Skip to main content

Roswell Garst papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/12

Scope and Content

The collection (1919-2005) contains biographical material, correspondence, news clippings, articles, and documents pertaining to his company and farms. Also includes correspondence, photographs, gifts, news clippings, and publications relating to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's 1959 visit to the Garst home in Coon Rapids, Iowa, as well as documents concerning trade transactions with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In addition, correspondence with J.F. Kennedy, Henry A. Wallace, Walter Mondale and members of the House of Representatives, and reports concerning grain production in South America and other regions of the world are included.


  • 1919-2005, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Roswell Garst, Iowa agriculturist, innovator, Iowa State alumnus (1916-1918), and founder (1930)of Garst and Thomas Hybrid Corn Company. He was born June 13, 1898 to Edward Garst and Bertha Goodwin. Garst aggressively promoted hybridization, mechanization, fertilization, and utilization of cellulose as fodder for cattle, as well as the use of herbicides, pesticides and irrigation in the U.S. and abroad to achieve dramatic increases in agricultural productivity. Contributed toward improving East-West relations through his exchanges and transfer of American agricultural technology to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In 1959, he hosted Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev on his farm during Khrushchev's visit to the United States. Garst was involved during much of his life with the politics of agriculture.

He married Elizabeth Henak in 1921; they had two sons and three daughters. Garst passed away in 1977.


43.26 Linear Feet (103 document boxes)


The collection is arranged into twelve series:

Series1: Biographical material and writings

Series 2: Correspondence

Series 3: Subject files

Series 4: Business Records

Series 5: USSR Correspondence

Series 6: USSR Information

Series 7: Khrushchev’s Visit

Series 8: Eastern European Correspondence

Series 9: Eastern Europe Information

Series 10: Garst Cassette Tapes

Series 11: Tape Transcripts and Interviews from Harold Lee

Series 12: Foreign Affairs Information

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/12. Roswell Garst papers, 1919-2005, undated
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