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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Willis Charles Edson Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1899-1965
Creator: Edson, Willis Charles (1874-1965)
Extent: 150.00 items.
Collection Number: MSC0279
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Lawyer, Iowa state legislator, and sportsman. Correspondence, subject folders, and clippings relating primarily to his college days, but also concerning his election as speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: This collection was donated to the University by Robert C. Edson in 1972.

Preferred Citation: Willis Charles Edson 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

1874 -- born in Wilton, Illinois
1885 -- moved to a farm in Sac County, Iowa
1894 -- 1896 -- prep school and junior college at Buena Vista College
1897 -- 1898 -- member of the varsity football team of Iowa State College
1898 -- Bachelor of Science from Iowa State College
1899 -- 1900 -- member of the varsity football team at the University of Iowa (all conference halfback)
1901 -- Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Iowa
1901 -- 1902 -- rural school teacher in Calhoun and Sac Counties
1901 -- coached football at Iowa State Teachers College
1902 -- law practice in Storm Lake and coached both Buena Vista and Storm Lake high schools
1902 -- 1908 -- Storm Lake city clerk
1903 -- married Gail Sweeney who died in 1904
1904 -- trustee of Buena Vista College
1908 -- 1912 -- Buena Vista County Attorney
1911 -- married Ethelyn Bailie
1918 -- chairman of the Board of Trustees of Buena Vista College
1919 -- 1927 -- member of the Iowa State Legislature
1925 -- Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives
1935 -- 1936 -- district governor of Rotary
1936 -- nominated Republican candidate for lieutenant governor
1949 -- Certificate of honor from University of Iowa recognizing 1899 football team and Doctor of Laws from Buena Vista College
1952 -- publication of "Football in the Gay Nineties" by W. C. Edson
1954 -- resigned from Board of Buena Vista College; received scroll from college recognizing fifty years of service.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Buena Vista College
  • Congratulatory letters on being elected speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives
  • Law school materials
  • Miscellaneous personal papers (photos, genealogy, etc.)
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Packing the United States Supreme Court
  • Student papers
  • Zetagathian debate -- "That vaccination is inadvisable"
  • Scrapbook

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
Buena Vista College
Iowa State University
University of Iowa


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials: