The Struggles of researching public figures for a single state

I am having a problem. I am trying to be accurate with many of my historic characters in my story, but am finding it a bit tough finding accurate lists and sources to go on. Although one cannot trust the majority of the information on Wikipedia, it can be helpful to a certain extent. Yet, as stated, the info is still incomplete and many of the figures needed are-alas-nowhere to be found.

One, it seems, can’t even find such information on government sites related to each character I am missing either. Very irritating. I am lacking half my cast due to a lack of actual knowledge on where to look for that information.

the characters I want to write into my stories:

The directors of the Iowa Department of Revenue (as a counterpart for the director of the IRS, already discovered and brought into the story) from 1950-1959/60.

Des Moines city council members from 1950-1959/60

Iowa State House Reps 1950-1959/60

Iowa Congressmen (in Washington Dc) 1950-1959/60

past mayors in Des Moines (I have three, the ones for 1950-1954) 1954-1959/60

Historical fiction is not historically accurate if you do not have accurate information on those who held power in the decades/ times you’re writing about. I may not have an accurate picture of the officials I already have, but I am not trying to keep with personalities at the moment, and besides. Most of them are probably dead and their families probably do not remember how they were.

I am, however, trying to keep the visibility of the political polarity. This means making the fractures on both parties visible from a political view. It was common knowledge that many on both sides did not support McCarran or McCarthy’s views and that they instantly regretted passing McCarran’s  piece of legislation and spent the next two decades trying to trim it into something that couldn’t do any more damage to the country.

Even the Midwest was touched by this horror. Everything from “duck and cover” to building fallout shelters was something that was happening all across the country. Now we know that the ‘duck and cover’ techniques were useless and that the fallout shelters would be completely useless. but back then, it was thought to be the only way to save one’s life if a nuclear blast would happen.

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