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George M. Allee papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0136

Scope and Content

This collection (1901-1989, undated) contains awards, corn show records, correspondence, news articles, photographs, planting records, and record books. Much of the material is directly related to the Iowa state corn shows and yield contests, though other records document Allee’s own corn planting and experimentation.

In much of his correspondence, Allee discusses planting practices, the latest corn show results, and the proper handling of seed corn with other farmers, seed growers, and specialists from Iowa State College (University). Photographs in the collection show Allee’s submissions of corn to the state corn shows, scenes of Allee in the field examining his harvest, and images of his seed corn house. News clippings in the collection are primarily related to Allee’s accomplishments as a corn grower or corn growing in general. Some of the articles were authored by Allee and published in statewide and national farm magazines.

The collection contains a large amount of materials related to the Iowa corn shows, most of which were held in Ames, and the state yield tests. The materials related to the corn shows include correspondence, news clippings, photographs, programs, and premium lists. Allee also kept a record of how well his submissions fared at the corn shows and retained most of his ribbons. He also served as a judge at the corn shows and his judge’s ribbons can be found in the artifact collection. The collection also contains files on the Iowa corn yield tests which were first held in 1920. These files can include correspondence, notes on corn plots tested, and published results of the state yield test.

Some of Allee’s planting records can also be found in the collection. He was very interested in experimenting with different types of seed and this led him to adopt and grow his own line of hybrid seed. Though the notes are not complete, these records do provide a good account of the types of seed experimentation he was doing on his farm. These notes are included in journals, record books, and other loose paper.

Related materials can be found in the Iowa Crop Improvement Association Records (RS 9/9/3), which is the organization that resulted from the merger of the Iowa Corn and Small Grain Growers Association and the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Association.


  • 1901-1989, undated


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


George M. Allee was born in 1877 to Jesse and Mary Allee on a farm southwest of Newell, Iowa. After graduating from the local high school, he received degrees from Cornell College (1901) in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and Harvard University (1904).

Following the completion of his formal education, Allee returned home to help manage the family farm. Allee soon became an advocate for improvements in corn production and was actively involved in organizations that promoted improved crop production. He served as the first president of the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Association which was organized in Ames and he also served as president of the Iowa Corn and Small Grain Growers Association during its early years. In 1909, he helped inaugurate the Newell Corn Show and two years later organized the Newell Farmers Institute, serving as its president for over three decades.

Allee was very interested in crop experimentation and corn breeding. He was an early adopter of hybrid corn and soon developed his own, the Allee Hybrid. He was a familiar face at Iowa Corn Shows; he submitted dozens of entries to the show over the years and often served as a judge. He helped inaugurate the Iowa Corn Yield Test in 1920.

George Allee died in 1958. Never having married, he left the 160-acre family farm to Iowa State University. The farm is currently managed by Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and serves as the Allee Research and Demonstration Farm.


2.1 Linear Feet (5 document boxes)


The collection is loosely arranged in chronological order, with artifacts at the end.


Digital reproductions of a selection of materials from the George M. Allee papers are available electronically. Please see the Electronic Resources section for a link. This digital collection also includes photos from University Photographs and materials from other collections relating to Extension and Outreach.

Collection Files

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0136. George M. Allee papers, 1901-1989, undated
May 29, 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