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Luman C. Ingersoll Papers

Identifier: RG99.0211

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Scope and Contents

The Luman C. Ingersoll papers include three of his writings and several of his class lectures while serving as professor and first dean of the State University of Iowa Dentistry Department from 1882 to 1888. The lectures are organized into unbound volumes numbered one through nine.Ingersoll presented to the Illinois State Dental Society annual meetings. One such transcript is enclosed as a May 1884 reprint from Transactions of the Illinois State Dental Society.


  • Creation: 1884-1888


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Biographical / Historical

Luman Church Ingersoll was born September 26, 1823, in Ogden, New York, to Theodore S. and Lydia (Brewer) Ingersoll.

He received the A.B. degree in 1846 and the A.M. degree in 1860, both from Oberlin College, which was co-founded by his father. He also earned the Bachelor of Didactics (B.D.), which was a teaching certificate. He held the Honorary D.D.S. from Ohio College of Dental Surgery. Ingersoll worked in his brother's dental practice in Oberlin, Ohio, from 1846 to 1853. He lived in Cleveland for a short time before moving to Keokuk, Iowa, in 1860 to begin his dental practice.

The State University of Iowa Dentistry Department opened in fall 1882 with fifteen students enrolled. Ingersoll served as the first dean of the department (recognized as the College of Dentistry in 1900) and as Dean of Dental Faculty from 1882 to 1888. During this time he was also professor of Dental Physiology and Pathology and Therapeutics. He wrote numerous articles relating to dental surgery, as well as one book, which was adopted as a text book at some schools. Ingersoll served as president of the Iowa State Dental Society in July 1875 and as secretary in March 1880. He was an honorary member of the Illinois State Dental Society since 1873. Ingersoll's address remained in Keokuk during his six years of service to SUI.

Ingersoll resigned from his positions at the SUI Dentistry Department in 1888 following an investigation involving student complaints alleging inadequate instruction. Ingersoll then served as instructor at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Keokuk, Iowa, through the 1895-1896 term. He was president of the Keokuk Library Association for two years. He delivered the commencement address at the University of Illinois in March 1897.

Ingersoll married Maria Porter in April 1850. Maria died in 1888 and he remarried in June 1890 to Minnie Banks of Keokuk. Ingersoll died at his home in Keokuk on May 24, 1897.

Historical Note:

Keokuk Medical and Dental College was established in 1848. It was renamed the College of Physicians and Surgeons of the Upper Mississippi in 1870, and the name was shorted to College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1878. The Iowa legislature began regulating dental practice in 1882. In April of that year, the State University of Iowa established its dental department, with the first classes held in October. In addition to Ingersoll, the first dental faculty were W. O. Kulp and Israel P. Wilson, both of whom served from 1882 to 1888, and Alfred O. Hunt, who served until 1896. According to "Historical Sketch of Dentistry at Iowa," in the May 1916 edition of the Iowa Alumnus, these first faculty were paid with student fees instead of salary.


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First dean of the Dental Department (College of Dentistry). Educator at SUI and Keokuk Medical and Dental College. Transcript of one speech and lecture notes.

Method of Acquisition

These papers were transferred to the University of Iowa Libraries from the College of Dentistry in December 1989. Guide posted to the Internet in August 2009.

Related Materials

Folder, "Hunt, Alfred O.," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Folder, "Ingersoll, Luman C. ," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Folder, "Wilson, Israel," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG01.0015.003)

Records of the College of Dentistry (RG08.0001.001)

Records of the Keokuk Medical and Dental Schools (RG15.0003.001)

Records of the Manuscript File Collection on Early University History (RG01.0001.001)

The College of Dentistry Online Photograph Collection (RG30.0001.025) is part of the Iowa Digital Library.

Howe, Maurice Harold. "History of the Iowa State Dental Society, 1863-1963." M.A. thesis, University of Iowa, 1966. 121 pp. Ch. 4., "The Society and Professional Education," pp. 54-72.

Ingersoll, Luman C. Dental Science: Questions and Answers on Dental Materia Medica, Dental Physiology, Dental Pathology and Therapeutics. Keokuk, Iowa : R. S. Ogden, 1886. 140 pp.

Weidenbach, Amelia Rose. "History of the University of Iowa: The College of Dentistry." M.A. thesis, University of Iowa, 1944. 172 pp.

Denise Anderson, August 2009
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242