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Identifier: 1

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Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Keyes Family papers date from 1832 to 1992 and measure 3 linear feet. The papers are arranged in eight series:

The Family History series (1920-1980 and undated) contains information on the Keyes, Nauman and Keck families. It includes a family tree, a Nauman family record possibly from a Bible, notebooks, loose notes and obituaries. The family notes folder contains a family tree, information on the Keyes coat of arms, handwritten information and correspondence from many relatives on the different families and a Daughters of the American Revolution application that traces the Keck family back to the 1700s.'

The Charles Keyes series (1854-1960) includes a number of items related to Charles Keyes and his parents, aunt and siblings. The items directly related to Charles Keyes include his financial records, archaeology publications, newspaper clippings about his career at Cornell and many obituaries and tributes. The marriage certificate of Marsden and Margaret Keyes is probably from Canada. The State University of Iowa catalogues from 1864 to 1866 list Martha Whittington (Charles Keyes' mother) and her sisters as students. The Marsden Keyes legal and financial documents file includes tax statements, a patent, a will, and other items. The financial documents of Martha Keyes, Florence Keyes, and Amanda Whittington (Martha Keyes' sister), include tax statements, warranties, and stock certificates. Many of these items are fragile and rolled. This series also includes Florence Keyes' manuscript drafts of a chapter of a book about Mt. Vernon history. The memorial records for two of Charles Keyes' sisters, Harriet and Margaret Keyes, are also included.

The Sarah Nauman Keyes series (1884-1902) includes a book Little Nelly's Album from her childhood and essays by Sarah Nauman. It also includes a college scrapbook of her years at Cornell College, which consists of student signatures, programs, photographs of faculty and buildings, and diary entries. The series concludes with Sarah Nauman and Charles Keyes' wedding invitation, newspaper announcement, and marriage license.

The Margaret Keyes series (1905-1979) consists of items from Margaret Keyes and her sister Catharine Keyes. Catharine Keyes' two baby books are included; one is handmade and bound in leather. Margaret Keyes' baby book and a music recital program from 1933 are included. Catharine Keyes' wedding invitation and marriage announcement from 1943 are in this series. Five programs from Cornell College's production of "Messiah" from the 1940s and 1950s are included. The series concludes with information on Margaret Keyes' involvement with Cornell College as an alumna, and the Keyes' family endowment to the Cornell College Library.

The Nauman Family series (1832-1992) includes items both in German and English. Jacob Nauman's German birth certificate and confirmation certificate begin the series. His Civil War diaries describe his experiences as a soldier in the Union Army at Vicksburg and include maps and drawings. Other items include Jacob and Catharine Nauman's marriage certificate, account books, warranty deeds, and the will of Ezra David Keck, his brother-in-law. The series concludes with items from the funeral of Harriet Nauman Hussong (Margaret Keyes' cousin).

The Correspondence series (1858-1945) includes many letters to and from Keyes and Nauman family members. The earliest are two letters from Marsden Keyes, one each to his wives Margaret and Martha, and two letters from Jacob Nauman, one in German, to his sister Catharine written during the Civil War. The next group of letters is between Jacob and Catharine Nauman and their respective families in Ohio after they had settled in Blairstown, Iowa, in the 1870s. A letter from 1883 describes Jacob Nauman's death at the Iowa Hospital for the Insane, and other letters in this folder detail Catharine Nauman's efforts in the late 1890s to get a pension for widows whose husbands were injured during the Civil War. The rest of the letters relate to the Keyes family. Three letters dated 1898 from Charles Keyes to Sarah Nauman before their marriage describe his experiences as a graduate student at Harvard. In 1912, Charles, Sarah and Catharine Keyes lived in Germany for a year, and Charles sent many letters to his parents during this time. The letters from the 1910s and 1920s are to and from the Keyes family relatives. Some of these are written by Catharine Keyes as a teenager, and others describe Margaret Keyes' birth in 1918. The letters from 1925 to 1928 are from Margaret Keyes to Catharine Keyes while Catharine attended Oberlin College in Ohio and to other relatives. The final letters from the 1940s are to and from Charles Keyes, and one is possibly from Charles Nauman, Sarah Keyes' brother.

The Artifacts series (1898 and undated) includes a complete set of Star Authors playing cards and Charles Keyes' Harvard ring that he sent to Sarah Nauman in 1898.

The Photographs series (1860-1966) contains many photographs of the Nauman, Keck, Whittington and Keyes families. The first two boxes contain loose photographs grouped by family, and include individual portraits, grouped family portraits, vacation photos, and pictures of friends. Box 7 contains one daguerreotype and five ambrotypes; the three larger ones are identified as Marsden Keyes, Charles Keyes (his brother), and John Whittington. The Nauman family album contains many pictures of the Keck and Nauman family members from the nineteenth century, all of which are labeled. Box 9 contains Catharine and Margaret Keyes' photo albums. Each includes family photos, vacation photos and pictures of friends. The last box contains one large framed ornate photograph of Emma Whittington (Margaret Keyes' great-aunt) and other oversize photographs, and a land title for the Keyes family dated 1896.


  • Creation: 1832-1992


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.


From the Collection: 3.00 Linear Feet

From the Collection: Artifacts in Box 4; Photographs in boxes 1 and 4-9 boxes

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

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)