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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the George Cosson Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1903-1961
Creator: Cosson, George (1876-1963)
Extent: 2.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0498
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Attorney General of Iowa. The collection consists primarily of material regarding the case of Fred Stover vs. Central Broadcasting Company and other files relating to Stover. There are also copies of Cosson's writings, along with speeches, clippings, and correspondence files.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Acquisition: These papers were given to the University of Iowa Libraries by Cosson's grandson, George Cosson III.

Preferred Citation: George Cosson 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

Missouri native George Cosson (1876 -1963) was educated at Valparaiso University in Indiana and the University of Iowa. He was admitted to the bar in 1898 and established his legal practice in Audubon, Iowa. In 1907, he became the special counsel for the state attorney general. Cosson was elected to the state senate in 1909 and served as a Republican in the 33rd General Assembly. From 1911 to 1917, he held the office of Attorney General of the State of Iowa. Nominated for governor by the Republican party, Cosson ran an unsuccessful campaign in 1916. The following year he left government and resumed his private legal career, establishing a law firm in Des Moines. Cosson did not seek an elected office again until 1932 when he became the party's candidate for U.S. Senate. After losing the election, he once again returned to his law practice in Des Moines. In 1935, Cosson joined the faculty of Drake University, where he taught tax law. Cosson is the author of a number of papers including The Cosson Laws and This Conflicting World.

The papers of George Cosson consist of items dating from 1903 to 1961. Most of the collection consists of material regarding the case of Fred Stover v. Central Broadcasting Company and other files relating to Stover. The papers also include The Cosson Laws, Enlightenment and the World Crisis, The Iowa Plan, and copies of his speeches and correspondence files with letter from Guy M. Gillette and others.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Addresses and speeches - 1949-1958
  • Clippings - 1905, 1933-1955
  • Correspondence - 1903, 1922, 1945-1961
    Including letters from: Eugene V. Debs, Guy M. Gillette, Virgil M. Hancher, Henry A. Wallace, William S. Beardsley, and Eleanor Roosevelt. 2 folders
  • "The Cosson Laws," by G. Cosson. Typescript with correspondence and a copy of Annals of Iowa, vol. 30: no. 3, January - 1950
  • "Do We Really Want World War III -- The War That Will End the World?" by Cyrus Eaton - 1958
  • "The Duke of Bedford. His Concept of American Foreign Policy," by G. Cosson. The Churchman, Vol. CLXVII, no. 10, May 15 - 1954
    Pages 8-9. Also includes two pamphlets by the Duke of Bedford.
  • Editorial on Eisenhower's Foreign Policy, undated
  • "Enlightenment and the World Crisis," by G. Cosson - 1952
  • "The Evil of the County Jail System in Iowa and Its Remedy," by George Cosson. January - 1919
  • Fight for Freedom - 1941
  • Fight for Freedom -- Correspondence - 1941-1943
    Including letters from: Loren Hickerson, Earl Hall, Clarence W. Moody, Guy M. Gillette, Dan W. Turner, W.C. Edson, Harry Grant Plum, Leslie G. Moeller, and E. P. Adler.
  • "The Iowa Plan. A Basic Plan for National Recovery," by G. Cosson. Northwestern Banker Des Moines, no. 557, December - 1933
    Pages 7-8, 41-46
  • "Report of the Committee Appointed to Investigate the Character of the Warden and the General Management of the Iowa Penitentiary at Fort Madison Together With a Report Concerning the Jail System of Iowa With Recommendations." State of Iowa Department of Justice, Des Moines, May 25 - 1912
  • Stevens, Truman S. Memorial address by G. Cosson - 1951
  • "What O'Clock Is It -- A Study in Civilization," by G. Cosson - 1929
    Reprint of a paper read before The Prairie Club of Des Moines, Iowa
  • Box 2:
  • The Farmer's Educational and Cooperative Union of America - 1955-1956
  • Iowa Farmer's Union -- general file
  • Iowa Farmer's Union v. Farmer's Education and Cooperative Union of America
    2 folders
  • Newspaper clippings.
  • Box 2:
  • Stover v. Central Broadcasting Company
    9 folders
  • Appeal from the District Court
    2 folders
  • Deposition of Helen Woods Burnie
  • Depositions
  • Box 3:
  • Exhibits
    2 folders
  • Polk County District Court
  • Supreme Court of Iowa
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Testimony
  • Series 3: SCRAPBOOK
  • Scrapbook
    On Oversized shelf

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Stover, Fred W.

Attorneys general

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa