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Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Josiah L. Pickard
RG 05.01.03
Collection Dates: 1878-1887
0.25 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

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Acquisition and Processing Information: These papers were transferred to the University Archives from the Office of the President; date unknown. Guide posted to the Internet December 2006.


Josiah L. Pickard
Josiah L. Pickard, sixth president
of the State University of Iowa

Biographical Note

Josiah L. Pickard served as the sixth president of the State University of Iowa, from 1878 to 1887.

A leading educator and administrator, Pickard assumed the presidency after heading the public school system in Chicago. He also was a devoted student of history, serving as president of the State Historical Society of Iowa for nearly 20 years.

Pickard, a native of Maine, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1844 and served as principal of Platteville (Wisconsin) Academy until 1860. That year, he was selected Wisconsin’s state superintendent of public instruction, a position he held until 1864, at which time he began a 13-year stint as Chicago’s superintendent of schools.

During Pickard’s presidency at Iowa, two departments – later to become colleges – were added: dental and pharmaceutical. Course offerings in the remaining four departments were expanded, and he advocated raising teaching standards and academic requirements. From 1881 until 1900 he was president of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and retired from active teaching in 1889.

Pickard was born in Rowley, Massachusetts, on March 17, 1824. He died on March 29, 1914, at age 90.

[D. McCartney; 12/2006]

Related Materials

Catalogs of the University, 1878-1887 (RG 01.08)

Records of the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents, 1847-1909 (RG 04.01)

Manuscript File Collection (RG 01.01.01)

Box Contents List

Publications; 0.25 ft.