Menu

Library Navigation

Skip Navigation LinksLegislature > LRL Home > Legislators Past & Present > Member Record New Search

Searle, Sr., Rodney Newell "Rod"


Click to enlarge

Map of Waseca
Waseca, MN

House 1957-62 (District 16); House 1963-66 (District 8); House 1967-72 (District 9B); House 1973-80 (District 30B)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus

Counties Served:  Freeborn, Steele, Waseca

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 7/17/1920 Date of Death: 1/5/2014
Birth Place: Camden, New Jersey Birth County:  Birth Country: United States
Other Names: Rod
Gender:  Male Religion:  Episcopalian
City of Residence (when first elected):  Waseca

Occupation (when first elected):  Farmer

EDUCATION

Haddonfield Memorial High School; Secondary; 1939
Rutgers University; Attended College; Night Sessions
Mankato State College; B.A.; History and Political Science, 1960

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

State Board/Commission/CouncilUpper Mississippi River Basin Commission (Chair) ??/??/19?? to ??/??/19??
State Board/Commission/CouncilMinnesota Higher Education Board (Chair) ??/??/19?? to ??/??/19??
MilitaryUnited States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol (Janesville-Waseca Squadron) ??/??/19?? to ??/??/19??
State Board/Commission/CouncilMinnesota State University Board (President) 05/??/1981 to ??/??/1994

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Janette "Jane" E. Christie (married on May 17, 1941; she died in 2000); Ruth Bartlett (married in 2001)
Children: Three children: R. Newell Jr. and Alan J. (sons); Linda (daughter)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

In 1979 he was elected by an evenly divided House to be the Speaker of the House.

He moved to Minnesota in April 1947.

He was a member of the Republican Party.

"Searle is a working Republican, member of the GOP county executive committee and will caucus with the conservatives." ("Know Your Minnesota Legislature: Rep. Rodney N. Searle." Minneapolis Star, Between November 1956-January 1957)

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge.

He was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church in Janesville, Minnesota.

Religion provided by the Catholic Bulletin, 3/21/1975.

"Later in life, Searle turned away from the Republican party he had long served, saying: 'My party has abandoned me.' In 2010 Searle was among a group of Republican former lawmakers who endorsed Independence Party candidate for governor Tom Horner, rather than the Republican-endorsed candidate, Tom Emmer. The state Republican party took action against those in the group, preventing them from serving as delegates to the state or national party conventions for two years." (Mankato Free Press obituary, January 5, 2014)

His funeral was held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Owatonna, Minnesota on January 10, 2014.

Total Days Served: 8764

SESSIONS SERVED

Legislative Session: 71st (1979-1980)   Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/7/1978 Term of Office: 1/3/1979 to 1/5/1981
District: 30B Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Freeborn, Steele, Waseca
Occupation: Life Insurance Underwriter/Farmer
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
Financial Institutions and Insurance
Rules and Legislative Administration
Rules and Legislative Administration Subcommittee: Rules
Taxes
Taxes Subcommittee: Division I - Income and Sales Tax Division
Leadership Position: Minority Leader
Leadership Notes: In May 1979, he was chosen to serve as Minority Leader by the Independent Republican caucus. This occurred because the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party gained majority status, ending the need for the leadership compromise that had been in effect.
Leadership Position: Speaker of the House
Leadership Notes: After the November 1978 election, the House was evenly split along party lines (67 Republicans/67 Democrats). He was elected Speaker in 1979 as part of a compromise between the two parties. "The agreement gives the Republicans the speaker pro tem post as well as the speakership, 12 committee chairmanships and the chairmanships of all the divisions of both the appropriations and tax committees. They also get a one-vote majority on the tax divisions . . . . The agreement . . . gives the DFL the chairmanship of the three most powerful committees in the House - rules, taxes and appropriations. They also get a one-vote majority on the rules and tax committees, a Democrat floor leader and the same number of committee chairmanships as the Republicans." (Davies, Tom. "Minnesota House Elects Searle its Speaker." Minneapolis Tribune, January 9, 1979).

