MsC 183

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1899 -- 1970

9 linear ft.

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: January 1998

Acquisition Note: These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by Conger Reynolds from 1960 to 1970, and by his daughter, Mrs. James O. Lyon, in 1979.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Photographs: Box 13

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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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 Materials statement.  Prior to using collections, all readers are required to complete and submit a registration form.


Biographical note

Scope and contents

Box 1 American Consulate -- Appointment calendars

Box 2 Autobiographical and biographical materials -- Correspondence, 1915

Box 3 Correspondence, 1916 - March 1918

Box 4 Correspondence, March - August 1918

Box 5 Correspondence, September 1918 - 1919

Box 6 Correspondence, 1920 - 1929

Box 7 Correspondence, 1930 - 1970

Box 8 Correspondence, Undated -- Newspaper clippings

Box 9 Oil Industry Information Committee -- People-to-People, correspondence

Box 10 People-to-People, digest - miscellaneous, March 1961

Box 11 People-to-People, miscellaneous, April 1961 - miscellaneous publications

Box 12 People-to-People, news -- Photographs

Box 13 Photographs -- Speeches, 1949

Box 14 Speeches, 1950 -- Standard Oil Company, miscellaneous, 1951

Box 15 Standard Oil Company, miscellaneous, 1951 - undated

Box 16 Standard Oil Company, miscellaneous, undated -- United Services Organization

Box 17 University of Iowa -- World War I, intelligence section

Box 18 World War I, miscellaneous - newspaper clippings



Born on a farm in Dallas County, Iowa, on March 23, 1891, Conger Reynolds grew up in the small town of Dexter, Iowa. At seventeen he received a scholarship to attend Drake University. After his freshman year, he transferred to the University of Iowa where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1912. His first job after graduation was with the Des Moines Register and Leader as a political reporter. In 1915, he returned the University of Iowa to serve as publicity director and to teach journalism as a assistant professor of English. When World War I began, Reynolds left the University and enlisted. He was assigned to military intelligence in France and later worked with the press section. After the war, Reynolds remained in France as the managing editor of the Paris edition of the Chicago Tribune.

In 1922, he began another phase of his career. He was assigned vice-consul to Halifax, Nova Scotia where he served for two years. His next assignment was vice-consul and later consul in Stuttgart, Germany. While at the consulates he specialized in trade promotion. This led to another career change, in 1929, Reynolds became the director of public relations for the Standard Oil Company (Indiana). While there he participated in and helped found many professional organizations, including the Public Relations Society of America. Conger Reynolds remained with Standard Oil until his retirement in 1955. This, however, did not mark the end of his public career. Moving to Washington, DC, he joined the US Information Agency. He was the director of the Office of Private Cooperation. There he worked with the Eisenhower administration to launch the People-to-People program which was designed to promote international understanding. He worked in this capacity until 1961, when he finally did in fact retire. Conger Reynolds died in 1971.


The papers of Conger Reynolds consist of nine linear feet of manuscripts dating from 1899 to 1970. They are made up of subject files arranged chronologically within an alphabetical sequence. The papers document Reynolds’ personal life and career. Along with a folder of autobiographical and biographical sketches, there are diaries, photographs, and scrapbooks shedding light on his personal life.

His multifaceted career is well represented. His early work as a journalist and educator can be found in clippings and other material from the Paris edition of the Chicago Tribune and files on the University of Iowa including information from a journalism course he taught from 1915 to 1916. There are subject files relating to his service in WWI and the intelligence section of which he was a member. Five folders of documents and clippings relate to his service in the American consulates in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Stuttgart, Germany. As public relations director of the Standard Oil Company (Indiana) his files consist of things such as advertising budgets, organizational charts, public opinion surveys, and clippings. After his retirement from Standard Oil, he worked for the Eisenhower administration’s People-to-People program. There are nearly three boxes of material relating to that project, including correspondence, publications, White House conference items, and notes from foreign trips. The papers also contain almost seven boxes of general correspondence, dating from 1899 to 1970 and including letters from Albert B. Cummins and Jay “Ding” Darling. Photographs, scrapbooks, appointment calendars, certificates, etc. make up the remainder of the collection.

