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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Shambaugh Family Papers
RG 99.0152
Collection Dates: 1880s-1953
27.0 ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries upon the death of Mrs. Shambaugh. Guide posted to Internet: May 1998; revised 2006 and 2008.

Photographs: Series IV

Benjamin Shambaugh at convocation, 1938
Benjamin Shambaugh at convocation, 1938

Scope and Contents

The papers of Benjamin Franklin Shambaugh and Bertha Maude Horack Shambaugh are divided into five series: I. Benjamin Franklin Shambaugh, II. Bertha Maude Horack Shambaugh, III. Subject Files, IV. Photographs, V. Realia and oversized. Diplomas and certificates are filed with similar Archives materials in a map case drawer.

Series I: Benjamin Franklin Shambaugh, is sub-divided into six subseries: Correspondence, Manuscripts, Class Notes, Speeches, Benjamin as Teacher, and Hovey Biography.

The Correspondence is arranged chronologically by year, 1886 -- 1953, with undated material alphabetically. Correspondents include John G. Bowman, W.R. Boyd, Johnson Brigham, John Mason Brown, S. Joe Brown, Eve Drewelowe, Will Durant, Hamlin Garland, W. Earl Hall, Virgil M. Hancher, Dorothy D. Houghton, Harvey Ingham, Walter A. Jessup, Laurence C. Jones, Thomas H. Macbride, George E. MacLean, Merle Miller, George T.W. Patrick, Josiah L. Pickard, John Cooper Powys, Herbert Quick, Wiley Rutledge, and W.W. Waymack. Correspondents also include relatives of University of Iowa faculty members and presidents. Letters of sympathy, April 1940, include many from other faculty members. Subjects discussed in the Correspondence include the Amana Society and the University of Iowa Campus Course.

The Biography consists for the most part of a first draft of a biography about Benjamin Shambaugh. Miss Alma Hovey intended to write the biography, and this series represents the material that she deposited with the University of Iowa Archives in 1972. About half of this material consists of notes made from the House Books; the remainder is primarily notes made in preparation for the biography.

Series II: Bertha Maude Horack Shambaugh, has three subseries: Housebooks, Manuscripts, and Speeches.

The House Books are notebooks in which Bertha M.H. Shambaugh recorded events at the house and to some extent in the rest of their lives as well. The House Books contain a good many laid in letters, notes, telegrams and photographs which have separate inventories. The Shambaughs did much entertaining of University guests and the House Books detail these occasions with such information as who attended and the menu served.

Series III: Subject files, are arranged alphabetically and include Amana; calling cards, invitations and notes; Bertha M.H. Shambaugh’s 1910 European trip; greeting cards from the 1880’s; Benjamin F. Shambaugh memorial tributes; the 1939 New York World’s Fair; the Sesquicentennial in Philadelphia in 1926; and Dr. Duren J.H. Ward’s Far-Reaching Foundation Toward Safer Civilization.

Series IV:Photographs, is arranged alphabetically. Photographs are also located in Box 27 and 28 of Series II: Bertha Shambaugh's House Books subseries, the Photograph Record volumes, as well as in Series III: Subject Files, Boxes 34, 36, 37, 39, and 40.

Series V: Realia and oversized is located in box 43.

Biographical Note

Benjamin Franklin Shambaugh was born January 29, 1871, in Elvira, Iowa. He graduated from the Iowa City Academy June 13, 1888. At the State University of Iowa he earned his B.Ph. June 16, 1892, and his M.A. June 15 the following year. He took his Ph.D. in June 1895 at the University of Pennsylvania. He was educated in Germany 1895 -- 1896, and was an instructor and professor at S.U.I. from 1896 to 1940. It was here in Iowa City that he met and married Bertha Maude Horak in 1897. From 1900 until 1940 Benjamin Shambaugh was professor and head of the Political Science Department at S.U.I. He was superintendent and editor at the State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa City, from 1907 to 1940. He served as president of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association in 1910, and president of American Political Science Association in 1930. Benjamin Shambaugh died in Iowa City on April 7, 1940.

Bertha Maude Horack Shambaugh was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1871. She graduated from Iowa City High School in 1889, and attended the State University of Iowa 1889 -- 1896. Bertha taught natural science at Iowa City High School from 1892 to 1897, until her marriage to Benjamin Shambaugh. Bertha authored Amana: The Colony of True Inspiration, and Amana That Was and Amana That is, in 1908 and 1933 respectively. Bertha Shambaugh died in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1953.

Bertha Maude Horack Shambaugh, 1939
Bertha Maude Horack Shambaugh, 1939

Benjamin and Bertha had no children. The Shambaugh Family Papers contain a good deal of information on the Horak-Horack and Shambaugh families. While we have done no extended genealogical work, the following paragraphs may prove useful.

Bertha's father, Frank, came to the United States in 1854 with his parents and seven siblings. The family name was spelled "Horak"and Frank J. Horak used this spelling throughout his life. His family appears to have used "Horack" for the most part, and Mrs. Shambaugh's full name appears in both forms. Since the Library of Congress Authority Record uses "Horack", that form is used in this finding aid.

Bertha's father was a lawyer. Her mother's name was Katharine Mosnat Horak. Katharine's father was J.J. Mosnat. Bertha had two brothers, Frank E. Horack (a professor of Political Science at the University of Iowa) and H. Claude Horack (a professor of law). Frank married Elizabeth Collins and seems to have had one son, Frank E., Jr. H[ugo] Claude had two sons, Harold Maclachlan Horack and Benjamin Shambaugh Horack, whom the Shambaughs referred to as "Son". He also had a daughter, Katharine Horack Dixon (Mrs. Jack), who in turn bore daughters Eleanor and Anne.

Benjamin Franklin Shambaugh had a brother, George E. Shambaugh, a doctor in Chicago, and a sister, Mrs. Roger Mahon.

Box Contents List

Series I: Benjamin Shambaugh


Includes index to important correspondents


Class notes


Benjamin as teacher

Hovey Biography

Series II: Bertha Shambaugh

House Books

Bertha's manuscripts

Bertha's speeches

Series III: Subject Files

Series IV: Photographs

Series V: Realia and oversized