Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Edward J. Breen Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1936 - 1973
Creator: Breen, Edward J. (1899-1978)
Extent: 2.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0334
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Iowa state legislator, attorney, and broadcasting station executive. Senate bills, correspondence, speeches, and subject files ranging from the Democratic Party to the Townsend National Recovery Plan document his career in Iowa 's state senate.

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 of Iowa Libraries by Edward J. Breen in 1976.

Preferred Citation: Edward J. Breen 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

Edward J. Breen (1899 -- 1978) of Fort Dodge, Iowa, attended the University of Wisconsin and Drake University. After completing his law degree at Drake, Breen entered into practice with his brother in their hometown. He was also a broadcasting station executive in Fort Dodge. He owned the radio station (KVFD) in Fort Dodge and in 1953 bought a television station (KQTV later renamed KVFD TV).

Breen was a member of the Democratic Party and was president of the Young Democratic Club of Iowa in 1933. He became the Webster County Attorney that same year, and remained so until 1937. Breen was elected to the Iowa state senate in 1936, serving until 1942. He was the Democratic floor leader for some time. He ran two unsuccessful campaigns, one for governor in 1940 and one for U.S. Representative in 1942.

The papers of Edward J. Breen consist of five boxes (2.5 linear feet) of manuscripts dating from 1936 to 1973. Arranged chronologically within an alphabetical sequence, these papers relate primarily to Breen's political career. Subject files, Senate bills, correspondence, clippings, and speech material make up the bulk of the collection. There are thirty-seven folders of Senate bills, some with drafts and correspondence. The correspondence files include letters from Guy M. Gillette, Clyde L. Herring, and Nelson G. Kraschel. There are also two folders concerning Fred Gilchrist. Subject files range in topics from the Townsend National Recovery Plan to the Mutual Affiliates Advisory Committee to the Democratic Party.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: POLITICAL CAREER
Series 2: 2008 ADDENDUM

  • Series 1: POLITICAL CAREER
  • Box 1:
  • Appropriations - 1937
  • Bills - 1937
    37 folders, including drafts of bills and correspondence
  • Box 2:
  • Business Men's organization for Breen - 1942
  • Commission on Compensation and Expenses for State Officials - 1972-1973
  • Commission on Interstate Cooperation - 1937
  • Conservation - 1936-1937
  • Correspondence: October-February - 1936-1937
    3 folders, including TLS: Guy M. Gillette, January 14, 1937; February 3, 1937. Clyde L. Herring, January 25, 1937. Nelson G. Kraschel, January 19 and 26, 1937. Franklin D. Roosevelt, February 23, 1937 -- xerox copy replaces the original transferred to Presidential Letters Collection
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence - 1937-1942
    3 folders
  • Democratic County Convention - 1942
  • Democratic File - 1939-1940
    Including TLS: Guy M. Gillette, August 16, 1940; September 25, 1940. Nelson G. Kraschel, August 8, 1940
  • Box 4:
  • Democratic File, October - 1940-1942
    Including TLS: Clyde L. Herring, October 11, 1940. Nelson G. Kraschel, October 8 and 9, 1940
  • Departmental Affairs - 1937
  • Education - 1937
  • Election Returns - 1937
  • Expenses - 1939-1942
  • Federal Housing Administration - 1937
  • Gilchrist, Fred - 1939-1942
  • Gilchrist's Record - 1942
  • Iowa Press Association - 1937
  • Iowa Radio Network - 1963-1964
  • Labor - 1937
  • Material for Speeches - 1942
  • Minimum Wage Laws - 1937
  • Mr. Breen, Political - 1941-1942
    Including TLS: Guy M. Gillette, June 4 and 5, 1942
  • Box 5:
  • Mr. Breen, Political, August-October - 1942
  • Mutual Affiliates Advisory Committee - 1964
  • Mutual Affiliates Advisory Committee: Meeting in Nassau - 1963
  • Naval Reserve - 1937
  • Nomination Paper Data - 1942
  • Obituaries, Mr. Breen - 1978
  • Offers of Help on the Campaign - 1942
    Including TLS: Guy M. Gillette, October 21, 1942
  • Petitions - 1937
  • Political Personal - 1941
  • Political Speeches - 1942
  • Resolutions - 1937
  • Speaking Engagements - 1942
  • State Office Building - 1936
  • Synthetic Rubber - 1942
    Including TLS: Guy M. Gillette, July 23, 1942
  • Telegrams - 1942
  • Townsend Club - 1935, 1942
    2 folders
  • Series 2: 2008 ADDENDUM
  • Box 5:
  • Gift of Russell Johnson
  • Clippings pertaining to KQTV, KVFD; a biography of Ed Breen