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Fox Family Papers

Identifier: MsC0449

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Scope and Contents

The Fox family papers date from 1880-1966 and occupy 1.75 linear feet of shelf space. The collection is divided into four major series. The first series is the Fox family history, containing genealogical data and photographs concerning the entire Fox family. The second series relates specifically to Dr. Walter H. Fox. Included here are correspondence, medals, memorials, newspaper clippings, military orders, photographs, etc., dating primarily from Dr. Fox's tour of duty during WWI. Bess Peebles Fox, herself a tireless writer, was the primary recipient of all of this collection's correspondence. The Bess Peebles Fox series itself is small, and contains primarily academic records and membership certificates. The correspondence that she wrote to her husband is included within the Walter H. Fox series. Correspondence with her daughter is included in the Helen Fox Angell series. The Helen Fox Angell series consists of correspondence, photographs, orders, and memorabilia from her service with the American Red Cross during WWII and the following years. Each division is arranged chronologically within an alphabetical sequence.


  • Creation: 1880-1966
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1918-1947


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

Walter H. Fox (1882 -- 1919) was born in West Union, Iowa. He lived and studied there until 1901 when he entered medical school at the State University of Iowa in Iowa City. After graduating in 1905, he became a lecturer and later an assistant professor in anatomy at SUI. Dr. Fox married Bess Peebles (1882 -- 1970) on June 12, 1907 in their hometown of West Union. The following year they moved to Waucoma, Iowa where he began a medical practice. It was there that their only child, Helen, was born in 1911. Dr. Fox enlisted in the Army in 1917 and was called to active duty in April 1918. During World War I he served in hospitals around Paris and Angiers, France. Following the Armistice, Captain Fox helped the Italian Red Cross combat a typhus epidemic in Serbia. On February 22, 1919 in Semendria, Serbia, Walter H. Fox died of septic pneumonia.

Bess Peebles Fox received her B.A. from Upper Iowa University in 1904 and later did graduate work at the State University of Iowa. As a doctor's wife, Bess Fox was an active leader in community affairs. After moving to the Iowa City area, she chose to devote herself to gardening, reading, and friends. Mrs. Fox died suddenly on November 2, 1970.

Helen Fox Angell graduated from Waucoma High School in 1928. Later that year, she and her mother moved to University Heights facilitating her attendance at the State University of Iowa. In 1932, after receiving a degree in Romance Languages, she became a high school French and English teacher. Helen joined the American Red Cross in 1943 and was trained as a hospital recreation worker. She was then stationed overseas in England and Belgium. After the war, she was assigned club work in the Panama Canal Zone. It was there, in 1947, that Helen Fox met and married Charles Angell, a career soldier. The Angells have lived in University Heights since 1954, when he retired on combat disability.


1.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Dr. Walter Fox was a physician who served in France during WWI and later died in Serbia while working for the Italian Red Cross. Helen Fox Angell was a Red Cross worker during WWII and later in the Panama Canal Zone. Primarily photographs, correspondence, clippings, and memorabilia.

Method of Acquisition

The Fox family papers were donated to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1985 by Mrs. Helen Fox Angell.

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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)