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Jan Meyers political papers

Call Number: RH MS 976


Jan Meyers represented Kansas in the United States House of Representatives and the Kansas Legislature. This collection documents her participation in both legislatures. Meyers was city councilwoman in Overland Park from 1967-1972, served as a senator in the Kansas Legislature from 1972-1984, and was a Republican congresswoman from 1985-1997.


  • Creation: 1960s-2000s


Conditions Governing Access

These materials are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Jan Meyers

Janice Lenore Crilly was born in 1928 in Lincoln, Nebraska, the daughter of Howard M. and Lenore N. (Hazel) Crilly. Her father was a newspaper publisher, running the Superior Express in Superior, Nebraska during the mid-1930s.

Janice graudated from William Woods College in Fulton, Missouri in 1948 with an associate fine arts degree and went on to earn her bachelors in communications from the University of Nebraska in 1951. After graduation she married Louis "Dutch" Meyers, who later became a Kansas City television executive, and they had two children, Valerie and Philip.

Meyers began a career in advertising and public relations, and in 1966 she served as Overland Park, Kansas's chairwoman for "Larry" Winn's U.S. House of Representatives campaign. She then servied as district co-chair for Robert Dole's first senatorial race in 1968 and in 1974 chaired Robert Bennett's gubernatorial campaign in Johnson County, Kansas.

From 1967-1972 Meyers was a member of the Overland Park City Council, and in 1972 she won the election to the Kansas State Senate. She served in the State Sentate util 1984, chairing the public health and welfare committee and the local government committee.

After an unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid in the 1978 election, losing to Nancy Kassebaum, Meyers ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1984 when Larry Winn retired. Despite conservative dislike of Meyers' support for legalized abortion, she won the race against Democratic nominee and Kansas City mayor John Reardon.

Committees that Meyers served on in Congress included the Committee on Science and Technology, Small Business Committee, Select Committee on Agingin, and the Foreign Affairs Committee. Soon after joining the House she drafted a welfare reform bill, and she was instrumental in establishing the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas.

Meyers focused considerable energy in the Small Business Committee, working to bring permanent tax cuts for small businesses and opposing the Family and Medical Leave Act because she believed it would disproportionately affect small businesses. She supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1994 Meyers was promoted to chairing the Small Business Committee, the first time a female Rebpulican party member had chaired a House committee since 1955 when Edith Nourse Rogers headed Veterans' Affairs.

Meyers decided not to run for re-election in 1996, ending her term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in January 1997. After her retirement, she traveled with her husband, served on the boards for Johnson County Community College and Johnson County Library, and occasionally participated in political events. Jan Meyers died June 21, 2019.


268.25 Linear Feet (269 boxes + 3 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection includes campaign files and election documentation; publicity and public relations materials; awards, plaques, paperweights, and other memorabilia; polling information; information regarding other politicians in the Republican Party; newspaper clippings; correspondence; and subject files, amongst other records. Subject files provide an overview of some of the issues of concern to Meyers' constituency and coming before the legislatures in which she served, both locally to Kansas and nationally to the United States.

The collection includes records from Meyers' Overland Park; Kansas City Federal Building; and Washington, D.C. offices. Much of the material dates from the 1980s and 1990s when Meyers served with the United States House of Representatives.

Physical Location

RH MS 976

Physical Location

RH MS 567

Physical Location

Annex (Contact Spencer Library Public Services)

Guide to the Jan Meyers Collection
Jan Meyers political papers
Finding aid prepared by rh, 2007; revised by lb, 2017. Finding aid encoded by rh, 2007; revised by lb, 2017; mwh, 2019.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Jan Meyers political papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 976, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States