Skip to main content

George Rae papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS-0002

Scope and Content

The George Rae papers include letters about Rae from individuals who served as character references for him, letters from Rae’s relatives in Scotland, and many family records. The collection also includes tax records, receipts, obituaries and two diaries.

The correspondence contains farewell letters Rae received when he departed from Kettle Bridge, Scotland, in 1861. He received many letters of recommendation from his peers such as John Angus from King’s Kettle Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association. The Madras School Committee sent Rae a letter commending him for his work as secretary. This folder also contains an anonymous poem entitled, "Farewell to George Rae."

Rae’s diary recounts his migration from Saco, Maine, beginning April 10, 1865 to Dow City, Iowa, December 28, 1865. Among other things, he describes cities and countryside he traveled through, farms and pieces of land he considered buying, and train and riverboat travel on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. The diary also includes his expense list, sawmill records, and teaching notes and rules. Rae worked in a sawmill for some time and became a teacher once he reached Iowa. The second diary is one his daughter Jenny kept of a trip to Los Angeles 1904-1905. The diary mentions sight-seeing in the Los Angeles, California, area, but it primarily recounts visits with relatives and details of various evangelistic services she attended.

The financial records contain Rae’s tax records from Crawford and Harrison Counties, Iowa, for the years of 1865-1886. In addition, the folder includes insurance forms and assorted contracts and letters from the Iowa Railroad Land Company in 1874.

The biographical information consists of Rae’s obituaries and family records. It includes a family genealogical list and a letter from Rae to friends "Sam" and "Lizzie."


  • 1861-1907

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


George Rae was a Scottish immigrant who settled in Maine in 1861. Four years later, he traveled west with the intention of finding land for farming. George Rae served in the Iowa General Assembly from 1876-1878. His destination was Dow City, Iowa, where he lived until his death in 1907.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half-document box)


The collection is sorted chronologically.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0002. George Rae papers, 1861-1907
December 12, 2018
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