MsC 391

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1892 -- 1948
.5 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
E-mail :

Posted to Internet: September 2003

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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections:  The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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

August Sinning was born in Spangenberg in Germany on April 19, 1864 to a well-to-do soap maker and merchant. About the age of sixteen, Sinning and a friend came to America. After staying with a relative of the friend on the east coast, they came to Muscatine, Iowa. Sinning spent a year in Muscatine, working at various jobs before he moved to Nebraska, and then to Marengo, Iowa, and then back to Muscatine. He worked at a greenhouse during the day and attended night school. He read science and medical books in his spare time.

In 1891 he started Liberal Arts courses at the University of Iowa, and in 1892 he entered the medical college. During his years at the University, he taught German to ex-President Macbride's children in return for room and board. He graduated from the Medical School in spring 1895 and moved back to Muscatine to become an associate in the office of Dr. Fulliam. In September 1895 he married Katherine Kranz, the daughter of the family who owned the greenhouse where he had worked earlier. After their marriage, they moved to Germany, where Dr. Sinning attended the University of Berlin from 1895 -- 1896. They returned to the United States in 1897, and Dr. Sinning practiced medicine at several locations in Iowa, including New Liberty, Bennet, Ackley, and finally, Iowa City. For a time he was the surgeon for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. In 1910, he went into practice by himself in Iowa City, where he practiced until he retired.

Scope and Contents

This small collection contains biographical and autobiographical pieces, correspondence, certificates, newspaper clippings, notebooks on medical lectures (in German), and materials relating to the Straus quarantine case. This is a case in 1904 in which Doctor Sinning was consulted by the Strauss family and diagnosed scarlet fever. Following practice at the time, he notified the Board of Health and placed the Strauss family under quarantine. Mr. Strauss was incensed by this and called in another physician, who declared the case to be measles and wrote to the Board of Health instructing them to remove the quarantine sign. Six doctors were eventually called in, including a representative of the Board of Health. Various dispositions were taken, and the case was decided in favor of the first diagnosis, that of scarlet fever, rendered by Dr. Sinning.


Abgangszeugris (Diploma) -- Royal Friedrich -- Wilhelms Universitat, Berlin, 1895 -- 1896, 1926

Autobiographical and biographical sketches

Correspondence, 1892 -- 1894, 1927. Including letters from Thomas H. Macbride and Harriet D. Macbride

"Kuno and Else" (Story of an ancestor)

Material from the Universities of Berlin and Leipzig, including certificate of matriculation, Ameldebuch, Vorschriften, etc.

Newspaper clippings, 1926, 1948

Notebooks -- Lectures pertaining to clinical diagnosis and treatment at the bedside, 1895 -- 1896 (2 folders)

Photographs and tickets

Siebert, Adam. Poem and photograph

The Strauss Quarantine Case



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