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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of John Leonard Davies
MsC 820
Collection Dates: 1938-1963
0.5 linear ft.

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.

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Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections.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

Acquisition and Processing Information: These materials were donated to Special Collections by Elva K. Davies in September 1982. Guide created August 2009.

Photographs: None

John Leonard Davies, 1952

John Leonard Davies, 1952.
Photo: Frederick W. Kent collection

Scope and Contents

The John Leonard Davies papers include correspondence, reports of the Cresco, Iowa, Kiwanis Club, doctoral essays about adult education written by Davies, and a file of correspondence and newspaper clippings relating to Robert J. Blakely, Dean of the SUI Extension Division from 1961 to 1963.  Notes are included from an Air Raid Wardens Course dated February 1942, which was attended by delegates from the Iowa Department of Public Transportation and the Iowa Department of Public Health, according to Davies.  Adult education publications issued by associations he was affiliated with are included. Correspondents include Hiram S. Hunn, a Des Moines attorney affiliated with the Iowa Adult Education Association committees, and J. C. Wright, state superintendent of public instruction.  Materials are arranged in chronological order within each folder.  Each line in the box list represents one folder, unless otherwise noted.

Biographical Note

John Leonard Davies was born on September 5, 1908, in Salford, Manchester, England, and grew up in Cresco, Iowa.  He received his B.A. in education at Upper Iowa University, in Fayette, Iowa, in 1929.  He received his M.A. in 1943 and Ph.D. in 1949, both in education at the State University of Iowa.  During World War II, Davies served as an officer in the U. S. Navy and was stationed in the Philippine Islands from 1944 to 1946.

Davies's experience in administration includes serving as a high school principal in Tennant, Iowa, from 1929 to 1934.  He served as Howard County superintendent of schools in Chester, Iowa, from 1934 to 1936.  He was director of research and president of the Iowa State Education Association.  He also served as secretary and was on the board of directors for the Kiwanis Club of Cresco, Iowa.

Professor Davies joined the faculty at the State University of Iowa in 1949 as director of Instructional Services, a unit within the Extension Division, now the Division of Continuing Education.  The Instructional Services unit was renamed the Bureau of Correspondence Study in 1963 and the Center for Credit Programs in 1978.  The unit offered liberal arts and business courses as distance education and a Saturday class program.  The SUI Writer's Workshop first offered distance courses in fiction and poetry writing during 1963.

In 1976 Davies received the Walter Bittner Award from the National University Extension Association, now the University Continuing Education Association, for his outstanding service to continuing education at SUI. 
Professor Davies retired in June 1976.

He married Esto Strahan in June 1931.  Esto died in 1968.  Davies married Elva K. Hull in 1972. John Leonard Davies died on January 5, 1981.

Related Materials

Folder, "Davies, John L.," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03)

Folder, "Blakely, Robert J.," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03)

Records of Extension and Continuing Education Programs (RG 20.01)

Davies, John L. "A Rental Textbook Plan For County Schools." Masters thesis, State University of Iowa, 1943.

Davies, John L. "A Study of Participant Interest and Ability in Adult General Education Programs of Iowa." Ph.D. dissertation, State University of Iowa, 1949.

Box Contents List

Box 1

Doctoral essays. 1948.

Kiwanis Club of Cresco, Iowa.  Reports. 1938-1941.

Air Raid Wardens Course. February 1942.


Hunn, Hiram S. 1952-1953.

Wright, J. C. 1960.

Robert J. Blakely, Dean of SUI Extension Division. Correspondence; clippings; speech. 1952; 1961-1963.

Iowa Commission on Teacher Education publications. 1948; 1953.

National Commission on Adult Education Finance Association publications. 1954.