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Identifier: WH2044

Scope and Contents

The bulk of Betty Neale's papers consist of clippings, proposed bills, and correspondence she received as a representative to the Colorado House of Representatives from 1974 to 1992. Some clippings trace her activities in high school, her marriage, and the birth of her children in Kansas. Election materials for her campaigns also form a part of the collection, along with certificates and awards she received from various organizations.

SERIES 1 - CAMPAIGNS 1974-2004 BOX 1

Campaign materials including flyers, mailers and press releases comprise this series.


Arranged chronologically this series comprises the legislation Neale introduced and correspondence she received regarding the legislation.

SERIES 3 - BILLS 1984-1991 BOX 1

Arranged chronologically this series comprises legislation proposed in the house and senate.


Correspondence received from politicians, constituents, lobbyists and others related to proposed legislation and other issues comprise this series, which is arranged chronologically.


Awards, commendations, certificates and other items received by Betty Neale comprise this series. Included are invitations to several 1981 presidential inauguration events.

SERIES 6 - CLIPPINGS 1940-2006 BOX 1-2

Newspaper and magazine clippings dating from the 1940s to 2006 comprise the series, which is arranged chronologically.


Three executive orders signed by Colorado Governor Richard Lamm naming Betty Neale to commissions, and a poem commemorating her being named to chair the Legislative Audit committee comprise the series.


  • 1940-2004

Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.

Biographical / Historical

Betty Irene Overfield was born May 20, 1927 in Hiawatha, Kansas to Ira and Nellie Overfield. Betty's mother, Nellie, was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas October 9, 1907 to Frank and Nettie Price Beatty, who moved to Falls City, Nebraska where Nellie grew up.

Betty's father, Ira (Mike) Overfield, a farmer, was born in Kansas about 1906 to a native of West Virginia, Marland Overfield, and his German-born wife, Emma. Betty's parents, Ira and Nellie, married in Troy, Kansas on December 26, 1924. They lived on farms around Hiawatha, Kansas.

Betty graduated in 1945 from Hiawatha High School. She attended business college in Topeka, Kansas, before enrolling at the University of Kansas. She married Dory J. Neale Jr., of Topeka on September 18, 1948, at the First Baptist Church in Hiawatha, Kansas. Dory was a graduate of the Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri. Betty worked for a time in the accounting department of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company in Topeka. Dory worked for the Neale Construction Company in Pontiac, Illinois while completing his engineering degree.

All three of Dory and Betty's children were born in Kansas: Dory Alan "Butch" (1949), Steven Michael (1951), and Scott.

Dory worked as an electrical engineer for the Martin Company, which prompted the family's move to Denver, Colorado. He worked on the company's missile project, which required frequent trips to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Dory and Betty divorced about 1971.

Betty Neale entered the world of politics as a precinct committeewoman in 1965, and in 1966 served as a delegate to the Colorado Republican Assembly. She was a district captain in 1969 and an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1972. In 1974 Neale announced her candidacy for the Colorado Legislature as a representative of the 14th House District (later the 10th), which covered most of southeast Denver, where she had resided since 1958. She was elected as a Republican legislator in 1974 during a time when the post-Watergate political climate favored Democratic candidates. Her constituents reelected her every two years until 1992 when she announced she would not seek a tenth term. During her eighteen years in the Colorado legislature Neale sponsored worker compensation reform guidelines; child support enforcement reform; an omnibus prison package; and a bill requiring employer/employee background checks in the child care industry.

In 1977, during her tenure as a representative, Neale served as the first woman on the Joint Budget Committee. That same year, she was named legislator of the year by the press and her fellow legislators. Governor Richard Lamm appointed Neale to the Colorado Commission on Child Support and the Colorado Commission on Children and Their Families. The Denver Board for the Developmentally Disabled named Neale Legislator of the Year in 1980. In 1987 the National Child Support Association named her their Legislator of the Year, and the Associated Press named her Legislator of the Year again in 1991.

In 1993 Mayor Wellington Webb appointed Neale Deputy Director of Finance for the City and County of Denver. She became a lobbyist for Denver in 1994 and continued in that role into 2002.


1.25 Boxes

1 OVFolio

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Betty Neale, 2008.


Catalog record based on preliminary inventory.


Roger L. Dudley

July 2008

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States