History of Education Collections

The History of Education Collections at the Center for the History of Rural Iowa Education and Culture (CHRIEC) document and detail rural culture and education in the United States with particular emphasis on Iowa and the Midwest. The collections are wide in the breadth of subjects covered and include many examples of rural school student work, official school records, photographs, plays, realia, school souvenirs, teaching aids, certificates, personal papers, correspondence, and educational trade publications. A majority of the materials date from the late nineteenth century on up into the late twentieth century.

Aletha Hutchison (Jacobs) Collection, 1898-1960

Chronicles Hutchison's experiences both as a student and as a teacher in the rural school systems of Iowa and Pennsylvania from 1898 to 1960. Includes official school records and personal papers providing insight into many facets of rural school life and culture. Also included are a large number of photographs collected and taken by Hutchison (an amateur photographer).

William H. Dreier Collection, 1930-2006

Provides an in-depth look at Dr. Dreier’s research in the field of rural education while serving as a Professor of Education at the University of Northern Iowa. The collection contains a number of publications, presentations, research materials and notes, rural school student records, and class assignments including a survey of Black Hawk County rural schools conducted by students in 1950.

William L. Sherman Collection, 1901-2006

Showcases Sherman’s continually expanding collection of rural school records and research materials. Committed to the promotion of rural schools as historical resources the collection is comprised of rural school reenactment programs, photographs of rural schools, reproductions of schoolbooks, and lists of rural school textbooks.

Jerry and JoAnn Kramer Collection, 1883-2006

Very active in the preservation of Bennington #4 schoolhouse in Black Hawk County, Iowa, the Kramers donated a collection of records that display the history of education in Iowa. Divided into two series, the records pertain to both the Bennington #4 restoration project and rural school records such as township and district board of education records, teacher records, and student work.

Fred W. Cover Papers, 1898-1946

Involved in various aspects of rural education in Iowa, the Cover Papers contain a collection of records that chronicle his journey from rural school student to teacher, and finally principal. Photographs, essays written by Cover as a student, class notes, student records, course lists, and grades, contracts, certificates, newspaper clippings, and commencement programs from ceremonies are included.

August Meester Collection, 1927-1955

As District Board of Education Secretary for Grundy County, Pleasant Valley Township, #6, one of Meester’s primary tasks was to maintain the district’s finances. Central to his role were his secretary’s report book, school warrants receipt book, school election booklet, and teacher’s reports, all of which are included in this collection.

Harry Barck Collection, 1915-1958

Provides a unique look at Barck’s role as District Board of Education Secretary for Black Hawk County, Cedar Falls Township, #6 Eddy School. Influential in many facets of #6 Eddy, Barck’s collection contains District Board of Education Financial Records, Reorganization and Consolidation Records, as well as the teaching records of his wife Mrs. Pauline L. Barck (Hekel), and the student records of their children Frances A. Brunskill (Barck), and Philip H. Barck.

Jane Fauser Collection, 1902-1989

Contains the student records of Fauser’s parents, both former Black Hawk County, Iowa, rural school pupils. Her mother, Muriel Alice Parker, attended Dunkerton Consolidated School while her father, George Knapp, was a student in Mt. Vernon Township.

William W. and Helen (Lewis) Gibson Collection, 1883-1968

Sheds light on the types of publications used as supplementary teaching materials in rural schools. Included are issues of Great Men and Famous Women, The Instructor, Child Life, The People's Magazine and Home University, and Primary Educator.

Helen Marine Collection, 1943-1986

Graduating in 1941 with her High School Normal Training Certificate, Marine embarked on a teaching career that would span 46 years and 2 Iowa counties – Iowa and Washington. As teacher from 1941-1987, Marine’s teaching records – certificates, contracts, classroom observations, speeches, and photographs – provide a succinct overview of the evolution of education in Iowa.

Rough Woods School Collection, 1924-1929

Located in Hardin County, Pleasant Township, #3 Rough Woods school provided students with a comprehensive education that prepared them for the future. Consisting of the “Instructor Picture Series” teaching aids, the Collection provides an example of how rural school teachers employed art as an effective educational tool.

Funnemark Family Collection, 1912-1947

Contains the student work of members of the Funnemark family from 1912-1947. In addition, this collection also offers researchers access to educational publications including The Instructor and Children's Activities.

