Flora Dungan Papers (1929-1974) contain high school and university records, certificates, newspaper clippings, press releases, notes, correspondence, and booklets about her life and political activism in Nevada. Also included are Legislative materials, an audio cassette tape, a copy of the Nevada Constitution, and an oil painting of Flora Dungan.
Finding Aid PDF
Scope and Contents Note
The Flora Dungan Papers (1929-1974) contain high school and university records, certificates, newspaper clippings, press releases, notes, correspondence, and booklets. Also included are Legislative materials, an audio tape, a Nevada Constitution, and an oil painting of Flora Dungan.
This collection is open for research with the exception of Box 7, which is restricted due to Personally Identifiable Information (PII) until January 1, 2049.
Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.
The papers are arranged into six series reflecting the stages and careers of her life:
Series 1. Personal and Business Papers;
Series 2. Community Activities;
Series 3. Legislative Service;
Series 4. State of Nevada Regents Material;
Series 5. Mixed media;
Series 6. Over-sized Material.
Biographical / Historical Note
State Assemblywoman and community activist Flora Dungan was born Flora Turchinsky in Minnesota in 1917. Her parents were both born in Russia. She graduated from Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles in 1933, from Los Angeles Junior College in 1936, and from the University of California at Berkeley in 1938 (with Honors in Psychology). She completed a one year curriculum in Social Service at Berkeley in 1939. After working in legal research and child welfare, Flora went into industry and accounting work during World War II. She moved to Las Vegas in 1948 and began practicing as a public accountant. She divorced L. Donald Dungan that same year, although she retained his last name professionally throughout several marriages. In 1957 she married Robert M. Stang, divorcing him in 1959.
In Las Vegas she participated in a variety of community organizations, including Business and Professional Women's Club, Zonta (a women's service club), American Association of University Women, and the Nevada Society of Public Accountants. She was also active in Democratic party politics, and served on the county and state Democratic Central Committees. In 1962 she was elected to the State Assembly from Clark County and served in the 52nd Session in 1963 and the Tenth Special Session in 1964. In August, 1964, she and Dr. Clare Woodbury filed a lawsuit which led to a special session of the legislature in October, 1965. The special session resulted in a reapportionment of the Nevada Legislature, giving Clark County seven additional Senate and four additional Assembly seats. During this time she was married to newspaperman Ed Oncken, whom she divorced in 1965. She was again elected to the Assembly in 1967, representing Clark County District No. 4. Also in 1967, she filed a lawsuit that resulted in the enlargement of the University Board of Regents, giving Clark County a majority of five seats. She served as Assemblyman in the 1968 session and in the Thirteenth Special Session in 1968.
Flora Dungan was the first woman to serve on the Legislative Judiciary Committee, where she was a leader in fighting for prison reform and rehabilitation. As chairman of the Assembly Institutions Committee, she led the way in investigating complaints of inmate abuse at Nevada State Prison. However, she was barred from visiting the prison because she was a woman. She also worked to expand juvenile assistance programs in the courts and to lessen the penalties for possession of marijuana. In 1968 she ran for State Senate, but was defeated in her bid. In 1969, with her husband Ray ben David, she helped found Focus, a juvenile assistance facility which achieved national recognition. In 1972 she was elected to the University Board of Regents. Shortly after her election, she was diagnosed with cancer, and underwent radiation treatment while continuing to serve as regent. However, on October 25, 1973, she died in Los Angeles, California.
"Flora Dungan." Online Nevada Encyclopedia. Accessed November 24, 2015. http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/flora-dungan.
"Flora Dungan Biography." Women's Research Institute of Nevada. Accessed November 24, 2015. http://wrinunlv.org/research/our-history-profiles-of-nevada-women/flora-dungan/.
Flora Dungan Papers, 1929-1974. MS-00193. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
Materials were donated in October 1977 by Hal Erickson; accession numbers 77-271, T-117.
Carol Corbett, September 1995. In 2017 Joyce Moore revised and enhanced the description to bring it into compliance with current professional standards.
Some of the photographs in this acquisition were removed from the collection and placed in Flora Dungan Photographs, 1929-1974. PH-00293. Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.