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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Christian William Ramseyer Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1904-1943
Creator: Ramseyer, Christian William (1875-1943)
Extent: 2.75 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0132
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Attorney, Congressman, and U.S. Court of Claims commissioner from Iowa. Correspondence, clippings, court records and opinions, and speeches.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Box 2; Oversized scrapbooks

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers of Congressman Christian William Ramseyer came as a gift to the library in 1967 from his daughters, Mrs. James (Jane K.) Cameron, Jr., and Mrs. Frederick (Barbara R.) H. Walton, Jr.

Preferred Citation: Christian William Ramseyer 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

Ohio born, Christian William Ramseyer moved to Iowa when he was twelve years old. He graduated from the Southern Iowa Normal School in 1897 and from the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1902. For nine years, Ramseyer taught school, becoming the principal and later the superintendent in Bloomfield, Iowa. In 1906, he graduated from the law department at the University of Iowa. That same year he opened a law practice in Bloomfield. He was the prosecuting attorney of Davis County from 1911 to 1915, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives as a Republican. He served nine terms (1915-1933) in Congress. He remained in Washington, D.C. as a commissioner for the United States Court of Claims from 1933 until his death on November 1, 1943, at the age of sixty-eight.
1875 Born near Collinsville, Ohio, March 13, 1875, the son of John and Anna (Ummel) Ramseyer
1887 Came to Iowa and Davis County with his parents
1897 Graduated from Southern Iowa Normal School
1902 Graduated from Iowa State Teachers College, Cedar Falls
1906 Received a Bachelor of Law degree from the State University of Iowa and was admitted to the bar
1911-1915 Served as prosecuting attorney for Davis County
1915-1933 Republican Representative to the United States Congress
1933-1943 District Commissioner for the United States Court of Claims in 1943 Washington, D.C.

Most of Ramseyer's papers were destroyed after his death. This collection consists primarily of correspondence, court opinions, reports, scrapbooks, and speeches from his years in Washington, D.C. Some recurring topics are monetary stabilization, inheritance taxes, and farm relief. The correspondence includes letters from Clifford V. Gregory, Charles E. Hearst, and Henry A. Wallace.
David L, Porter on C. William Ramseyer

Browse by Series:
Series 2: SPEECHES

  • Box 1:
  • Chronological, including letters from Smith W. Brookhart, Newton D. Baker, and Josephus Daniels - 1914-1919
  • Chronological, including a letter from Herbert Hoover - 1920-1930
  • Chronological, including letters from Fred C. Gilchrist, Clifford V. Gregory, John Cowles, Henry A. Wallace, Charles E. Hearst, Dan W. Turner and Milo Reno - 1931
  • Chronological, including letters from H. A. Wallace, W. W. Waymack, Charles E. Hearst, and Floyd Thurston - 1932
  • Chronological, including letters from H. A. Wallace - 1933-1943
  • Series 2: SPEECHES
  • Box 1:
  • "Socialism in the Last Century," August 16 - 1904
  • "The Persistence of Wars," September 30 - 1915
  • Statement on Armed Merchant Ships, March 13 - 1917
  • "Inheritance Taxes," February 16 - 1924
  • "Abraham Lincoln," February 12 - 1926
  • "Constitution Day Address," September 17 - 1928
  • Box 2:
  • "A Tariff Law in the Making," July 30 - 1929
  • "The Farm Relief Session of Congress," August 27 - 1929
  • Statement before the War Policies Commission on War Finance and the Speedy Payment of Our War Debt, May 19 - 1931
  • Antietam Battlefields Speech, May 30 - 1931
  • Statement on War Debts, June 8 - 1931
  • Report of the Committee on Stabilizing the Purchasing Power of Money, June 18-19 - 1931
  • "Restoration and Stabilization of the Commodity Price Level," October 19 - 1931
  • American Farm Bureau Federation National Convention Speech, December 8 - 1931
  • Monetary Stabilization radio address, January 16 - 1932
  • "Monetary Stabilization," April 9 - 1932
  • Radio address on budget problems, May 11 - 1932
  • Radio Farm Address, September 19 - 1932
  • Speech at Eldon, Iowa (undated)
  • Grand Army of the Republic Speech (undated)
  • Decoration Day Address (undated)
  • Series 3: SUBJECT FILES
  • Box 2:
  • Campaign material
  • European Trip, Spring, Diary and memorabilia - 1919
  • Honest Money, An Explanation of the Relation of Money, Prices and Prosperity. Chicago: American Farm Bureau Federation. Prepared by a Special Committee on Stabilization of the Unit of Value. Members included Charles E. Hearst, H. A. Wallace, C. V. Gregory, and C. W. Ramseyer - 1932
  • Inheritance tax material
  • Miscellaneous manuscripts
  • Newspaper clippings - 1917-1936
  • Photos
  • Printed materials
  • "Stabilizing Prices on the 1926 Level," Article in The Kiwanis Magazine 17 April, p.155 - 1932
  • Tour of the flood-devastated area of the Mississippi Valley, May 28-June 6 - 1927
  • Box 3:
  • Printed government documents relating to Congressman Ramseyer
  • Box 4:
  • Reports by Commissioner Ramseyer and Opinions of the Court of Claims of the U.S. 2 volumes
  • Newspaper clippings on the 66th Congress, First Session
  • Box 5:
  • Reports by Commissioner Ramseyer and Opinions of the Court of Claims of the U.S. 2 volumes
  • Voting lists
  • Box 6:
  • Assorted copies of The Congressional Record relating to Congressman Ramseyer
  • Cooper, Jeffrey A., "Ghosts of 1932: The Lost History of Estate and Gift Taxation" (July 23). Available at SSRN: Only the abstract is present in the collection. - 2009
  • Three Scrapbooks

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
United States. Court of Claims

20th century

Monetary policy
Political campaigns

Public prosecutors

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials: