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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Robert K. Beck Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1938-1968
Creator: Beck, Robert K. (1915-)
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0394
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Newspaper publisher in Centerville, Iowa . Correspondence, clippings, speeches, subject files, etc., relating to newspaper publishing, Republican politics, and the Rathbun Dam.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs Box 3

Access: This collection is open for research.

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

Acquisition: Robert K. Beck gave his papers to the University of Iowa in 1980 and 1981.

Preferred Citation: Robert K. Beck 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

Robert K. Beck was born in Centerville, Iowa on July 17, 1915. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College in 1937. In 1943, Beck became the editor/publisher on the Daily Iowegan and Citizen in Centerville. He was also an owner of the Centerville radio station KCOG. In 1967 he added the Weekly Corydon Times-Republican to his newspaper holdings. From 1943 to 1965, Beck was involved in various newspapers in California. A past president of the Iowa Press Association, he was awarded their Iowa Master Editor-Publisher in 1963.
Beck was active in Republican politics in the state. He served in the state legislature for one term in the 1950s and twice sought the party's gubernatorial nomination in the 1960s. He was a member of the Iowa Highway Commission from 1955-1965. In 1972, Beck was named chairman of Iowans for Right to Work.

The papers of Robert K. Beck consist of three boxes (1.5 linear feet) of correspondence, subject files, clippings, speeches, etc. relating primarily to Republican politics in Iowa. There is also information about the newspaper business, Rathbun Dam, and Beck's father (Jesse M. Beck). The correspondence is arranged chronologically and includes letters from: Gerald Bogan, James Bromwell, John M. Henry, Bourke B. Hickenlooper, Leo Heogh, Karl LeComple, Thomas E. Martin, Jack Miller, and Jack Schroeder.

Browse by Series:
Series 3: ADDENDUM-1981

  • Box 1:
  • January-March - 1966
    Including letters from W. Earl Hall, William Nicholas, Gerald Bogan Sherry R. Fisher, John M. Henry, and Sue Reed
  • April - 1966
    Including letters from: Jack Miller, Donald E. Johnson, Cy Douglas, J. B. Morris, Willard Archie, Clarence W. Moody, Leo A. Hoegh, John M. Henry, and James E. Bromwell
  • May - 1966
    Including letters from: James E. Bromwell, Margaret McDonald, John C. McDonald, and Helen Virden
  • June-July - 1966
    Including letters from: Paul G. Norris, Jr., William G. Murray, and Lew Warren
  • August - 1966
    Including letters from: Dan W. Turner and John M. Henry
  • September - 1966
    Including letters from: Whitney Gillilland and John M. Henry
  • Correspondence, n.d.
  • Box 1:
  • March - 1968
  • April - 1968
  • May - 1968
  • June - 1968
  • Box 2:
  • July - 1968
  • Clippings, August - 1968
    2 folders
  • Clippings, August - 1968
    2 folders
  • Political Advertising Material - 1968
  • Series 3: ADDENDUM-1981
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence - 1939
    Beck, Jesse M., Including letters from: Lloyd Thurston, Karl Le Compte, and George A. Wilson
  • Correspondence - 1953-1966
    Including letters from: Fred Schwengel, Gerald Bogan, Thomas E. Martin, Leo A. Hoegh, John M. Henry, Norman A. Erbe, Jack Schroeder, Jack Miller, and Harold E. Hughes
  • Miscellaneous - 1946-1966
  • Newspaper clippings - 1954-1980
  • Photographs