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McCall Family papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0001

Scope and Content

This collection (1816-1929, undated) documents the McCall family, their business activities, and T. C. McCall's Civil War service. The collection includes biographical information, correspondence, diaries, legal documents, business records, army records, school papers and reports, news clippings, certificates, printed material, photographs, and memorabilia.


  • 1816-1929, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives.


T. C. McCall

Thomas Clifton McCall was born on 4 September 1827 in Ross County, Ohio. In 1836, he moved with his father to a farm in Fulton County, Illinois. He came to Polk County, Iowa, in 1846. There he taught school for a time before entering the mercantile business, first in partnership with A. Y. Hull in Lafayette and later as the pioneer merchant in Rising Sun. In 1855, he moved into the real estate business in Des Moines and later continued as a land agent in the town of Nevada in Story County, Iowa. During the Civil War, he served as quartermaster of the 32nd Iowa Volunteer Infantry, 1862-1864, prior to being promoted to Assistant Quartermaster of Volunteers, a capacity in which he served 1864-1865.

McCall was a leader in Story County Republican circles. He was a state legislator in the 9th (1862), 19th (1882), and 20th (1884) general assemblies; he also served as a state senator in the 24th general assembly (1892). He was also a member of the State Central Committee which attempted to further the interests of the Republican Party.

T. C. McCall married Sarah A. Garrett (d. 1855) in 1849. They had a son, John, who practiced law briefly in Nevada and later was a prominent attorney in Des Moines. T. C. McCall remarried in 1858; his second wife was Mary A. Boynton (d. 1875). Three of their children survived to adulthood: Minnie Ellen, Fred C., and Edward M. Minnie McCall married A. E. Cronenwett and moved to Monrovia, California, where they ran a hotel. Fred C. McCall continued his father's real estate business (see below for more information). Edward M. McCall was an attorney in Nevada. T. C. McCall's third wife was Clara Kennedy (1842-1923); their only son died at age five. T. C. McCall died on 11 August 1892.

Fred C. McCall

Fred C. McCall was born on 7 October 1868. He entered Iowa State College (University) in 1884 but did not graduate. By 1889 he was working in the real estate business with his father. In 1902, he was appointed postmaster in Nevada, but continued in the financial circles of the area.

During World War I, Fred McCall was a member of the American Protective League, an ultra-national volunteer organization under the United States Justice Department, whose purpose was to discover United States residents suspected of espionage or sabotage.

Fred C. McCall married Alice Klove in 1890. She died in 1891. In 1895, he married Edith V. Ferner of Nevada. They had two children: Thomas Clifton and Elva Hazel.

Additional information on the McCall family may be found in History of Story County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement by W. O. Payne (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911) and in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Story County, Iowa... (Chicago: The Goodspeed Pub. Co., 1890).


5.83 Linear Feet (in 10 document boxes and 1 oversize flat box)


The collection is organized into eight series:

Series 1, Family history and photographs, 1867-1924, undated

Series 2, Correspondence, 1845-1928, undated

Series 3, T. C. McCall diary, 1875

Series 4, Civil War documents, 1856-1867, undated

Series 5, Legal documents and business records, 1851-1921, undated

Series 6, John A. McCall papers, 1866-1877, undated

Series 7, Ferner family papers, 1870-1929, undated

Series 8, Memorabilia, 1816-1919, undated

Collection Files

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0001. McCall Family papers, 1816-1929, undated
December 7, 2020
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