MsC 456

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1940 -- 1993
(Bulk dates: 1960s and 1970s)
327 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: 2000

Acquisition Note: This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Congressman Schwengel in 1959, 1964, and 1968.

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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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

Frederick Delbert Schwengel, 1907 -- 1993, United States Representative from Iowa's First District 1954 -- 1963, 1966 -- 1973, deposited approximately 325 linear feet of legislative and congressional papers in the University Libraries at various times during his career. An additional 75 feet, primarily relating to Lincoln and to the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, was received after his death and is not yet inventoried. Schwengel's strong sense of history insured that his papers are particularly complete and significant. Something of his character and personality can be seen in obituaries which appeared in the Des Moines Register.

Born to Gerhardt and Margaret (Stover) Schwengel on a farm near Sheffield, Iowa, May 28,1907, Fred Schwengel attended rural schools and high school at Chapin. He graduated with a B.S. from Northeast Missouri Teachers College (now Northeast Missouri State University) at Kirksville, Missouri, in 1930 and took post-graduate work during summers at the University of Iowa from 1933 to 1935. After a stint of coaching and teaching in public schools in Missouri, Schwengel entered the insurance business in Davenport, Iowa, in 1937 and from 1938 to 1955 was an agent of the American Mutual Life Insurance Co.

In 1939 -- 1940 he was President of the Scott County and First District Republicans, and from 1944 to 1954 he served as a representative from Scott County in the Iowa State Legislature. In 1954 he was elected as a Republican to the United States Congress where he served five consecutive terms (84th -- 88th Congresses). An unsuccessful candidate in 1964, he was re-elected in 1966 for three more terms (90th -- 92nd Congresses).

Schwengel was a member of the Public Works Committee, the House Administration Committee, and the Joint Committee on the Library. Before his defeat in 1964, he served on the District of Columbia Committee. He was also a member of two commissions, the National Visitor Facilities Advisory Commission and the Commission on Highway Beautification. The Week in Washington Program for Iowa college students and professors was introduced by him. He also instigated a Research Team at the University of Iowa using students to help with legislative research.

Schwengel was the Vice-Chairman of the Civil War Centennial Commission. In Congress he authored bills to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, the 100th anniversary of the Civil War, and the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's first and second inaugurals. After leaving political office, Schwengel served as president of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

Fred Schwengel died on April 1, 1993 at the age of 87. His wife Clara died on August 30, 2011 at the age of 102.

Scope and Contents

The legislative and congressional papers of Representative Schwengel cover the years 1940 to 1972. The papers are arranged chronologically and alphabetically within each year. The organization changes for 1968 and later with the addition of major subject headings: General, Correspondence, and Legislation. In 1969, Agency was also added as a heading.

The papers contain material on many subjects including the cities, counties, and colleges of Iowa's First Congressional District. Special topics of interest include agriculture, chiropractic, conservation, education, flood control, Abraham Lincoln, trucks, roads, the Republican Party, prayer in schools, transportation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission, the Vietnamese Conflict, and water pollution. Correspondence with many national leaders (including Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon) and with Iowa political figures is included in the papers.

This inventory of the Fred Schwengel Papers is organized into seven files:

1. This introduction

2. A name index which links names mentioned in the inventory proper to the box number where the name is mentioned

3. The inventory proper of the Papers in boxes 1 -- 548 and 573 -- 656

4. An inventory of bills introduced by or associated with Schwengel. Congress, Document Number, and Year only in boxes 549 -- 572 of the collection.

5. Oversized box 656, containing framed photographs and awards

6. Ten scrapbooks

----. 1.

----. 2.

----. 3. 1967

----. 4. 1967-1968

----. 5. 1969

----. 6. January-May 1970

----. 7. May-December 1970

----. 8. 1971

----. 9 1972

----. 10. Dinner with Fred Schwengel, February 2, 1968

7. Oversized folder containing photographs and certificates. In map case 12, drawer 2

8. Obituary for Clara Schwengel





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