Guide to the Henry N. Graven Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1908-1974
Creator: Graven, Henry N.
Extent: 50.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0222
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Iowa. Papers primarily relating to his legal and judicial career with briefs, jury instructions, citations, subject files, and speeches. Also includes correspondence, information on the School of Religion at the University of Iowa and material about the Lutheran Church.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Boxes 4, 7, 14

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: Mrs. Graven donated the judge's papers to the University of Iowa Libraries In 1981.

Preferred Citation: Henry N. Graven 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
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Biographical Note

Henry N. Graven (1893-1970) was born in Saint James, Minnesota. In 1921, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with both his B.A. and LL.B. That same year, after being admitted to the bar in both Iowa and Minnesota, he began a law practice in Greene, Iowa, with his brother James. Graven served as Iowa's Assistant Attorney General from 1936-1937 and was also council to the Iowa Highway Commission. He left his law practice in 1937 when Governor Kraschel appointed him Judge of the 12th Judicial District of Iowa. Judge Graven instigated the program of continuing legal education which was later adopted by the Iowa State Bar Association. In 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt nominated him to the federal bench. He was a U.S. District Judge for the northern district of Iowa until 1961, when he informed President Kennedy of his desire to retire from his regular duties. However, as a United States Senior District Judge, during his retirement Judge Graven was called upon to serve in many jurisdictions with overcrowded schedules. Consequently, he held court in New York, North Dakota, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, California, and Puerto Rico.
 
Active in the American Lutheran Church, Judge Graven initiated the pastoral system for the church, which has served as a guideline for other similar pension plans of other religious sects. For twenty five years, he served as the chairman of the Pension Board of the American Lutheran Church. Judge Graven was also a member and former president of the Board of Trustees of the School of Religion at the University of Iowa.


Content Description

The papers of Henry N. Graven consist of 50 linear feet of manuscripts (100 boxes), dating from 1908 to 1974, documenting his legal and judicial career along with his work for the Lutheran Church of America and the University of Iowa's School of Religion The papers are arranged in four separate series: 1) Briefs and cases; 2) Personal papers; 3) Citations, and; 4) Jury instructions. The first series of briefs and cases contains material relating to lawsuits. Here are subject folders concerning issues such as contracts, types of evidence, insurance policies, and treaties. The personal papers date from 1908 to 1974 and consist of fourteen boxes of manuscripts. This section spans his lifetime and reflects his many interests. There is material from his high school days and his service during WWI, papers relating to the Lutheran Church, information on his law clerks and his retirement from the bench, along with many other subjects. Correspondence folders include letters from: Guy M. Gillette, Nelson G. Kraschel, Wiley Rutledge, and Mason Ladd. The largest section, titled citations, is comprised of sixty-five boxes of legal papers. Arranged alphabetically by subject, this series contains folders on abandonment to motor vehicles and product liability to World War veterans. The papers end with a collection of jury instructions given by Graven while serving on the bench.

Related Materials

McNeely supplementary materials provided by the Tripp County Historical Museum in South Dakota (refer to Series II, Box 13 in Iowa's collection).

Detailed Description of the Collection

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Subjects

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.


Corporate Names:
American Lutheran Church
Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States
United States. District Court (Iowa) : Northern District
University of Iowa. School of Religion

Topics:
Law

Occupations:
Judges
Lawyers

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Instructions to juries
Speeches

Browse:
Clergy and the Church