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Geraldine DeFant papers

 Collection — Box: 26-04-01
Identifier: MSS-027

Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of a taped oral interview with Geraldine Defant conducted by Jennifer Grondin on March 26, 1990, and includes an interview transcription. Of particular note is the interview's coverage of the 1949 H.W. Gossard Company Garment Workers Strike in Ishpeming, Michigan. The collection also includes copies of a scrapbook and photographs. The collection's materials cover the range between 1946-1990.


  • Creation: 1946 - 1990


Conditions Governing Access note

No restrictions. Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Permission to publish material from the Geraldine DeFant papers, MSS-027, must be obtained from the University Archivist. The University Archivist may be reached by phone at 906-227-1225, or e-mail, The University Archivist may also be reached in Room 126 of the Learning Resource Center, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI.

Biographical Note

Geraldine DeFant was a longtime Marquette County, Michigan labor leader and politician. In 1948, she came to the Upper Peninsula as an organizer for the International Ladies' Garment Workers union. DeFant organized and led the famous 1949 Gossard Workers strike. She married Marquette attorney Michael DeFant in 1950. DeFant was forced to leave union work once her husband was elected as county probate judge. However, she remained active in the Democratic Party, serving as the Democratic chairwoman of the 11th Congressional District. DeFant also served as an aide to Senators Hart and Riegle. In 1964, DeFant earned a bachelor's degree in political science at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan.

Through the 1980s, DeFant maintained an active political life. She served on the Marquette County Commission from 1982 to 1991; helped found the Marquette Women's Center and served on its board of directors; and served for six years on the Michigan Women's Commission. DeFant initiated Friend of the Court Legislation that resulted in the garishment of wages for child support. She died on October 25, 1996, at the age of 79.


5 folders

Language of Materials


View This Collection Online

This collection is part of UPLINK, the Upper Peninsula Digital Network. You can see part of it on the UPLINK website here.

Geraldine DeFant papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • 4/27/2010: finding aid revisiion description not supplied

Repository Details

Part of the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives Repository

Harden Learning Resources Center 126
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette 49855 United States
906-227-1333 (Fax)


This collection guide includes collections from member organizations of UPLINK (the Upper Peninsula Digital Network) as well as the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives. UPLINK collections document the history of the Upper Peninsula broadly, while the Central UP & NMU Archives focuses on such topics as Northern Michigan University history, the local iron mining industry, and the politics, economics, religion, environment, and culture of the Central Upper Peninsula region.

These finding aids will give you an overview of the contents and context of each collection. Finding aids only exist for collections that each organization has shared with UPLINK or (in the case of the NMU Archives) for processed collections. For a more comprehensive list of collections that might help with your research, please contact the relevant heritage organization(s) directly.

Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave. • Marquette, MI 49855-5301 • 906–227–1000
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