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Kenneth J. Benda papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/75

Scope and Content

This collection (1930-2007, undated) contains biographical information, photographs, a scrapbook, professional correspondence, and files related to his legislative activities. The files related to his service as an Iowa Senator include information on legislative issues, much of which consists of correspondence, bills, articles, and legislation introduced by Benda. Committee materials for the Agriculture Rural Committee, Banking Laws Study Committee, Government Fiscal Policy Committee, and Federal Legislation Committee are also included. Folders of correspondence contain a mix of professional and personal letters, such as thank you letters, letters of congratulations on his election, and invitations to dinners and seminars. The collection includes several speeches given by Benda.

The collection also contains material regarding the various professional organizations Benda was associated with. Files related to the Independent Bankers Association include correspondence, articles, meeting minutes, and financial statements. Documents regarding the American Legion consist of meeting minutes, constitutions and by-laws, correspondence, convention information, articles, and photographs. Benda's association with Radio Free Europe is documented through correspondence, pamphlets, articles, travel information, speeches, and photographs. The collection also contains four scrapbooks, which contain photographs, newspaper articles, and correspondence.


  • 1930-2007, undated

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Kenneth J. Benda was born on November 9, 1918, in Brooklyn, Iowa, to James and Rose Posekany Benda. He was raised on the family farm and attended Jefferson Township Country School #4 near his home. He graduated from Hartwick High School in 1936 and from Iowa State College (University) with a B.S. (1940) in forestry.

During World War II, Benda joined the United States Navy where he attained the rank of Lieutenant. He served on the USS Sangamon which was stationed in the Pacific during the war.

Benda returned home to Iowa in 1946 where he began working at the Hartwick State Bank in Hartwick, Iowa. He eventually purchased controlling shares of the bank in 1954. Benda retired as President of the bank in 1991 and continued to serve on the bank's Board of Directors until his death. Benda was active in Iowa politics, the American Legion, and a number of professional banking organizations. At various times he served as the Poweshiek County (Iowa) Republican chairman, on the Poweshiek County Conservation Board, as the Iowa Department Commander (1956-1957) of the American Legion, and as President (1975-1976) of the Independent Bankers Association of America. Benda was elected to the Iowa State Senate in 1962. He resigned his seat in the Senate when he accepted the position as Iowa Commerce Commission Chairman (1969-1971).

Benda married Lucille Roudabush in Lancaster, Missouri, on July 5, 1941. The couple had two children, Barbara and James. Kenneth passed away at the age of 88 on September 30, 2007.


19.52 Linear Feet (11 records center cartons, 1 document box, and 3 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized in its original order.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/75. Kenneth J. Benda papers, 1930-2007, 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