MsC 489

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1919 -- 1995
1 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: November 1997

Acquisition Note: The papers of Paul V. Shearer were given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1996 by his widow, Barbara Shearer.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Photographs: Box 2

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 Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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

Paul Victor Shearer was born in Columbus Junction, Iowa, in 1919, to B.H. and Maude Shearer. B.H. was the owner and publisher of The Columbus Gazette newspaper. Paul Shearer graduated from Columbus Junction High School in 1936. He attended the University of Iowa, where he received his B.A. in 1940 and his law degree in 1942.

In 1943, Shearer married Barbara Smith. He was a veteran of World War II. After his service Shearer and his wife lived in Washington, Iowa, from 1946 until his death in 1995. He was a lawyer with a practice in Washington, Iowa, and he was very active in local civic affairs. He was a member of the YMCA, District Boy Scouts, Masonic Lodge #107, American Legion, Rotary, and the Washington County, Iowa, and American Bar Associations.

Shearer was a member of the Board of Fellows of the University of Iowa School of Religion. He served as president of that Board in 1983 -- 1984. He was also very active in his local United Methodist Church. He taught Sunday school for fifty years. Shearer was a founding trustee of the Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He served as a lay leader of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church and was elected as a delegate to ten general conferences worldwide. He was a member of the committee that studied the question of a separate jurisdiction (the Central Jurisdiction) for African-American members of the Methodist Church. Shearer was an advocate for abolishing segregation in the church and was a member of the Iowa delegation that requested the first black bishop outside of the Central Jurisdiction.

In 1979, Paul Shearer took over as owner and publisher of The Columbus Gazette. He wrote a regular column for that paper that also appeared in the Washington Evening Journal. His column in The Columbus Gazette was entitled “ImPRESSions” and featured travel logs of trips taken by himself and his wife, Barbara. Shearer wrote of trips in Iowa, Missouri, the southwestern United States, and Haiti.

Shearer and his wife, Barbara had two children, a son, Mark, and a daughter, Jane. Paul V. Shearer died on April 5, 1995, after an extended battle with cancer.

Scope and Contents

 The papers of Paul V. Shearer consist of two boxes of manuscripts, dating from 1919 to 1995. The contents include articles written by Shearer for his “ImPRESSions” column for The Columbus Gazette, biographical data, and correspondence of business, personal, political and religious significance dating from 1937 to 1994. The collection also contains considerable material concerning the Methodist Church, including Iowa, North Central Jurisdictional, and international conference materials. Materials related to the debate about the Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church are in the collection. Shearer’s speeches on civic and religious events are included as are copies of family photographs. Shearer headed the committee for the creation of a bicentennial time capsule in Washington county, Iowa, and those materials are represented in these papers.

Related Materials:

The Papers of Brainard Shearer -- MsC 242

Box 1

Articles written by Paul V. Shearer. Including typescript drafts and published copies of his column “ImPRESSions,” 1982 -- 1993.

Biographical data about Paul V. Shearer, 1919 -- 1995.

Correspondence, 1937 -- 1994. Includes business, family, personal and political topics.

Methodist Church

Correspondence, 1949 -- 1993. Including biographical data for nomination for lay delegacy.

Handbook for Delegates to the General Conference. Atlanta, GA, April 16, 1972.

Iowa Annual Conference, 1977.

Jurisdictional Debate, 1957.

Methodist Conference. London, 1979. Directory and agendas.

North Central Jurisdictional Conference (United Methodist Church):

Peoria, IL, July 24 -- 28, 1968
Conference program and service consecration program, with badge.

Daily Christian Advocate

Box 2

Methodist Church (cont.)

North Central Jurisdictional Conference (United Methodist Church)
Indianapolis, IN, July 11, 1972
Program and clipping.

Daily Christian Advocate.

Report of the Commission to Study the Central Jurisdiction, April 15, 1956.

South Iowa’s One Witness In One World. Pamphlet, 1965.

Speeches, includes panel discussions and skits, 1969 -- 1994.

World Methodist Conference, 1981.

Photographs of Paul V. Shearer, 1919 -- 1994.

Radio appearances by Paul and Barbara Shearer on KCII radio.

Speeches given by Paul Shearer. Holograph and typescriptdrafts, 1977 -- 1992.

United States Bicentennial Time Capsule. Washington County, Iowa, 1975 -- 1977.

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