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Don Lytton Berry papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0033

Scope and Content

This collection (1933-1960, undated) consists of correspondence, news clippings, notes, administrative records, writings and speeches about state and national Republican Party politics. Included are correspondence and news releases concerning the National Republican Farm Study Committee; the 1936 Republican Convention; the Iowa Farm Tenancy Committee; Harrison Spangler; and the Iowa Postwar Rehabilitation Committee. The final report of the Iowa Farm Tenancy Committee, June 1938 (see folder 6/6) is also included, as well as other reports and questionnaires conducted by the Iowa Farm Tenancy Committee. Subject files include notes from meetings and interviews attended by Berry. In addition to correspondence, there are also files pertaining to the 1936 Republican Convention containing news clippings and delegate name tags. Several of Berry's writings and speeches are also included in the collection.

Correspondents include: William Beardsley, Myers Y. Cooper, John M. Henry, Clifford Hope, Alf M. Landon, Harrison Spangler, Walter A. Sheaffer, Dan W. Turner, William W. Waymack, and Kenneth S. Wherry.


  • Creation: 1933-1960, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Editor, publisher and politician, Don Lytton Berry (1880-1974) was born in Indianola, Iowa. He graduated from Simpson College in 1903, and joined the staff of the Des Moines Register and Leader. In 1905, he married Bertha Sloan. He left the Register and Leader (1904) to farm full-time, and later bought (1920) the Indianola Record. He remained editor and publisher of the Indianola newspaper for forty years until he retired in 1960.

Berry was a delegate to the 1936 Republican Convention. He served on the Resolutions Committee and as a "State Committeeman" on the Platform Subcommittee on the Farm Plank, in which capacity he was in charge of county hearings in Madison, Marion, and Warren counties. The Iowa Farm Tenancy Committee was a special committee of the Iowa State Planning Board, appointed by the governor. Its purpose was to investigate the "farm tenure problem" (the increase of farms operated by renters, rather than owners). The percentage of rented farms had reached fifty percent by 1935.

In 1939, Berry conducted an editorial campaign against Harrison Spangler' tenure as Republican national committeeman from Iowa. The claim made by Berry (and others) was that Spangler was pro-Hoover, and that his ten years in the East had made him insensitive to the problems of Iowa farmers. A great deal of editorial comment, both for and against Spangler, was generated.

Berry was chairman of the Iowa Postwar Rehabilitation Commission, which was established by the state legislature to "study the economic and social conditions of the state with a view to recommending to the 51st General Assembly such legislationELas may provide work which needs doingELto enable Iowa to reabsorb smoothly the returningELservice personnel and after-war workers". (See December 12, 1944, letter from Berry to Governor Hickenlooper in 6/9).

In 1941, Berry was appointed Executive Secretary of the National Republican Farm Study Committee under the chairmanship of Clifford Hopee, Representative from Kansas.


1.89 Linear Feet (in 4 document boxes, and 1 half document box.)


Editor, publisher and politician, Don Lytton Berry (1880-1974) was born in Indianola, Iowa. Berry was involved in many Republican Party activities both in Iowa and nationally including as a delegate to the 1936 Republican Convention and Executive Secretary of the National Republican Farm Study Committee (1941). He also worked as an editor and farmer for several years before devoting more of his time to politics. This collection contains news clippings, correspondence, speeches, notes, and reports from his various activities with the Republican party and other committees and organizations that he worked for from 1933-1960.


The collection is first organized chronologically and than alphabetically.

Items in related collections

MS-0044. National Farmers Process Tax Recovery Association records, 1927-1991

Related collection materials

Related materials can be found in the National Farmers Process Tax Recovery Association Files (Box 43, Folders 1-4).

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0033. Don Lytton Berry papers, 1933-1960, undated
December 12, 2018
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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