Lorraine Turnipseed Collection, 1950-1995

Following in her eldest sisters’ footsteps, Turnipseed became a rural school teacher and made a positive impact on her students in Iowa and Johnson Counties. The Collection chronicles her teaching career, 1951-1994, with the following records: teacher contracts, teachers' certificates, a graduation program, newspaper articles, photograph albums, and color slides.

Agnes Horn Collection, 1918-1950

An alumnus of the Iowa State Teachers College, Horn graduated in 1918 with her Bachelor of Arts in Education and quickly found employment as a teacher in Floyd County (1919-1920) and then Sioux City, Iowa, where she remained from 1921-1922. Her graduation program, teaching certificates, and contracts are included.

Paul McCulley Collection, 1872-1893

Gaining an interest in rural education from his relatives who served as educators in Benton County, Iowa, McCulley began collecting rural school records. His collection contains Teachers’ Contracts, District Board of Education Financial Records from Benton County, Teachers’ Reports to the Superintendent, and Daily Attendance Registers.

Clark Van Hauen Collection, 1913-1949

A collector of rural school educational records, Van Hauen donated a variety of records that provide a glimpse into the history of the Iowa State Teachers College. Photographs, issues of the Iowa State Teachers College Bulletin, The Purple Pen, and a copy of the “Iowa” song and Pledge of Allegiance complete the Collection.

Nancy Brochers Collection, 1905-1941

Chronicles the educational journey of the donor’s parents Muriel Alice Parker and George Knapp, former students of rural schools in Black Hawk County, Iowa. Brochers’ records include District Board of Education Records from Mt. Vernon Township #8, student notebooks, correspondence, a report card, perfect attendance awards, and photographs.

Harry L. Eells Collection, 1895-1933

Displays Eells’ active pursuit of educational reforms that would benefit the entire nation. Incredibly influential in shaping rural education in Iowa, Eells began his career as a rural educator in Butler County, Iowa, but continued to aim higher, ultimately becoming Head of the Department of Education at the Iowa State Teachers College. In addition to his success in Iowa, Eells was a veteran of the Spanish-American War and World War I where he served with the Army Expeditionary Force Army Educational Corps in France. The vast amount of records in the Collection chronicles his war service, YMCA involvement, and his time as a student and professor at the Iowa State Teachers College.

Dr. Robert Sutton Collection

Showcases the unique collection of educational records collected by Dr. Sutton, a professor at Ohio State University. With over 2,000 items from around the world, the Collection includes attendance and grade books, lecture notes, teaching materials, yearbooks, awards, manuscripts, student artwork, textbooks, photographs, slides, examinations, student clubs and organizations, manuals, booklets, pamphlets, and certificates, many of which are one-of-a-kind.

Susan Hightshoe Collection, 1923-1942

Contains teaching materials belonging to the donor’s aunts: Helen Marine, Martha Schemmel, and Lorraine Turnipseed. Plays, dialogues, poems, recitations, school program line-ups, and sheet music dating from 1923-1942 complete the Collection.

S. Elouise Walters Collection, 1934-1935

While working towards her High School Normal Training Certificate at New Hampton High School in Chickasaw County, Iowa, Walters amassed a collection of records that display the hard work and dedication required of aspiring rural school teachers. The Collection consists of notes, essays, lesson plans, and binder created and utilized by Walters.

Dorothy E. Mason (Perrin) Textbook Collection, 1899-1920

Provides a look at the type of textbooks utilized in Iowa's rural schools. A student of Butler County, Albion Township, #7 Swanton and teacher in the New Hartford School District, Mason used textbooks from the collection in both capacities.

Nebraska Rural School Collection, 1889-1910

Includes materials from Nebraska's rural schools. Consists of: one complete district record (1889-1891), two treasurer's account books (1889-1905, 1905-1910), and two teachers contracts (1906) from District 10 in Valley County.

Jim Riley Collection on DeSoto Consolidated School, 2004-2014

Contains the donor's reference files for an upcoming publication on the history of DeSoto Consolidated School as well as a binder produced for the 50th reunion of the Class of 1954. During its years of operation (1924-1961) the school served the students of DeSoto, Iowa and the surrounding communities in Dallas County, Van Meter Township.