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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Shloss and Mannheimer Families papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1896-1986
Creator: Shloss and Mannheimer families
Extent: 2.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0334
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Prominent Des Moines families including Irma Mannheimer, her husband Rabbi Eugene Mannheimer of Temple B'nai Jeshurun, and her parents, Rose and Max Shloss—the owners of Lederer and Strauss and Company.

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 458) were donated by Joan and Robert Mannheimer in 1997.

Preferred Citation: Shloss and Manheimer Family papers, Iowa Women's 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

Rose Sheuerman and Max Shloss were married in Marengo, Iowa in 1884. Rose Sheuerman Shloss was the daughter of Abraham Sheuerman and niece of Leopold Sheuerman, Babette Frankel, Rose Adler, and Sophie Stern. Max Shloss was president of Lederer and Strauss and Company and a widely recognized philanthropist. Rose and Max Shloss had three children, Irma, Sam, and Marie Shloss.

Irma Shloss (1890-1974) was born in 1890 in Des Moines. She graduated from West High School in Des Moines and attended Bryn Mawr College from 1908 to 1910. Irma Shloss and Eugene Mannheimer were married on April 17, 1917 in Des Moines, where Mannheimer had served as rabbi of Temple B'nai Jeshurun since 1905. Throughout their lives both Irma and Eugene Mannheimer were recognized and honored as eminent civic leaders who served the Jewish community, the city of Des Moines and the stateof Iowa.

An active leader in the Des Moines community, Irma Shloss Mannheimer was a member of the founding board of the Iowa Maternal Health League, a forerunner of Planned Parenthood of Iowa. In 1938 she was elected president of the Des Moines Women's Club, the first Jewish woman to hold that position. She was also a member of the board of the Jewish Welfare Federation, the Iowa Jewish Home, and the Des Moines Civic Music Association. Irma Shloss Mannheimer died in 1974. She received a posthumous award that year from the National Conferenceof Christians and Jews for distinguished leadership in the field of human relations.

Eugene Mannheimer (1880-1952) was born in Rochester, New York in 1880, the son of Louise and Sigmund Mannheimer. Eugene Mannheimer spent most of his childhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, where his father was a professor at the Hebrew Union College and from which Eugene Mannheimer graduated in 1902. His brother Leo Mannheimer was also a rabbi; they had two sisters, Jane and Edna Mannheimer. Eugene Mannheimer served for three years at a congregation in Sioux City, Iowa, before moving to Des Moines in 1905. When he retired from his position in 1947 due to a heart condition, he had served not only the congregation for more than forty years but the entire community.

The papers of the Shloss and Mannheimer Families date from 1896 to 1986 and measure 2 linear feet. The papers are arranged in four series: Sheuerman and Shloss, Irma Shloss Mannheimer, Eugene Mannheimer, and Artifacts. They are a rich collection of photographs, newspaper clippings, and other records of the families' civic and social activities, particularly Eugene Mannheimer's rabbinate at Temple B'nai Jeshurun and Irma Mannheimer's civic involvement, including her role as president of the Des Moines Women's Club.

The Sheuerman and Shloss series (1883-1986) contains letters and a reminiscence of Neckar Binau, Germany, by Leopold Sheuerman and a biographical sketch of Babette Sheuerman Frankel by Louise Noun (1986). Also included are Rose Shloss's correspondence and photographs from the years 1924-1945 and her 1883-1909 scrapbook, which contains telegrams, newspaper clippings, and other items pertaining to her wedding to Max Shloss in 1884, a family photograph taken on their 45thwedding anniversary in 1929, and obituaries (1899 and 1904) of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Sheuerman.

In the Irma Shloss Mannheimer series (1908-1970) are a Memory Book and a diary she kept while attending Bryn Mawr College (1908-1910); photograph albums; scrapbooks; and speeches she delivered from 1923 to 1967. The 1908-1939 Photograph album and scrapbook concerns family trips to Europe, her father Max Shloss, her marriage to Eugene Mannheimer, the B'nai Jeshurun Temple dedication, and the Des Moines Women's Club. A small notebook includes notes she wrote about her infant sons Robert and Richard Mannheimer.

The Eugene Mannheimerseries (1880-1952) comprises diaries, correspondence, and newspaper clippings from his rabbinate at the B'nai Jeshurun Temple; many of his sermons and speeches; items about the Community Memorial Service conducted after his death in 1952; and photographs.

The Artifacts consist of three pairs of baby shoes worn by Irma Shloss.
Eugene Mannheimer papers, Special Collections Department, University of Iowa Libraries (MsC386).

Browse by Series:
Series 1:

  • Series 1:
  • Leopold Sheuerman - 1912
  • Babette Sheuerman Frankel: biographical sketch by Louise Noun - 1986
  • Rose Shloss: Correspondence - 1924-1945
  • Rose Shloss: Photographs, undated
  • Rose Shloss: Scrapbook - 1883-1909
  • Max Shloss: Will and tributes - 1930-1931
  • Box 7:
  • Rose and Max Shloss scrapbook - 1930-1975
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical information - 1895-1974
  • Memory Book [re: Bryn Mawr College, 1908-1909; family trips, 1912] - 1908-1912
  • Diary - 1908-1910
  • Box 2:
  • Photograph album and scrapbook [re: Bryn Mawr, 1908; European trips, 1910, 1924, 1926; Max Shloss' 75th birthday, 1930, and obituary, 1931; B'nai Jeshurun Temple dedication, 1932; Des Moines Women's Club, 1938] - 1908-1939
  • Box 3:
  • Photograph album [re: travels, 1913-1916; family and home, 1917-1923] - 1913-1923
  • Photographs - 1908-1970
  • Wedding album [with congratulatory letters on Eugene Mannheimer's 55th birthday, 1935] - 1917
  • Wedding gifts (record of) - 1917
  • Mothers notes re: infancy of her sons Robert and Richard Mannheimer - 1919, 1925
  • Speeches
  • The Influence of the Sisterhood on the Congregation [Convention of District 20, National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, Davenport, Iowa, December 4-5] - 1923
  • The Perpetuation of Judaism through Spirituality and Personal Conduct [Sioux City Temple, November 1-2] - 1927
  • Judaism as a Way of Life [Senior Hadassah, November 6] - 1928
  • Israel, Go Forward! [delivered at the Sisterhood Service, Temple of Milwaukee, November 8, and at the Sisterhood, Temple Bnai Jeshurun, November 24] - 1929
  • Untitled [Brotherhood Week, dedicated to Stoddard Lane, February 20] - 1947
  • World Understanding Begins in the Community [National Conference of Christians and Jews, Windsor Heights Presbyterian Church, Des Moines, April 27] - 1949
  • Untitled [YWCA panel, Savery Hotel, Des Moines, January 28] - 1967
  • The Jewish View of Jesus, undated
  • Building Unity in the Community, undated
  • Your Religion and Mine, undated
  • The Torah, undated
  • Box 3:
  • Biographical information - 1880-1952
  • Family - 1896-1940
  • Diaries (2 volumes) - 1918-1930, 1939-1951
  • Box 4:
  • Scrapbook - 1893-1955
  • Box 5:
  • Scrapbook - 1938-1949
  • Box 6:
  • Sermons, speeches, and writings - 1902-1925
  • Sermons, speeches, and writings - 1930-1951
  • In memoriam: Memorial service instructions - 1947, 1951
  • In memoriam: Community Memorial Service, December 1 - 1952
  • Temple B'nai Jeshurun (2 folders) - 1924-1948
  • Photographs - 1893, 1939
  • Book of Life, annotated - 1903-1949
  • Series 4: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 8:
  • Baby shoes, 3 pair