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J. Stuart Russell papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0012

Scope and Content

This collection (1942-1960, undated) includes biographical information, correspondence, newspaper articles and editorials, magazine articles, speeches, and photographs. The collection contains numerous writings by Russell, both drafts and published, related to his trips to the Far East and Europe to survey farm conditions, the Russian-American agricultural exchange (1955), and the efforts of Wolf Ladejinsky (1953-1959), a land reformer in East Asia. Correspondents include Chester Davis and Wolf Ladejinsky.

The photographs document many of Russell’s travels, including trips to Germany, India, Japan, Pakistan, and Yugoslavia. The collection of photographs also captures Russell at meetings with various dignitaries, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, Henry Wallace, and President Dwight Eisenhower.


  • 1942-1960, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


J. Stuart Russell was born in 1892 on a farm near Newton in Jasper County, Iowa. After graduation from Grinnell College in 1913, he farmed in Iowa until 1918, when he served in the U.S. Army. From 1920 to 1925, he operated a weekly newspaper in Sac City.

In December 1925, he became Farm Editor of the Des Moines Register and Tribune and held that post until his death in 1960. Between 1925 and 1960, he served in many capacities and held affiliations with numerous farm oriented organizations. In the fall of 1942, he served as regional administrator for Midwestern states for the Agricultural Marketing Administration in Washington with responsibility for civilian food supplies and food rationing. Later, he was an assistant to Food Administrators Chester C. Davis and Marvin Jones; served as assistant to the chairman of the President's Famine Emergency Committee in 1946; was a consultant on food and agriculture to the Point 4 program of the Technical Cooperation Administration; and was a member of numerous other advisory committees for the Department of Agriculture.

Russell also devoted efforts to several other national and local farm organizations. He served as Treasurer, Vice President, and President (1957) of the Soil Conservation Society of America. He was deputy chairman (1956-1960) of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. He served as chairman of the agricultural committees of the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and also as a member of the agricultural committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to his many interests in U.S. agriculture, Russell also traveled overseas to report on the agricultural situations of other countries. He made several European visits (1947, 1953, and 1958) as well as a trip to southeast Asia (1952) to report on food and agricultural conditions. Later, as a member of the U.S. Farm Trade Mission to Asia (1954), he surveyed and reported on land tenure, rural credit problems, and the general food and agriculture situation in numerous Asian countries.

J. Stuart Russell married Marjorie Rahe and together they had two children: Janet and James. Russell died in 1960.


1.68 Linear Feet (2 document boxes and 3 oversize boxes)


The collection is organized Alphabetically.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0012. J. Stuart Russell papers, 1942-1960, undated
January 11, 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