Edna LaMoore Waldo honored with room in Alfred Dickey Library

Edna LaMoore Waldo portrait
Professional portrait taken of Edna Lamoore Waldo by her publisher in 1946 / Bob Waldo

James River Valley Library System will honor Edna LaMoore Waldo, Jamestown native and author of "Dakota," with a room dedication at Alfred Dickey Library.

Bob Waldo, the author's grandson, will give a presentation on her Jamestown roots as well as her life as a librarian, journalist, nonfiction writer and historian from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16.

"I plan on talking about my her time in Jamestown," Waldo said. "It was a very important part of her life and the rest of our family's lives."

Waldo remembers his grandmother as an intelligent, strong individual who he remained close with until her death in 1999 at the age of 105.

"It's a great honor," Waldo said. "The library in Jamestown was very important to her ... she spent a lot of time there.


"When you were a kid, she would sit in a chair like it was a throne and she would school you," he said. "She would talk a lot but she knew what she was talking about ... she talked very vividly about her earliest memories in Jamestown, and I became a teacher in part because of her."

Edna LaMoore Waldo (1893-1999) published five books including “Dakota”. The room will include a display case compiling artifacts donated by the Waldo family and the author herself.

“Edna should be remembered as a pioneering historian of the Dakotas,” said Joe Rector, director of James River Valley Library System. “She dedicated her life to exploring the Great Plains. She was a tremendous advocate for giving people an understanding of the Western experience.”

Edna was the oldest child of seven, a group that included three writers, one of whom is also honored with a room at Alfred Dickey Library.

Louis L’Amour, the youngest child who changed the spelling of his last name when he moved away from home at the age of 15, was celebrated at the library’s 100-year anniversary in February. L'Amour is one of the most successful and well-known western authors, selling over 200 million copies worldwide in his lifetime, according to The New York Times.

L'Amour's room will sit directly across from his sister’s.

“Edna introduced Louis to the Jamestown library at a very young age,” Rector said. Despite their 15-year age difference, Louis would come visit his sister, who was working as a librarian, after school.

Edna was valedictorian of her class at Jamestown High School, earning a full scholarship to attend the University of Jamestown, where she became one of the first female graduates by obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in romantic languages in 1914.


Edna and Louis were granted honorary doctorate degrees in 1972 from Jamestown College, now the University of Jamestown. Edna’s donations to Alfred Dickey Library include scrapbooks from her time as a student at Jamestown College.

Refreshments will be provided at the dedication. For more information, call Alfred Dickey Library at 252-2990.

Edna LaMoore Waldo high school
Edna LaMoore Waldo at Jamestown High School in 1910/ Bob Waldo

What To Read Next
Get Local