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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Irelan Family Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1924-1996
Creator: Irelan Family
Extent: 1.00 linear foot.
Collection Number: MSC0845
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Curtis Glen Irelan worked as a telegraph operator for the Rock Island Railroad in Iowa and Nebraska from roughly the nineteen-thirties to the nineteen-sixties. His wife, Gerata Hunter Irelan, was a school teacher. These papers consist of railroad documents, items from their schools, legal and financial papers, and other family papers, including a reunion book for the Irelan extended family.

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 by Patrick Irelan in August 2006.

Preferred Citation: Irelan 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

Curtis Glen Irelan, known as Pete, was born on December 1, 1906. He went to school in Bloomfield, Iowa, and later worked as a telegrapher for the Rock Island Railroad. He married Gerata Hunter (1907 -- 1996) on August 19, 1932. She was known as Gerry and taught school. Their daughter, Jane, was born in 1936 and a son, Patrick, was born in 1943. Patrick Irelan worked at the University of Iowa and has written several books, among them [i]Central Standard[/i], a recollection of growing up in Iowa and Nebraska, and a sequel [i]A Firefly in the Night.

Pete Irelan's job often took him away from his family and he kept in touch with letters home. There is a folder of such letters here, as well as financial documents relating to the family. There are records from Pete's job as a telegrapher, including documents, contracts, and correspondence having to do with the Rock Island Railroad. The Irelan family apparently held an annual family reunion, and kept a book of the attendees, along with brief minutes of the business meeting. This is quite complete for the years 1954 to 1988. Along with this is a history of the Hunter farm. Clippings, obituaries, postcards, memorial cards, and souvenir cards and programs round out this collection.

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This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.