Skip to main content

Willis Charles Edson Papers

Identifier: MsC0279

  • Staff Only
  • Please navigate to collection organization to place requests.

Scope and Contents

This collection is made up of orrespondences, subject folders, and clippings relating primarily to Willis Charles Edson's college days, but also concerning his election as speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.


  • Creation: 1899-1965


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

Chronology 1874 -- born in Wilton, Illinois

1885 -- moved to a farm in Sac County, Iowa

1894 -- 1896 -- prep school and junior college at Buena Vista College

1897 -- 1898 -- member of the varsity football team of Iowa State College

1898 -- Bachelor of Science from Iowa State College

1899 -- 1900 -- member of the varsity football team at the University of Iowa (all conference halfback)

1901 -- Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Iowa

1901 -- 1902 -- rural school teacher in Calhoun and Sac Counties

1901 -- coached football at Iowa State Teachers College

1902 -- law practice in Storm Lake and coached both Buena Vista and Storm Lake high schools

1902 -- 1908 -- Storm Lake city clerk

1903 -- married Gail Sweeney who died in 1904

1904 -- trustee of Buena Vista College

1908 -- 1912 -- Buena Vista County Attorney

1911 -- married Ethelyn Bailie

1918 -- chairman of the Board of Trustees of Buena Vista College

1919 -- 1927 -- member of the Iowa State Legislature

1925 -- Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives

1935 -- 1936 -- district governor of Rotary

1936 -- nominated Republican candidate for lieutenant governor

1949 -- Certificate of honor from University of Iowa recognizing 1899 football team and Doctor of Laws from Buena Vista College

1952 -- publication of "Football in the Gay Nineties" by W. C. Edson

1954 -- resigned from Board of Buena Vista College; received scroll from college recognizing fifty years of service.

1957 -- lawyer for over 50 years

1959 -- member of the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame 1965 -- death in Storm Lake


150.00 items

0.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Lawyer, Iowa state legislator, and sportsman.

Method of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the University by Robert C. Edson in 1972.


Genre / Form



Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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)