MsC 274


Manuscript Register




Collection Dates: 1923 -- 1954

(Bulk Dates:1933 -- 1936)

8 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: May 2002


Acquisition Note: These papers were donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Mrs. John N. Calhoun in 1972.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Photographs: Boxes 13 and 14

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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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

John Nelson Calhoun was born in Birmingham, Iowa, on December 2, 1903. He received his B. A. in English from Parsons College of Fairfield, Iowa, in 1926. Three years later he completed his law degree at the University of Iowa and was admitted to the bar. That same year, he established a law practice in Keosauqua, Iowa.

An active Republican, Calhoun served as a senator in the Iowa state legislature from 1933 to 1937. In 1936, he mounted an unsuccessful campaign for Congress. Upon leaving the legislature, Calhoun moved to Burlington where he began a new law firm while continuing his affiliation in Keosauqua.

John Calhoun was a member of the National Guard. During World War II, he was released for active service in the army. Stationed in the Middle East as part of the Judge Advocate General's Office for most of the war, he held the rank of lieutenant colonel when discharged in 1946.

Following his tour of duty, Calhoun returned to Burlington and his legal practice. In 1948, he again mounted a campaign for the Senate; however, he failed to secure his party's nomination. Active in both professional and civic affairs, Calhoun belonged to the Rotary, American Legion, and various other service organizations. John N. Calhoun died in 1972.

Scope and Contents


The papers of John N. Calhoun are comprised of fifteen boxes of manuscripts measuring eight linear feet and dating from 1923 to 1954. The collection is divided into five series: 1) General subject files; 2) Campaign for U.S. Congress, 1936; 3) Legal materials; 4) World War II service; and 5) Post World War II political career. The first series deals with his education, early professional life, and legislative career. The subject files primarily relate to legislative issues such as road legislation, oleo margarine tax, or tuberculin testing. Extensive correspondence files include letters from William S. Beardsley, Don L. Berry, Robert D. Blue, Lester J. Dickinson, Edward C. Etcher, Fred C. Gilchrist, Clyde L. Herring, Bourke B. Hickenlooper, Nelson G. Kraschel, J. C. Lewis, Hugh W. Lundy, Paul H. McCoid, Thomas E. Martin, Richard L. Murphy, Addison M. Parker, Wiley Rutledge, Harrison E. Spangler, Lloyd Thurston, Dan W. Turner, George A. Wilson.

The next grouping relates to his campaign for a US Senate seat in 1936. His nomination papers, campaign expenses, schedules, advertising, and party correspondence are some of the files in this section. Court cases and legal briefs make up the legal materials division. His World War II service is documented with photos, family correspondence, and military records. The final series titled Post World War II political career consists of material from his 1948 campaign for the US Senate and other political campaigns in which he was involved.

Box List


Box 1


Parsons College, 1923 -- 1932

Correspondence between John N. Calhoun and his mother, 1927 -- 1936

Correspondence between John N. Calhoun and his brother, Claude

Campaign for state senate, 1932, correspondence

Correspondence, 1930 -- November 1932, including letters from W. F. Kopp, Hugh W. Lundy, Dan W. Turner, and Hartzell Spence

Correspondence, December 1932, including letters from Lester Jesse Dickinson, Nelson G. Kraschel, Hugh W. Lundy, and William S. Beardsley

Correspondence, January, 1933

Correspondence, February 1933, including letters from the Dexter Company and Edward Breen

Correspondence, March 1933, including a letter from Hugh W. Lundy

Box 2

Correspondence, April -- June 1933, including letters from Edward C. Eicher, William S. Beardsley, and Paul H. Appleby

Correspondence, July -- October 1933, including letters from William S. Beardsley, Clyde L. Herring, Edward C. Eicher, Fred Biermann, and Claude Stanley.

Correspondence, November 1933

Correspondence, December 1933, including letters from Hugh W. Lundy

Correspondence, January 1934, including letters from the Dexter Company

Box 3

Correspondence, February 1934, including letters from Hugh W. Lundy

Correspondence, March 1934, including letters from Edward C. Eicher, Louis Murphy, Dan W. Turner, and Addison M. Parker

Correspondence, April -- May 1934, including letters from Edward C. Eicher, Wm. S. Beardsley, and Clyde L. Herring

Correspondence, June -- December 1934, including letters from Wm. S. Beardsley, L. J. Dickinson, Addison M. Parker, and Nelson G. Kraschel

Correspondence, January 1935, including a letter from Hugh W. Lundy

Correspondence, February 1935

Box 4

Correspondence, March 1935, including letters from Nelson G. Kraschel, Floyd Thurston, Fred C. Gilchrist, J. C. Lewis, Carl Weeks, and Verne Marshall

Correspondence, April 1935, including letters from J. C. Lewis, C. L. Herring, and the Dexter Company

Correspondence, April -- December 1935, including letters from L. J. Dickinson, J. C. Lewis, Wm. S. Beardsley, Edward C. Eicher, and Louis Murphy

Correspondence, January -- July 1936 and undated, 1932 -- 1936, including letters from George A. Wilson, CL Herring, and J. C. Lewis

