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Fred Schwengel Papers

Identifier: MsC0456

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Scope and Contents

The legislative and congressional papers of Representative Schwengel cover the years 1940 to 1972. The papers are arranged chronologically and alphabetically within each year. The organization changes for 1968 and later with the addition of major subject headings: General, Correspondence, and Legislation. In 1969, Agency was also added as a heading.

The papers contain material on many subjects including the cities, counties, and colleges of Iowa's First Congressional District. Special topics of interest include agriculture, chiropractic, conservation, education, flood control, Abraham Lincoln, trucks, roads, the Republican Party, prayer in schools, transportation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission, the Vietnamese Conflict, and water pollution. Correspondence with many national leaders (including Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon) and with Iowa political figures is included in the papers.


  • Creation: 1940-1993
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960-1979

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

Frederick Delbert Schwengel, 1907-1993, United States Representative from Iowa's First District 1954-1963, 1966-1973, deposited approximately 325 linear feet of legislative and congressional papers in the University Libraries at various times during his career. An additional 75 feet, primarily relating to Lincoln and to the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, was received after his death and is not yet inventoried. Schwengel's strong sense of history insured that his papers are particularly complete and significant. Something of his character and personality can be seen in obituaries which appeared in the Des Moines Register. Born to Gerhardt and Margaret (Stover) Schwengel on a farm near Sheffield, Iowa, May 28,1907, Fred Schwengel attended rural schools and high school at Chapin. He graduated with a B.S. from Northeast Missouri Teachers College (now Northeast Missouri State University) at Kirksville, Missouri, in 1930 and took post-graduate work during summers at the University of Iowa from 1933 to 1935. After a stint of coaching and teaching in public schools in Missouri, Schwengel entered the insurance business in Davenport, Iowa, in 1937 and from 1938 to 1955 was an agent of the American Mutual Life Insurance Co. In 1939-1940 he was President of the Scott County and First District Republicans, and from 1944 to 1954 he served as a representative from Scott County in the Iowa State Legislature. In 1954 he was elected as a Republican to the United States Congress where he served five consecutive terms (84th-88th Congresses). An unsuccessful candidate in 1964, he was re-elected in 1966 for three more terms (90th-92nd Congresses). Schwengel was a member of the Public Works Committee, the House Administration Committee, and the Joint Committee on the Library. Before his defeat in 1964, he served on the District of Columbia Committee. He was also a member of two commissions, the National Visitor Facilities Advisory Commission and the Commission on Highway Beautification. The Week in Washington Program for Iowa college students and professors was introduced by him. He also instigated a Research Team at the University of Iowa using students to help with legislative research. Schwengel was the Vice-Chairman of the Civil War Centennial Commission. In Congress he authored bills to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, the 100th anniversary of the Civil War, and the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's first and second inaugurals. After leaving political office, Schwengel served as president of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.


327 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection is comprised of the papers of Iowa Representative Fred Schwengel.

Physical Location

This collection is stored at an offsite location. When requesting materials, please allow two business days for items to arrive at the Special Collections reading room.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the University of Iowa Libraries by Congressman Schwengel in 1959, 1964, and 1968.

Language of description
Script of description

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)