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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the William H. Nicholas Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1956-1971
Creator: Nicholas, William H. (1892-1984)
Extent: .25 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0288
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Lieutenant governor of Iowa and member of the Iowa State Highway Commission. Correspondence, press releases, etc., primarily relating to the Iowa State Highway Commission.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1; Film/Video in Box 1.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: William Nicholas donated his papers to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1973.

Preferred Citation: William H. Nicholas 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

William Hall Nicholas (1892-1984) was born in Bristow, Butler County, Iowa. His first elected office was as Butler County recorder in 1916. He held that office for eight years. From 1946 to 1948, he was the state representative from Cerro Gordo County. Nicholas was elected lieutenant governor twice, in 1951 under William Beardsley and again in 1957 under Herschel Loveless. He sought the Republican nomination for governor three times in the 1950s and 1960s, but never received the nomination. He served on the Iowa Highway Commission from 1959 to 1963 and was a member of the Iowa Development Commission.
Mr. Nicholas (fondly known as Turkey Bill) once owned and operated eight chicken hatcheries in Iowa. He was a pioneer in the Iowa turkey industry, building the state's first turkey laying house in 1938. At one time his turkey operation produced 100,000 birds a year.
A World War I navy veteran, Nicholas was a member of the American Legion. He was also active in the Methodist Church, the Rotary, Masonic Lodge, and the Shrine. William H. Nicholas died at the age of ninety-one.

The papers of William H. Nicholas consist of 181 items arranged alphabetically dating from 1956 through 1971. This small collection includes correspondence (much of it relating to the Iowa Highway Commission), press releases, photographs, and newspaper clippings. There is also a speech given by Nicholas, which was recorded on film.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence - 1956-1971
    including a letter from Verne R. Martin
  • Iowa State Highway Commission correspondence - 1963
    including a letter from Lew Warren
  • Iowa State Highway Commission materials
  • Newspaper clippings including obituary
  • Photographs
  • Press releases, etc. - 1962
  • W. H. Nicholas 14 minute speech on film and DVD

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
Iowa Highway Commission

Lieutenant governors

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Clippings (Information artifacts)