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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Stella M. Mason papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1852-1958
Creator: Mason, Stella M. (1861-1957)
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0744
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Physician and surgeon who practiced in Mason City, Iowa, and was also active in the women's sufffrage movement.

Alternate Extent Statement: Artifacts in boxes 7, 8, and 9
Photographs in Box 1

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has not been transferred to the University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 1137) were donated by Bill Kloss in 2007.

Preferred Citation: Stella M. Mason 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

Stella M. Mason was born in 1861 near Edgewood, in Delaware County, Iowa. In 1885, she received BS and Master of Accounts degrees from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa. Mason taught for four years in New Hampton, Iowa, where she began studying medicine under Dr. Amos Babcock. In 1893, she received an MD from Hahnemann Medical College, a homeopathic institution and one of the only medical colleges in Chicago open to women at the time.

In 1893, Mason began practicing medicine in Mason City, Iowa, where she was the first female physician and surgeon in the city. She practiced until 1943; when she retired, she was the longest practicing physician and only female physician in Mason City. (However, seven other women had practiced intermittently from 1893 to 1943). Mason belonged to many organizations, including Mason City Business and Professional Women's Club, the local chapter of the American Association of University Women, and Iowa State Medical Society. She was president of the Mason City Woman's Suffrage Association when the Nineteenth Amendment was passed. In 1947, Mason received an honorary degree from Upper Iowa University. Mason died in 1957 in Mason City, Iowa.

The papers of Stella M. Mason date from 1852 to 1958 and measure 1.5 linear feet. The collection is arranged in two series: Scrapbooks and Artifacts. The papers document the life, medical practice, and personal interests of Stella M. Mason.

The Scrapbooks series (1852-1950) contains nine scrapbooks, dating from 1852 to 1950. Scrapbooks include newspaper clippings, prints, and commercial art.

The Artifacts series contains medical equipment and supplies, Mason's State of Iowa physician's certificate, correspondence from travels abroad, and a photograph of Stella Mason.

Browse by Series:

  • Series 1: SCRAPBOOKS
  • Box 1:
  • Photograph of Stella M. Mason, ca. 1910, correspondence - 1957-1958
  • Scrapbook - 1852-1895
  • Scrapbook - 1902-1903
  • 2a:
  • Scrapbook, cards - 1876-1899
  • 2b:
  • Scrapbook, cards and advertisements - 1882-1888
  • 2c:
  • Scrapbook, newspaper clippings - 1882-1895
  • Box 3:
  • Scrapbook - 1881-1900
  • Box 4:
  • Scrapbook - 1891-1898
  • Box 5:
  • Scrapbook - 1906-1929
  • Box 6:
  • Scrapbook - 1921-1950
  • Stella M. Mason State of Iowa physician's certificate [shelved in map case] - 1893
  • Series 2: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 7:
  • Lederle Solution Liver Extract
  • Dolphin Court Plaster
  • Glaseptic Ampoules Pituitrin (Solution of Pituitarty (Obstetrical))
  • Thread and suture needles
  • Iodoform Powdered Heavy
  • Iowa Department of Health Silver Nitrate
  • Hypodermic needles and fine wires
  • Miniature rolling pin
  • Gauze
  • Test tube
  • Syringe and needles
  • Sharps
  • Box 9:
  • Sphygmomanometer
  • Woodward Hardware Co. Razor
  • Stag Co. Safety Razor Sharpener
  • Sealing wax and seals
  • Antiphlogistine applicator
  • Box 8:
  • Medical instruments (14 items)