 Box 1

American Consulate:

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Stuttgart, Germany




1930 + undated, newspaper clippings

Appointment Calendars:

1910-1911, 1930-1931


 Box 2

Autobiographical and Biographical Material

Certificates, Recognition’s, and Memberships, 1908-1959

Composition Book, 1899-1900




1914-September 1915

October-December 1915

 Box 3

Correspondence (cont.):

January-April 1916. Including letters from Albert B. Cummins and C. C. Dowell.

May-December 1916. Including letters from G. W. Clarke, Albert B. Cummins, and C. C. Dowell.


January 1918

February 1918

March 1-17, 1918

 Box 4

Correspondence (cont.):

March 18-31, 1918

April 1918

May 1918

June 1918

July 1918

August 1918

 Box 5

Correspondence (cont.):

September 1918

October 1918

November 1918

December 1918

January-March 1919. Including a letter from Jay N. Darling

April-December 1919. Including letters from Jay N. Darling

Box 6

Correspondence (cont.)



1922. Including letters from Albert B. Cummins and Charles A. Rawson.



1928-1929. Including a letter from Jay N. Darling

 Box 7

Correspondence (cont.):


1940-1949. Including letters from John W. Gwynne and George A. Wilson





 Box 8

Correspondence (cont.):


Creative Writing Course, 1967-1969. Adult Education--Palomar College


1908-1911, 1962



Dr. Russell's Lectures, 1936

Editorial and Political Writings for the Republican Party, 1940-1952

European Trip, 1916. Memorabilia

Miscellaneous, 1906-1968

Newspaper Clippings, 1904-1968

 Box 9

Oil Industry Information Committee--Proceedings, April 25-26, 1952

Opinion Research Corporation Report to the American Petroleum Institute, 1946

Paris Edition of the Chicago Tribune Period, 1919-1920

Paris Edition of the Chicago Tribune Period. Newspaper clippings, 1919-1920

Passports. Conger and Daphne Reynolds, 1916-1968



1961-1962. Including a letter from Edward R. Murrow

1964-1968 and undated

 Box 10

People-to-People (cont.):

Digest, 1960-1961

"Launching the People-to-People Program" by John E. Juergensmeyer, October 1962






January-March 1961

 Box 11

People-to-People (cont.):

Miscellaneous (cont.):
April-November 1961


Undated (4 folders)

Miscellaneous Publications, 1960-1968

 Box 12

People-to-People (cont.):

News, 1956-1960

Newspaper clippings

Trip to Europe, 1957

Trip to Japan, 1961-1962. Including letters from Edward R. Murrow

White House Conference, June 12, 1956


Community and Public Relations Salute to Conger Reynolds, January 5, 1956

Group Photographs

 Box 13

Photographs (cont.):

Group Photographs. Includes photographs of Dwight D. Eisenhower

Retirement from Standard Oil Company

Reynolds and Family

Studio Portraits

World War I

Public Relations Society of America, 1948-1971

Public Relations Society of America. Report of the National Research Committee, 1951

Publications, 1917-1965



 Box 14

Speeches (cont.):




Standard Oil Company:

Advertising Budget, 1934

Junior Achievement, 1955





 Box 15

Standard Oil Company (cont.):

Miscellaneous (cont.):





Undated (2 folders)

 Box 16

Standard Oil Company (cont.):

Miscellaneous (cont.):

Newspaper Clippings, 1929-1956

Organization Charts, 1948-1953

Public Attitudes Survey, March 10, 1948

Public Relations Publications, 1945-1950

Reorganization and Consolidation Program, 1954

United States Organization (USO) Campaign -- Publicity, 1942

 Box 17

University of Iowa:

Foundation, 1957-1970

Journalism (taught by Conger Reynolds):


Newspaper clippings

Printed material

Miscellaneous, 1910-1964

World War I:

Intelligence Section, 1917-1919

 Box 18

World War I (cont.):

Miscellaneous, 1917-1918

Newspaper clippings


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