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Sterns Family Papers

Identifier: MsC0405

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Scope and Contents

The Sterns family papers consist of approximately 365 items and date from 1858-1947. All of the material is chronologically arranged with alphabetical divisions. Virginia Edwards donated this collection to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1982. The papers are open for research by students and scholars.


  • Creation: 1858 -1947


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

The major correspondents are Thomas Rescum Sterns, Edward Van Deusen, Albert Henry Sterns, Lavinia C. Van Deusen Sterns Mathews, Lottie Gilmore Sterns, and Fred B. Carver.

Thomas Rescum Sterns (1839 -- 1863) joined the army in 1862, serving as a corporal in company F, Regiment 29, Wisconsin Volunteers. He died while returning home on the transport Minnehaha. He was buried in Memphis, Tennessee.

Lavinia C. Van Deusen Sterns Mathews (1840 -- 1921) and Thomas Rescum Sterns were married April 25, 1960. They had one son, Albert Henry (1861 -- 1921). Most of his career was spent working on various railroads, but he also participated in the Alaskan gold rush in the 1890's. Albert Sterns was married (Lottie Gilmore) and had two children, Hubert Gilmore (1889 -- 1946) and Hazel Lavinia (1891?-??). Lavinia Sterns was remarried, April 7, 1874 to Benjamin Franklin Mathews (1829 -- 1916). They had two children, Alta E. (1878 -- 1961) and Hubert E. (1880 -- 1885). The donor of this collection, Virginia Hoffman Edwards, is the daughter of Alta Mathews.

Edward Van Deusen (1845 -- 1864) was the brother of Lavinia Sterns Mathews. He served in Company A, Regiment 37, Wisconsin Volunteers. Van Deusen died in battle at Petersburg, Virginia on July 30, 1864.

Fred B. Carver was a friend of Alta E. Mathews Hoffman. He served with Company G, Regiment 51, Iowa Infantry Volunteers. Carver died on his way to the Philippine Islands in 1898.


1.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, etc. relating to the Civil War, railroading in the West, and the Alaskan gold rush.

Method of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Virginia M. Edwards in 1982.

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Script of description
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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)