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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Dante Pierce Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1916-1948
Creator: Pierce, Dante (1880-1955)
Extent: 59.00 items.
Collection Number: MSC0061
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Farm editor. Correspondence with State and National Political figures including Smith Brookhart, Calvin Coolidge, Robert LaFolette, Henry Wallace, and George Wilson.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: The papers of Dante Melville Pierce were obtained for the University of Iowa Libraries as a result of the interests, efforts, and correspondence initiated by George M. Sheets, 1958-1959. The papers were a gift of Richard S. Pierce of Des Moines, Iowa.

Preferred Citation: Dante Pierce Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Chronological biography of Dante Melville Pierce
1880 -- Born in Bedford, Iowa, August 29, 1880, the son of James Melville and Kate L. (Southard) Pierce
189? -- Attended Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts
n.d. -- Enlisted in Company I, Fifth Missouri Regiment, United States Army, during the Spanish American War (1898).
n.d. -- Worked as livestock fieldman for The Iowa Homestead in Iowa and Illinois
1906 - married Florence Prather Pierce
1912 -- His son, Richard S. Pierce, was born in Springfield, Illinois
1920 -- Succeeded his father, James M. Pierce, as publisher of The Iowa Homestead, at his father's death, November 1, 1920
1929 -- Sold The Iowa Homestead to the Wallace Publishing Company. The consolidated journal became the Wallace's Farmer and Iowa Homestead; divorced Florence Prather Pierce.
1932 -- Repurchased the Wallace's Farmer and Iowa Homestead after the 1930 -- 1932 depression had ruined the Wallace interest. Henry Agard Wallace remained its editor until 1933.
1933 -- Second wife, Laura Rawson Coffee died; married Dr. Grace O. Doane, September 10, 1936, his third marriage
1950 -- His son, Richard S. Pierce, became associate publisher of Wallace's Farmer and Iowa Homestead
1955 -- Died at his Des Moines home, July 27, 1955, at the age of 74.

The strength of the collection lies in its introductory visualization of the national importance of the Iowa agricultural press and the large extent to which the nation's lawmakers rely on the local Iowa agricultural publisher to provide them with a clear insight into the local food growers' and producers' problems.
"Dante Melville Pierce," Who's Who in Iowa, vol.1, 391. Chicago: Larkin, Roosevelt & Larkin, Ltd., 1947.

"Dante Pierce Is Dead," New York Times, July 29, 1955, page 17, column 5.

Dodge, Edward N. (ed.). "Dante M. Pierce," in Business Men of Iowa, 585. Des Moines: Midwest Publications, Inc., 1953.

Murphy, Donald R. "Dante Melville Pierce, 1880-1955," Wallace's Farmer and Iowa Homestead, LXXX, no. 15 (August 6, 1955), 12.

Smith, C.R.F. "The Iowa Homestead," The Palimpsest, XI, no. 6 (June 1930), 229 -- 241.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Newspaper clippings - 1922-1934
  • Correspondence, including letters from Charles A. Rawson, Cassius C. Dowell, L.J. Dickinson, Henry Field, Robert M. LaFollette, Jr., Fred C. Gilchrist, Smith W. Brookhart, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., John Cowles, C.W. Ramseyer, T.J.B. Robinson, H.A. Wallace, James A. Farley, Clyde L. Herring, Hubert Utterback, and George A. Wilson - 1924-1945
  • Guest book - 1939-1948
  • Memo slip with logo
  • A plan for advertising a farm paper; including letters from John P. Wallace and H.C. Wallace - 1916
  • Republican National Convention Material - [1927]
  • Stockholders of Farm Publishing Company; n.d.
  • Study of Iowa farm rents - 1927

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Pierce, Dante M.

Publishers and publishing
Journalism, Agricultural

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Clippings (Information artifacts)