from traveling throughout Alaska can be viewed on the Digital Archives at http://vilda.alaska.edu/index.html by clicking on "Advanced Search" and entering "Sweeney" in the "All of the Words" field.


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Gallery of Images
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21st Territorial Legislature
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Twenty-third Territorial Legislature, House of Representatives, 1957
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Omega/Alpha, Juneau, 1959
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Pioneers of Alaska, Grand Officers, 1953
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Dora Sweeney and Bill Egan
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