Legislative Session: 70th (1977-1978)   Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/2/1976 Term of Office: 1/4/1977 to 1/2/1979
District: 30B Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Freeborn, Steele, Waseca
Occupation: Farmer/Life Insurance Underwriter
Party: Independent Republican
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Appropriations Subcommittee: Semi-State Division
Environment and Natural Resources
Labor-Management Relations
Rules and Legislative Administration
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

Legislative Session: 69th (1975-1976)   Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/5/1974 Term of Office: 1/7/1975 to 1/3/1977
District: 30B Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Freeborn, Steele, Waseca
Occupation: Life Insurance Underwriter/Farmer
Party: Republican
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Environment and Natural Resources
Higher Education
Rules and Legislative Administration
Leadership Position: Assistant Minority Leader

Legislative Session: 68th (1973-1974)   Session Details term photo
Click to enlarge
Body: House Elected: 11/7/1972 Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/6/1975
District: 30B Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Freeborn, Steele, Waseca
Occupation: Life Insurance Underwriter/Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division
Environmental Preservation and Natural Resources
Higher Education
Rules and Legislative Administration

Legislative Session: 67th (1971-1972)   Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/3/1970 Term of Office: 1/5/1971 to 1/1/1973
District: 09B Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Freeborn, Waseca
Occupation: Life Insurance Underwriter/Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Appropriations Subcommittee: Education Division (Chair)
Appropriations Subcommittee: Medical Education
Education
Higher Education
Natural Resources
Reapportionment and Elections
Rules and Legislative Administration

Legislative Session: 66th (1969-1970)   Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/5/1968 Term of Office: 1/7/1969 to 1/4/1971
District: 09B Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Freeborn, Waseca
Occupation: Life Insurance Underwriter/Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
Agriculture
Appropriations
Conservation
Education
Financial Institutions and Securities
Higher Education (Chair)

Legislative Session: 65th (1967-1968)   Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/8/1966 Term of Office: 1/3/1967 to 1/6/1969
District: 09B Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Freeborn, Waseca
Occupation: Life Insurance Underwriter
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Drainage and Soil Conservation
Education
Financial Institutions
Forestry and Public Domain
University and College (Chair)

Legislative Session: 64th (1965-1966)   Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/3/1964 Term of Office: 1/5/1965 to 1/2/1967
District: 08 Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Waseca
Occupation: Life Insurance Underwriter
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Education
Game and Fish
Insurance
University (Chair)

Legislative Session: 63rd (1963-1964)   Session Details term photo
Click to enlarge
Body: House Elected: 11/6/1962 Term of Office: 1/8/1963 to 1/4/1965
District: 08 Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Waseca
Occupation: Life Insurance Underwriter
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Education
Game and Fish
Insurance
University (Chair)

Legislative Session: 62nd (1961-1962)   Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/8/1960 Term of Office: 1/3/1961 to 1/7/1963
District: 16 Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Waseca
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
Drainage and Soil Conservation
Education
Elections
Game and Fish
Reapportionment

Legislative Session: 61st (1959-1960)   Session Details
Body: House Elected: 11/4/1958 Term of Office: 1/6/1959 to 1/2/1961
District: 16 Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Waseca
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus
Committees:
Appropriations
Drainage and Soil Conservation
Education
Game and Fish
Reapportionment

Legislative Session: 60th (1957-1958)   Session Details term photo
Click to enlarge
Body: House Elected: 11/6/1956 Term of Office: 1/8/1957 to 1/5/1959
District: 16 Residence: Waseca
Counties Represented: Waseca
Occupation: Farmer
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Conservative Caucus Party Notes: "Searle is a working Republican, member of the GOP county executive committee and will caucus with the conservatives." ("Know Your Minnesota Legislature: Rep. Rodney N. Searle." Minneapolis Star, Between November 1956-January 1957)
Committees:
Aircraft and Airways
Appropriations
Education
Game and Fish
Reapportionment
State and County Fairs

Articles & Books By
Searle, Rod. "Minnesota Standoff: the Politics of Deadlock." Waseca, MN: Alton Press, 1990.


Articles & Books About
Stassen-Berger, Rachel E. "Former Minnesota House Speaker Rod Searle dies at 93." Star Tribune, January 7, 2014, p. B2.

Sturdevant, Lori. "A Master of Bipartisanship." Star Tribune, January 7, 2014.

"Rodney N. 'Rod' Searle of Alton Township." Waseca County News, January 6, 2013.

West, Tom. "Searle's Book Reveals Insider Politics." Waseca Weekly, October 11, 1990.

"Know Your Minnesota Legislature: Rep. Rodney N. Searle." Minneapolis Star, Between November 1956-January 1957.

"Meet Your Board Member: Rod Searle." Waseca County Historical Society.


Archive Collections
Rodney N. Searle Papers, 1943-2005 - Available in the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections.


The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.

Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, 645 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN  55155