Box 5

1932 campaign for state senate

Banking -- Loan Corporations -- Mortgage moratorium -- Refinancing Bill, 1933

Drainage -- Fox River Drainage District No. One of Van Buren County, Iowa, 1933

Miscellaneous legislative materials, 1933, 2 folders

Miscellaneous proposed legislation, 1933

Motor vehicles, railroad and truck legislation, 1933

Net and gross income tax and sales tax, 1933

Oleomargarine tax, 1933

Prohibition repeal, 1933

Proposed consolidation of counties and senatorial districts, 1933

Proposed legislation concerning offices and salaries of public officials, pensions, 1933

Records of letters received in the legislature, 1933 --1934

Road legislation, 1933

Senate file, Ways and Means Committee, Operation of Amusement Devices, 1933

Tax exemptions, 1933

Tuberculin test, 1933

Box 6

Public health

Taxes, esp. the Gross Income tax

Teachers minimum wage law, school legislation, and county tax budget commission.

Workmans compensation

Basic science bill, 1935

Chain store tax law (Harrington-Burington substitute law, 1935)

Legislature materials, 1935, 3 folders

Box 7

Legislative materials, 1935, 3 folders

Newspaper clippings concerning legislature, 1935

Speeches, newspaper reports and printed material from l935

Miscellaneous legislative materials, 1932 -- 1936, 2 folders

State senate notebook, 1932 -- 1936, quotes, anecdotes, etc.

Box 8

Campaign for US Congress, 1936

Correspondence, February -- July 1936, including letters from George A. Wilson, Claude Stanley, John R. Irwin and Fred C. Gilchrist

Correspondence, August 1936, including letters from Fred C. Gilchrist and Harrison E. Spangler

Correspondence, September 1936, including letters from Harrison E. Spangler. Correspondence, October -- December 1936

Personal correspondence, 1936, including letters from Thomas E. Martin, Robert D. Blue, and Wm. S. Beardsley

Box 9

Campaign for U.S. Congress, 1936:

Address of John N. Calhoun to the Cedar County Republican Convention, June 27, 1936

Advertisements and solicitations, political, 1936

Advertising ideas, literature, etc., political

Billboards and advertising, 1936

Campaign expenses, 1936

Campaign letters to and from professional men

Campaign schedules and speeches, 1936

Candidate letters, 1936, including letters from George A. Wilson and L. J. Dickinson.

Cedar County, 1936

Des Moines County, 1936

General newspaper file, 1936

Lee County, 1936

Box 10

Campaign for U.S. Congress, 1936, continued:

T. A. Michels, 1936

Miscellaneous campaign material (clippings, news releases, form letters, etc.), 1936

Nomination papers, 2 folders Party correspondence, 1936

Quotations from addresses, messages and statements about the New Deal by New

Dealers and Democrats

Quotations from addresses, messages and statements of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Speeches, 1936

Washington County, 1936

Box 11

Correspondence, 1937, including letters from N. G. Kraschel, G. A. Wilson, C. R. Stanley, CL Herring and L. Thurston

Correspondence, 1938, including letters from L. J. Dickinson, L. Thurston, T. E. Martin, Otha D. Wearin, Don L. Berry, H. W. Lundy, and Wm. S. Beardsley.

Correspondence, 1939 -- 1941, including letters from GA Wilson, Wiley Rutledge, T. E. Martin, and Harrison E. Spangler

County attorney campaign, 1940, including letters from GA Wilson and T. E. Martin

Miscellaneous political materials, 1937 -- 1940

Box 12

Legal materials:

Abstract of title, 1911

Sales course notebook, 1927

C. M. Keck, trustee, Appellee vs. Orval McKinstry, et al., 1928, Brief

A. R. Gibson vs. Allen L. Miller, 1932 -- 1933 -- Briefs

Dale Clark vs. Charline Ruhle Clark, 1934 -- Briefs

George Ketsham, Claimant vs. Kate E. Cummins, Executrux of the Estate of Lewis

Cummins, deceased, 1938

N. V. Hootman vs. Agnes Beatty, 1939

H. A. Van Patten, Plaintiff vs. Western Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 1941

Box 13

World War II Service:

Iran - Persia Gulf Command -- photos, etc.

Military records, 2 folders

Miscellaneous military material, clippings, etc.

World War II correspondence (non-family) including letters from T. E. Martin, GA

Wilson, Paul H. McCoid, W. S. Beardsley, CL Herring, and Bourke B. Hickenlooper

Box 14

World War II Service, continued:

World War II family correspondence

World War II photos, 2 folders

Box 15

Post World War II political career:

Campaign for the US Senate, 1948, correspondence, including letters from W. S. Beardsley, T. E. Martin, and B. B. Hickenlooper

Campaign for US Senate, 1948, miscellaneous materials (advertising, speeches, etc.)

Political correspondence and other papers, 1950 -- 1952, including letters from Thomas E. Martin, and Wm. S. Beardsley

Politics, 1953 -- 1956, including letters from Robert D. Blue, T. E. Martin, and Leo A. Hoegh

State senate campaign, 1954, correspondence

State senate campaign, 1954, miscellaneous clippings, etc.



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