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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Sterns Family Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1858 -1947
Creator: Sterns Family
Extent: 1.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0405
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, etc. relating to the Civil War, railroading in the West, and the Alaskan gold rush.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Boxes 2, 3

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 Virginia M. Edwards in 1982.

Preferred Citation: Sterns Family 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

The major correspondents are Thomas Rescum Sterns, Edward Van Deusen, Albert Henry Sterns, Lavinia C. Van Deusen Sterns Mathews, Lottie Gilmore Sterns, and Fred B. Carver.
 
Thomas Rescum Sterns (1839-1863) joined the army in 1862, serving as a corporal in company F, Regiment 29, Wisconsin Volunteers. He died while returning home on the transport Minnehaha. He was buried in Memphis, Tennessee.
 
Lavinia C. Van Deusen Sterns Mathews (1840-1921) and Thomas Rescum Sterns were married April 25, 1960. They had one son, Albert Henry (1861-1921). Most of his career was spent working on various railroads, but he also participated in the Alaskan gold rush in the 1890's. Albert Sterns was married (Lottie Gilmore) and had two children, Hubert Gilmore (1889-1946) and Hazel Lavinia (1891?-??). Lavinia Sterns was remarried, April 7, 1874 to Benjamin Franklin Mathews (1829-1916). They had two children, Alta E. (1878-1961) and Hubert E. (1880-1885). The donor of this collection, Virginia Hoffman Edwards, is the daughter of Alta Mathews.
 
Edward Van Deusen (1845-1864) was the brother of Lavinia Sterns Mathews. He served in Company A, Regiment 37, Wisconsin Volunteers. Van Deusen died in battle at Petersburg, Virginia on July 30, 1864.
 
Fred B. Carver was a friend of Alta E. Mathews Hoffman. He served with Company G, Regiment 51, Iowa Infantry Volunteers. Carver died on his way to the Philippine Islands in 1898.

The Sterns family papers consist of approximately 365 items and date from 1858-1947. All of the material is chronologically arranged with alphabetical divisions. Virginia Edwards donated this collection to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1982. The papers are open for research by students and scholars.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL
Series 2: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS
Series 3: STERNS, ALBERT HENRY
Series 4: STERNS, HUBERT GILMORE
Series 5: STERNS, LAVINIA VAN DEUSEN
Series 6: STERNS, THOMAS RESCUM
Series 7: STERNS, THOMAS RESCUM AND LAVINIA VAN DEUSEN
Series 8: VAN DEUSEN, EDWARD
Series 9: PHOTOGRAPHS
Series 10: REALIA

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Carver, Fred B.: Correspondence - 1898
    Written to Alta E. Mathews Hoffman (daughter of Lavinia Sterns and Benjamin F. Mathews) while stationed in San Francisco, California with the Iowa Infantry, 51st Regiment, Company G
  • Congregational Church, Fontanelle, Iowa - 1890, 1900
  • Miscellaneous items - 1858-1874
    Including tickets, broadsides, newspaper clippings, Santa Fe RR brochure, etc.
  • Series 2: NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS
  • Box 1:
  • Clippings - 1860-1911
  • Series 3: STERNS, ALBERT HENRY
  • Box 1:
  • Business cards - 1895
  • Correspondence - 1883-1887
  • Correspondence - 1894-1908
  • Newspaper clippings - 1897-1921
  • Programs and badges - 1893-1896
    Order of Railway Conductors and K. of P.
  • Series 4: STERNS, HUBERT GILMORE
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical material - 1919-1947
  • High school graduation announcement - 1909
  • Series 5: STERNS, LAVINIA VAN DEUSEN
  • Box 1:
  • Calling card
  • Certificate of merit
  • Correspondence - 1863-1914
    Primarily written to Lavinia Sterns Mathews
  • Genealogical materials
  • Marriage certificate, Benjamin F. Mathews - 1874
  • Obituary - 1921
  • Series 6: STERNS, THOMAS RESCUM
  • Box 1:
  • Correspondence: original letters and typewritten transcripts, September-December - 1862
  • Correspondence: original letters and typewritten transcripts, January-March - 1863
  • Box 2:
  • Correspondence: original letters and typewritten transcripts, April-June - 1863
  • Correspondence: original letters and typewritten transcripts, July-August - 1863
  • To Thomas Sterns from the Davies (his aunt and uncle)
    Comprised of original letters accompanied by typewritten transcripts
  • Pension records - 1862-1921
    Photocopies from the National Archives
  • Personal ephemera, including buttons from Civil war uniform, pen, stamps, etc.
  • Poetry
  • Teacher's certificate - 1862
  • Series 7: STERNS, THOMAS RESCUM AND LAVINIA VAN DEUSEN
  • Box 2:
  • Calling cards
  • Family record - 1860-1863
  • Series 8: VAN DEUSEN, EDWARD
  • Box 2:
  • Correspondence, April-July - 1864
  • Pension records - 1864-1898
    Photocopies from the National Archives
  • Series 9: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 2:
  • Carver, Fred B., friend of Alta Mathews Hoffman
  • Hoffman, Alta Mathews
  • Mathews, Benjamin Franklin
  • Misner, Hiram: Tintype - Cousin of Lavinia Sterns
  • Near, Eva Rector: Daguerrotype
    Grandmother of Lavinia Sterns
  • Sterns, Albert
  • Sterns, Albert and Lottie
  • Sterns, Albert, Lottie, and Hubert
  • Sterns, Hazel Lavinia
  • Sterns, Hazel L. and Hubert G.
  • Box 3:
  • Sterns, Hubert G. (2 folders)
  • Sterns, Hubert and Dee J. Damron (wife)
  • Sterns, Lavinia: Daguerreotype and photo
  • Sterns, Lavinia and Albert: Tintypes and photo
  • Sterns, Lottie
  • Sterns, Lottie and Hubert
  • Sterns, Mariah (mother of Thomas Rescum Sterns)
  • Sterns, Thomas Rescum: Daguerreotypes and photos
  • Sterns, Thomas and Lavinia: Daguerreotype
  • Van Deusen, Edward: Daguerreotypes and photo
  • Van Deusen, Henry and Eliza: Daguerreotype and photo
    Parents of Lavinia Sterns
  • Miscellaneous
  • Series 10: REALIA
  • Box 4:
  • Model boat belonging to Albert Sterns