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Van Allen, Abigail, 1922-2008



  • Existence: 1922 - 2008


Abigail Fithian Halsey II was born in 1922 in Southampton, New York, to Jesse Halsey, a Presbyterian minister, and his wife. Halsey grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she graduated from the Lotspeich and Hillsdales schools. She attended Mount Holyoke College during World War II and graduated in 1944. Upon graduation, she took a position at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. It was there she met James Van Allen, whom she married in 1945. In 1951, the Van Allens moved to Iowa City, Iowa, where James Van Allen had earned his masters and doctoral degrees, and where he would work as a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa. The Van Allens had five children: Cyntha, Margot, Sarah, Thomas, and Peter. Abigail Van Allen was heavily involved in efforts to restore and preserve Iowa City history and landmarks, including the Old Brick Church and the Old Capitol Building, for which she served as a member of the Old Capitol Restoration Committee. She was a member of the Iowa City Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as a non-resident sustaining member of the Cedar Rapids Junior League. Abigail Van Allen died in 2008.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Abigail Van Allen papers

Identifier: IWA0912

Iowa City resident who worked to preserve and restore Iowa City landmarks including the Old Capitol building.

Dates: 1968-2008