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Henry A. Wallace collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/5

Scope and Content

This collection (1910-2007) contains publications by and about Henry A. Wallace; reminiscences of him by fellow students and agriculturalists; some correspondence (mainly after his retirement); newspaper articles concerning his life, his work both for the federal government and after his retirement, and memorials to him after his death; photographs; published and unpublished historical papers relating to his significance; a transcript of an oral history; and miscellaneous documents detailing his undergraduate and alumnus career at Iowa State College.

The information addresses Wallace's undergraduate career and personality, and his friendships with other famous agriculturalists such as George Washington Carver. It also documents his professional endeavors with publications, newspaper articles, and unpublished material on his corn breeding as well as his administrative career in Washington, D.C. Much of the collection is retrospective, being written either late in Wallace's life or after his death.

Other material in the collection relates to the surveillance of Wallace in 1947-1948 during his campaign for president at the head of the Progressive Party. This section contains letters regarding the acquisition of the FBI records together with copies of the records themselves and newspaper articles concerning the investigation.

The collection also contains material compiled by Miss Mary Huss, Wallace’s personal secretary, including correspondence, ephemera, a manuscript, news clippings, a dollar bill inscribed by Wallace and photographs.


  • 1910-2007

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Henry Agard Wallace was born on October 7, 1888 in Orient, Iowa, son of Henry Cantwell and May (Brodhead) Wallace. His father and grandfather ("Uncle Henry") owned and edited Wallace's Farmer, a prestigious Iowa farming journal. His father was also on the staff of Iowa State College for a few years as well as serving as secretary of agriculture under Warren G. Harding. While his father taught in Ames, Henry A. became friendly with George Washington Carver, to whom he attributed his love of plants.

Wallace attended Iowa State College, graduating in 1910, when he joined the family journal as an associate editor. During the next twenty-three years he made his reputation as editor of one of the leading farm journals, through developing strains of hybrid corn, and as founder of what is now Pioneer Hi-bred International, Inc., seed company.

In 1933, Wallace was appointed Secretary of Agriculture under Franklin D. Roosevelt and served for two terms, throughout the Great Depression. In this capacity he was responsible for the administration of the Agricultural Adjustment Acts and other relief measures for the nation's farmers. During World War II and Roosevelt's third term, Wallace was vice-president. In Roosevelt's fourth term, Wallace was appointed Secretary of Commerce, a position he held until 1946. In 1948, Wallace ran for president as head of the Progressive Party. He lost to Harry Truman.

After leaving public service Wallace retired to a farm near Salem, N.Y. and edited the New Republic for two years. He died at his home on November 18, 1965, leaving his widow, Ilo Browne Wallace, and three children.

For more information regarding Henry A. Wallace, please visit Iowa Public Television’s web site on his life: .


2.1 Linear Feet (5 document boxes)


The collection is organized Alphabetically.

Related collection materials

The bulk of Henry A. Wallace’s papers are held by the University of Iowa. They also offer a microfilm version. A finding aid for the Henry A. Wallace Papers at the University of Iowa is available at the following link:

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/5. Henry A. Wallace collection, 1910-2007
January 15, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672