MsC 217


Manuscript Register




Collection Dates: 1873-1936

(Bulk dates: 1920-1933)

2 inches

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: May 2002


Acquisition Note: Mrs. Alice Evans Hardin gave her father's papers to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1970.

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.


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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"


Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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


Wisconsin native, William Davis Evans (1852-1936), moved to Williamsburg, Iowa, in 1858. He attended the University of Iowa, graduating with his A.B. in 1878 and his law degree the following year. In 1879, he entered into partnership with T.B. Taylor, to form the legal firm of Taylor and Evans in Hampton, Iowa. They remained partners until Evans became a district court judge in 1903. He was the district court judge for the 11th judicial district of Iowa. Evans taught law at the University of Iowa from 1907 to 1908 while remaining on the bench. In 1908, William D. Evans was appointed to the Supreme Court of Iowa. He served as the chief justice in 1909, 1916, 1921, and 1927. Evans retired from judicial service in 1934. He was a member of the American, Iowa State, and Franklin County Bar Associations and was active in the Congregational Church. Evans also owned and managed several farms.


Scope and Contents


The papers of William D. Evans are comprised of fifty-nine items dating from 1873 to 1936. Along with memoirs and biographical sketches, the papers include correspondence, judicial opinions, speeches, and materials from his student days, such as poetry and essays. They are open for research and information on the literary rights is available in the repository.


Item Inventory


List of Papers and Manuscripts of William D. Evans:

"Autobiography" (Reminiscences)

American Cyclopedia of Biography, letter, 1910

American Cyclopedia of Biography -- biography.

Annals of Iowa biography, 1936

Papers written during student days at Iowa University, 1873-78, 1879:

"Addison and His Times"

"The Feudal System "

"Primary Ideas," 1877

"The True Statesman," 1877-78

"State Money and State Education," 1887-88

"The Logic of Law and Legislation"


"Conflict and Progress"

"The Patriot," 1877-78

"The American Democracy"

"Elements and Prospects of National Stability"

"Ballot Majorities and Physical Force," 1878 -- 79

Address to the graduating Class of Iowa University, 1886

"Patriotism" (also included in later speech to the G.A.R. May 1907 and May 1924)

"The County Attorney -- What must he do to be saved?" 1923

"The Bar and the Bench"

Address on the English Bench and Bar before Prairie Club, Des Moines

Toast to Iowa -- at Iowa City

To the G.A.R. and Women's Relief Corps -- dedication of monument, Hampton, 1907

To the G.A.R. and American Legion, Hampton, 1924

Notes to G.A.R. (may have been used in one of the speeches)

Decoration Day address, Grinnell College, 1919

On the death of McKinley

Dissenting Opinion. F.H.Dunbar vs. Pratt Snyder 82/39403 (involved radio as musical instrument)

Fourth of July address (incomplete)

Last part of speech of acceptance of the Hampton Public Library from the trustees, 1905

Acceptance of the portraits of Dolliver, Cummins, Garst, and Young at Iowa State Historical Building, Des Moines, 1927

"The Law" (fragment)

Tribute to Captain H. C. Clock, Geneva, Iowa, 1919

Tribute to Judge Charles Vermillion

Tribute to Judge Silas M. Weaver

Tribute to Professor Amos N. Currier, 1870s

Speech at Eisteddof, Oskaloosa, Iowa, 1899 (this is a Welsh music festival)

De Senectute

Notes for De Senectute with typed copy attached

Acceptance speech. Republican Judicial Convention, Waterloo, 1922

Letter from President Taft, 1910

Conservation of the Congregational Ministry

"Woman in the Home and in the Church," 1897

Address to the State Sunday School Convention, Hampton, May 1898, on teaching a Bible Class

"The Law of Christ"

Letter to the people of Franklin County asking for support in election, 1934

Letter to Iowa Bar asking for support in election, 1934.

From Nevada Representative "Evans for Judge," 1916


"The Beckoning Stars"

"Fait Accompli"

"Gods of the Night"

"To My Beloved Wife"

Funeral Tribute to Wm. D. Evans by B. F. Swisher, Waterloo, Iowa

Memorial speeches given at the Supreme Court, December 1936


Of his retirement, 1934

Of his death and funeral, 1936

Of speech made at Iowa Congregational meeting

Iowa Law Bulletin, November 1923 (contains speech "The County Attorney")

Program, Supreme Court Day at Iowa University, 1932

Account of 55th reunion of the class of 1878 in 1933




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