Douglas H. Sillers was born in Clavin, North Dakota on February 9, 1915. He was the second son of Archie and Mabel Tuthill Sillers. His two brothers were Kipling, born in 1913, and Colin, who was born in 1917. Douglas Sillers completed high school at Calvin, where his father farmed, and left home in 1933 to travel through the western states. From 1935 to 1939 he attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and graduated from there with a B.A. degree. He taught social studies at Menahga, Minnesota for a time and met Margret Baller, born February 14, 1916 in Moorhead. They were married on August 2, 1941. During this time Mr. Sillers was working for the Federal Land Bank at Washburn, North Dakota. From 1942-1945 Sillers served as an ensign and as a lieutenant (jg) in the U.S. Navy in England during World War II. In 1946 Douglas and Margret Sillers settled on the Baller farm near Moorhead. They had four children, Jean in 1943, Douglas Hal in 1947, Cynthia in 1949, and Heather in 1951. Mr. Sillers became a noted farmer in the area and was active in local politics. In 1962 Mr. Sillers was persuaded to run as an independent for the Minnesota House of Representatives. He won and would serve in the House until 1972. During this time he became part of the Independent-Republican Party. In 1972 Mr. Sillers ran for the Minnesota Senate and won. He served in that body until his reelection defeat in 1980. During his political life Mr. Sillers served on the Agriculture, Education, and Judiciary committees in both houses of the legislature. He also served on various boards and commissions that fostered interstate cooperation; such as the Upper Midwest Research and Development Council, and the State Planning Commission. After his 1980 campaign Mr. Sillers retired to his farm near Moorhead.
This collection covers the period when Mr. Sillers was farming full time in Clay County, Minnesota and the years 1962-1980 when he served in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate. The majority of this collection is organized alphabetically by subject.