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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Katherine Mull Falvey Zastrow papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1927-1995
Creator: Zastrow, Katherine Mull Falvey (1904-1997)
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0052
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: State representative from 1958 to 1964 and the first woman elected to Charles City Council, 1970.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in boxes 3-5

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 106) were donated by Katherine Mull Falvey Zastrow in 1991 and 1996.

Preferred Citation: Katherine Mull Falvey Zastrow papers, Iowa Womens Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Katherine Mull was born in Muscatine, Iowa on March 19, 1904. She graduated from Muscatine High School in 1922 and from the University of Iowa in 1926. In 1925 she married Lawrence A. Falvey and moved with him to Albia where he managed the family farm and lumber business as well as the First Iowa State Bank. Lawrence Falvey served from 1953 to 1957 as a representative from Monroe County to the Iowa General Assembly. Upon her husband's death, Katherine Falvey assumed the oversight of the Falvey family farm, lumber business, and the First Iowa State Bank.

At the urging of friends, Falvey ran successfully as a Democratic candidate to fill her late husband's seat in the legislature. She held this seat from 1958 to 1964. Falvey served on the education committee, the library subcommittee, and the mining committee, among other assignments during her tenure in the legislature.

In 1961-1962 she served one term on the Iowa Development Commission. She married Ralph A. Zastrow, a Charles City lawyer and former Iowa state senator, in 1963. Following Ralph Zastrow's death in 1965, Katherine Zastrow was appointed to the Iowa Library Commission for northeast Iowa and served one term.

In 1970 she became the first woman elected to the Charles City Council. She was a member of the State Advisory Council on the Title 1 program of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Active in public library support throughout her life, Zastrow served many years on the Charles City Library Board.

The Katherine Mull Falvey Zastrow papers date from 1927 to 1995 and measure 1.5 linear feet. The papers are arranged in two series: Personal and Political.

The Personal series (1932-1995 and undated) consists of biographical information about Zastrow and her personal diaries from 1932 to 1995. Her diaries concern daily life and activities, with occasional references to politics and world events.

The Political series (1927, 1959-1991 and undated) consists of scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and correspondence dealing with Zastrow's term in the legislature and her involvement in the Democratic party. Zastrow's political scrapbook contains photocopies of letters from several presidents, including John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, and letters from Hubert H. Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson, and other national and Iowa politicians. Also included is a photocopy of a letter Theodore Roosevelt wrote to her father, Andrew J. Mull.
Four scrapbooks compiled by Zastrow during her political career are held by the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, in the collection of Lawrence and Katherine Falvey.
Frances Barnes Ingram Papers (IWA): Friend of Katherine Falvey Zastrow; Zastrow donated Ingram's papers to the Iowa Women's Archives in 1996

Browse by Series:
The detailed description has not been entered into the repository.
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