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John C. Pryor Papers

Identifier: MsC0377

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Scope and Contents

The papers of John C. Pryor are arranged chronologically within an alphabetical sequence. These papers primarily consist of correspondence with some subject files relating to the Iowa State Bar Association and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Also included are Pryor's speeches and a manuscript draft of his autobiography. There are five boxes of correspondence with letters from Guy M. Gillette, Clyde L. Herring, Bourke B. Hickenlooper, Mason Ladd, Thomas E. Martin, Elizabeth Smith Pryor, Wiley Rutledge, and George A. Wilson.


  • Creation: 1920-1976
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930-1949


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

John C. Pryor (1883 -- 1979) was born in Abindon, Virginia. When he was five years old his family moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa. There he attended public schools and worked at a number of odd jobs as a teenager. Pryor graduated from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, in 1907, and the following year earned his law degree from the University of Chicago. Returning to Council Bluffs to begin his legal career, he remained there until 1922 when he relocated his law practice to Burlington, Iowa.

In 1916 Pryor was the Democratic candidate for Congress from Iowa's 9th District. From 1915 to 1921, he was a member of the Council Bluffs Board of Education and from 1926 to 1931 he was a member of the Board of Education in Burlington. In the 1930s, he was state administrator of the Iowa State Emergency Relief Administration, assistant general council of the Farm Credit Administration, president of the Iowa State Bar Association, a member of the Iowa Commission on Uniform State Laws, and the general council for the Federal Land Bank of Omaha. During World War II, Pryor was chief council of the Preclusive Operations Division, Office of Imports, Board of Economic Welfare, legal advisor to the Economic Welfare Division of the American Embassy in London, and president of the National Conference on Uniform Law.


3.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Lawyer in Burlington, Iowa. Correspondence and subject files relating primarily to the Iowa Bar Association and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Method of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Betty L. Hacker in 1981.




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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)