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Katherine Mull Falvey Zastrow papers

Identifier: IWA0052

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Scope and Contents

The Katherine Mull Falvey Zastrow papers date from 1927 to 1995 and measure 12.5 linear inches. The papers are arranged in two series: Personal and Political.

The Personal series (1932-1995 and undated) consists of biographical information about Zastrow and her personal diaries from 1932 to 1995. Her diaries concern daily life and activities, with occasional references to politics and world events.

The Political series (1927, 1959-1991 and undated) consists of scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, and correspondence dealing with Zastrow's term in the legislature and her involvement in the Democratic party. Zastrow's political scrapbook contains photocopies of letters from several presidents, including John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, and letters from Hubert H. Humphrey, Adlai Stevenson, and other national and Iowa politicians. Also included is a photocopy of a letter Theodore Roosevelt wrote to her father, Andrew J. Mull.


  • Creation: 1927-1995


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Katherine Mull was born in Muscatine, Iowa on March 19, 1904. She graduated from Muscatine High School in 1922 and from the University of Iowa in 1926. In 1925 she married Lawrence A. Falvey and moved with him to Albia, Iowa where he managed the family farm and lumber business as well as the First Iowa State Bank. Lawrence Falvey served from 1953 to 1957 as a representative from Monroe County to the Iowa General Assembly. Upon her husband's death, Katherine Falvey assumed the oversight of the Falvey family farm, lumber business, and the First Iowa State Bank.

At the urging of friends, Falvey ran successfully as a Democratic candidate to fill her late husband's seat in the legislature. She held this seat from 1958 to 1964. Falvey served on the education committee, the library subcommittee, and the mining committee, among other assignments during her tenure in the legislature. In 1961-1962 she served one term on the Iowa Development Commission. She married Ralph A. Zastrow, a Charles City lawyer and former Iowa state senator, in 1963.

Following Ralph Zastrow's death in 1965, Katherine Zastrow was appointed to the Iowa Library Commission for northeast Iowa and served one term. In 1970 she became the first woman elected to the Charles City Council. She was a member of the State Advisory Council on the Title 1 program of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Active in public library support throughout her life, Zastrow served many years on the Charles City Library Board.


12.50 linear inches

Photographs in boxes 3-5 boxes

Language of Materials



State representative from 1958 to 1964 and the first woman elected to Charles City Council, 1970.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 106) were donated by Katherine Mull Falvey Zastrow in 1991 and 1996.

Related Materials

Four scrapbooks compiled by Zastrow during her political career are held by the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, in the collection of Lawrence and Katherine Falvey.

Frances Barnes Ingram Papers (IWA): Friend of Katherine Falvey Zastrow; Zastrow donated Ingram's papers to the Iowa Women's Archives in 1996

Bridget Butler, 1992; Kristen Rassbach, 1996.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)