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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Sewell E. Allen Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1910-1975
Creator: Allen, Sewell E. (1913-1975)
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0337
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Attorney and Iowa state legislator. Subject files and correspondence concerning his business, family and political career. The bulk of the papers consists of correspondence dealing with business conditions during the 1920s and WWII, politics, and family life.

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1976 by Mr. Allen's widow, Mrs. Frances W. Allen.

Preferred Citation: Sewell E. Allen 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

Born in 1913, Iowa City, Iowa, native Sewell Ellyson Allen graduated from high school in Onawa, Iowa. He returned to Iowa City to attend law school, receiving his degree in 1939. Two years later, Allen was elected as a Democrat to Iowa's state legislature. He was defeated in the following election for a senate seat. In 1946, he was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1952, he ran for lieutenant governor, only to be defeated once again.

He remained active in the state's Democratic Party and for a long time was the Monona County Democratic Chairman. From 1963 through 1965 he served as the Monona county attorney and from 1965 through 1967 he worked in the Iowa attorney general's office. Sewell E. Allen died in 1975, at the age of sixty-two.

The papers of Sewell E. Allen are arranged chronologically within an alphabetical sequence and are housed in three boxes measuring 1.5 linear feet. Correspondence dating from 1910 to 1975 makes up the bulk of the papers. It deals with the business and political career of Allen, and with family life and conditions during the 1920s and World War II. Some of the letters were written by George E. Allen, father of Sewell Allen. His political career is documented with campaign material, financial records, speeches, and news clippings. They are open for research and information on literary rights is available in the repository.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Campaign Material - 1941-1952
  • Correspondence - 1910-1929, 1938, 1940-1941
    7 folders
  • Box 2:
  • Correspondence, February 15 - 1941-1948
    10 folders
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence - 1950, 1961-1975
    3 folders
  • Delashmutt, Ernest: Democratic candidate for Supervisor - 1954
  • Financial Records - 1944-1949
  • Newsclippings: S. E. Allen - 1928-1941
  • Newsclippings: General - 1940-1952
  • Speeches, Columns, News Releases - 1943-1952
  • Scrapbook - 1941

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Corporate Names:
Democratic Party (Iowa)

20th century

Family life
Political campaigns


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa
United States -- Iowa -- Onawa

Genre/Form of Materials: