Skip to main content

Frederick, John Towner



  • Existence: 1893-1975


John Towner Frederick (1893-1975) was born in Corning, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1915 and received his M.A. two years later. Frederick was the founder and editor of The Midland, a magazine devoted to regional literature. Published from 1915-1933 it was highly respected. H.L. Mencken once called The Midland the most important literary magazine in America. In 1921, Frederick joined the faculty in the department of English at Iowa. He stayed there until 1930, with the exception of one year spent teaching at the University of Pittsburgh. Frederick then began dividing his time between Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame. In addition to teaching at these two institutions, from 1937-1940 he was the regional director of the WPA Writers' Project. In 1945, he left Northwestern to become a full-time faculty member at Notre Dame. He was appointed chairman of the English department and held this post until his retirement in 1962. After retiring Frederick returned to the University of Iowa as a visiting professor, where in 1973 he was named a Distinguished Alumni. John T. Frederick authored novels, including Druida (1923) and Green Bush (1925), four college textbooks and numerous poems, articles, and short stories and criticism. Yet, he will always best be remembered for The Midland.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

John Towner Frederick Papers

Identifier: MsC0513

English professor, Iowa author, and founder and editor of The Midland. Correspondence, subject files, business records for The Midland, lectures, and preliminary drafts of writings, etc.

Dates: 1908-1975