MsC 132


Manuscript Register




Collection Dates: 1904 -- 1943

(Bulk Dates: 1920s to 1930s)

2.75 linear ft. and 3 scrapbooks


This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900


Posted to Internet: July 2002



Acquisition Note: The papers of Congressman Christian William Ramseyer came as a gift to the library in 1967 from his daughters, Mrs. James (Jane K.) Cameron, Jr., and Mrs. Frederick (Barbara R.) H. Walton, Jr.


Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.


Photographs: Box 2


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.


Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"


Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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.


Biographical Note

Ohio born, Christian William Ramseyer moved to Iowa when he was twelve years old. He graduated from the Southern Iowa Normal School in 1897 and from the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1902. For nine years, Ramseyer taught school, becoming the principal and later the superintendent in Bloomfield, Iowa. In 1906, he graduated from the law department at the University of Iowa. That same year he opened a law practice in Bloomfield. He was the prosecuting attorney of Davis County from 1911 to 1915, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican. He served nine terms (1915 -- 1933) in Congress. He remained in Washington, D.C. as a commissioner for the United States Court of Claims from 1933 until his death on November 1, 1943, at the age of sixty-eight.


1875 Born near Collinsville, Ohio, March 13, 1875, the son of John and Anna (Ummel) Ramseyer

1887 Came to Iowa and Davis County with his parents

1897 Graduated from Southern Iowa Normal School

1902 Graduated from Iowa State Teachers College, Cedar Falls

1906 Received a Bachelor of Law degree from the State University of Iowa and was admitted to the bar

1911 -- 1915 Served as prosecuting attorney for Davis County

1915 -- 1933 Republican Representative to the United States Congress

1933 -- 1943 District Commissioner for the United States Court of Claims in 1943 Washington, D.C.

1943 Died November 1 with interment in Odd Fellows' Cemetery, Bloomfield, Iowa

Scope and Contents

Most of Ramseyer's papers were destroyed after his death. This collection consists primarily of correspondence, court opinions, reports, scrapbooks, and speeches from his years in Washington, D.C. Some recurring topics are monetary stabilization, inheritance taxes, and farm relief. The correspondence includes letters from Clifford V. Gregory, Charles E. Hearst, and Henry A. Wallace.


Processed by  Robert M. Hedges, August, 1967


Box List


Box 1


1914 -- 1919, including letters from Smith W. Brookhart, Newton D. Baker, and Josephus Daniels

1920 -- 1930, including a letter from Herbert Hoover

1931, including letters from Fred C. Gilchrist, Clifford V. Gregory, John Cowles, Henry A. Wallace, Charles E. Hearst, Dan W. Turner and Milo Reno

1932, including letters from H. A. Wallace, W. W. Waymack, Charles E. Hearst, and Floyd Thurston

1933 -- 1943 and undated, including letters from H. A. Wallace


"Socialism in the Last Century," August 16, 1904

"The Persistence of Wars," September 30, 1915

Statement on Armed Merchant Ships, March 13, 1917

"Inheritance Taxes," February 16, 1924

"Abraham Lincoln," February 12, 1926

"Constitution Day Address," September 17, 1928

Box 2

Speeches, con't.

"A Tariff Law in the Making," July 30, 1929

"The Farm Relief Session of Congress," August 27, 1929

Statement before the War Policies Commission on War Finance and the Speedy Payment of Our War Debt, May 19, 1931

Antietam Battlefields Speech, May 30, 1931

Statement on War Debts, June 8, 1931

Report of the Committee on Stabilizing the Purchasing Power of Money, June 18 --19, 1931

"Restoration and Stabilization of the Commodity Price Level," October 19, 1931

American Farm Bureau Federation National Convention Speech, December 8, 1931

Monetary Stabilization radio address, January 16, 1932

"Monetary Stabilization," April 9, 1932

Radio address on budget problems, May 11, 1932

Radio Farm Address, September 19, 1932

Speech at Eldon, Iowa (undated)

Grand Army of the Republic Speech (undated)

Decoration Day Address (undated)

Subject files

Campaign material

European Trip, Spring 1919, Diary and memorabilia

Honest Money, An Explanation of the Relation of Money, Prices and Prosperity.
Chicago: American Farm Bureau Federation, 1932. Prepared by a Special Committee on Stabilization of the Unit of Value. Members included Charles E. Hearst, H. A. Wallace, C. V. Gregory, and C. W. Ramseyer

Inheritance tax material

Miscellaneous manuscripts

Newspaper clippings, 1917 -- 1936


Printed materials

"Stabilizing Prices on the 1926 Level," Article in The Kiwanis Magazine 17 (April 1932), p.155

Tour of the flood-devastated area of the Mississippi Valley, May 28 -- June 6, 1927

Box 3

Printed government documents relating to Congressman Ramseyer

Box 4

Reports by Commissioner Ramseyer and Opinions of the Court of Claims of the U.S. 2 volumes

Newspaper clippings on the 66th Congress, First Session

Box 5

Reports by Commissioner Ramseyer and Opinions of the Court of Claims of the U.S. 2 volumes

Voting lists

Box 6

Assorted copies of The Congressional Record relating to Congressman Ramseyer

Cooper, Jeffrey A.,Ghosts of 1932: The Lost History of Estate and Gift Taxation(July 23, 2009). Available at SSRN: Only the abstract is present in the collection.

Oversized (on shelf)

Three Scrapbooks




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