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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the William D. Evans Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1873-1936
Creator: Evans, William D. (1852-1936)
Extent: 2.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: MSC0217
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa. Correspondence, speeches, reminiscences, papers written as a student, poetry, judicial opinions, and clippings.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Information on the literary rights is available in the repository. Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: Mrs. Alice Evans Hardin gave her father's papers to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1970.

Preferred Citation: William D. Evans 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

Wisconsin native, William Davis Evans (1852-1936), moved to Williamsburg, Iowa, in 1858. He attended the University of Iowa, graduating with his A.B. in 1878 and his law degree the following year. In 1879, he entered into partnership with T.B. Taylor, to form the legal firm of Taylor and Evans in Hampton, Iowa. They remained partners until Evans became a district court judge in 1903. He was the district court judge for the 11th judicial district of Iowa. Evans taught law at the University of Iowa from 1907 to 1908 while remaining on the bench. In 1908, William D. Evans was appointed to the Supreme Court of Iowa. He served as the chief justice in 1909, 1916, 1921, and 1927. Evans retired from judicial service in 1934. He was a member of the American, Iowa State, and Franklin County Bar Associations and was active in the Congregational Church. Evans also owned and managed several farms.

The papers of William D. Evans are comprised of fifty-nine items dating from 1873 to 1936. Along with memoirs and biographical sketches, the papers include correspondence, judicial opinions, speeches, and materials from his student days, such as poetry and essays. They are open for research and information on the literary rights is available in the repository.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • "Autobiography" (Reminiscences)
  • American Cyclopedia of Biography, letter - 1910
  • American Cyclopedia of Biography, biography
  • Annals of Iowa biography - 1936
  • Student paper: "Addison and His Times"
  • Student paper: "The Feudal System"
  • Student paper: "Primary Ideas" - 1877
  • Student paper: "The True Statesman" - 1877-1878
  • "State Money and State Education" - 1887-1888
  • Student paper: "The Logic of Law and Legislation"
  • Student paper: "Wales"
  • Student paper: "Conflict and Progress"
  • Student paper: "The Patriot" - 1877-1878
  • Student paper: "The American Democracy"
  • Student paper: "Elements and Prospects of National Stability"
  • Student paper: "Ballot Majorities and Physical Force" - 1878-1879
  • Address to the graduating class of Iowa University - 1886
  • "Patriotism"
    Also included in later speech to the G.A.R. May 1907 and May 1924
  • "The County Attorney: What must he do to be saved?" - 1923
  • "The Bar and the Bench"
  • Address on the English Bench and Bar before Prairie Club, Des Moines
  • Toast to Iowa: at Iowa City
  • To the G.A.R. and Women's Relief Corps -- dedication of monument, Hampton - 1907
  • To the G.A.R. and American Legion, Hampton - 1924
  • Notes to G.A.R.
    May have been used in one of the speeches
  • Decoration Day address, Grinnell College - 1919
  • On the death of McKinley
  • Dissenting Opinion. F.H.Dunbar vs. Pratt Snyder 82/39403
    Involved radio as musical instrument
  • Fourth of July address (incomplete)
  • Last part of speech of acceptance of the Hampton Public Library from the trustees - 1905
  • Acceptance of the portraits of Dolliver, Cummins, Garst, and Young at Iowa State Historical Building, Des Moines - 1927
  • "The Law" (fragment)
  • Tribute to Captain H. C. Clock, Geneva, Iowa - 1919
  • Tribute to Judge Charles Vermillion
  • Tribute to Judge Silas M. Weaver
  • Tribute to Professor Amos N. Currier - 1870-1879
  • Speech at Eisteddof, Oskaloosa, Iowa - 1899
  • De Senectute
  • Notes for De Senectute with typed copy attached
  • Acceptance speech. Republican Judicial Convention, Waterloo - 1922
  • Letters from President Taft - 1910
  • Conservation of the Congregational Ministry
  • "Woman in the Home and in the Church" - 1897
  • Address to the State Sunday School Convention, Hampton, on teaching a Bible Class, May - 1898
  • "The Law of Christ"
  • Letter to the people of Franklin County asking for support in election - 1934
  • Letter to Iowa Bar asking for support in election - 1934
  • From Nevada Representative "Evans for Judge" - 1916
  • Poem: "The Beckoning Stars"
  • Poem: "Fait Accompli"
  • Poem: "Gods of the Night"
  • Poem: "To My Beloved Wife"
  • Funeral Tribute to Wm. D. Evans by B. F. Swisher, Waterloo, Iowa
  • Memorial speeches given at the Supreme Court, December - 1936
  • Clipping of his retirement - 1934
  • Clipping of his death and funeral - 1936
  • Clipping of speech made at Iowa Congregational meeting
  • Iowa Law Bulletin, November - 1923
    Contains speech "The County Attorney"
  • Program, Supreme Court Day at Iowa University - 1932
  • Account of 55th reunion of the class of 1878 - 1933

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
Iowa Supreme Court


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa