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Maurice D. Helser papers

 Collection
Identifier: RS 7/3/11

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

This collection (1907-2003) documents Maurice D. Helser's years as Dean of Personnel and Dean of the Junior College and, to a lesser degree, his work in the Presbyterian church, his involvement in animal science and student counseling, and other interests outside of the Iowa State community. Material formats include articles, booklets, clippings, correspondence, financial and budget materials, invitations, minutes, newsletters, notes, pamphlets, photographs, programs, publications, reports, speeches, and statistics.



Helser corresponded with prospective, current, and former students, student organization leaders, parents, faculty, staff, community members, corporate recruiters, businesses, counselors and administrators at a number of institutions, military officers, political figures, his family members, and others. Since his tenure coincided with the Great Depression, World War II, and the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (also known as the G.I. Bill), all these topics are discussed or alluded to in the letters. General correspondence is filed alphabetically, either by last name or organization. Notable correspondents included Charles E. Friley, Harold V. Gaskill, Raymond M. Hughes, Charles H. Brown, T. R. Agg, Henry H. Kildee, and Robert E. Buchanan.



Helser gave speeches at a variety of events during his tenure; related materials related include correspondence, notes, and transcripts. Common events reflected in the materials include campus events such as Religious Emphasis Week and military commemorations, career- and religion-focused talks on WOI radio shows, and local high school commencements.

Dates

  • 1907-2003 (bulk 1930-1953)

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

Open for research. Some records are closed for 100 years from date of creation due to privacy restrictions; please consult the Archivist for more information.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives

Biography/Profile

Maurice David Helser was born in Thornville, Ohio, on March 29, 1890, the son of David M. and Emma. S. Helser, and was raised on a farm. Upon his graduation from high school in 1909, he taught at a country school before entering college at The Ohio State University. Helser graduated in 1914 with a B.S. in Agriculture.



His first job was at Arkansas State Agricultural College in Jonesboro, Arkansas, as an Animal Husbandry Instructor. In September 1915, Helser joined the Iowa State College (University) staff as a Teaching Scholar in Animal Husbandry. In 1916, he received a M.S. degree from Iowa State. He served in the Department of Animal Husbandry (1916-1932) at Iowa State College as Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. In 1931, President R.M. Hughes asked Helser to become Director of Personnel, a position related to student guidance and counseling. In 1933, Helser's role expanded to include Dean of the Junior College. In these student counseling capacities, Helser became a much-beloved figure on campus. In 1955, students raised funds to purchase a Cadillac to honor his service to the Iowa State community. Though Helser had reached the mandatory retirement age of 65 by 1955, then-President James Hilton asked him to help combine the Junior College and Personnel departments to form a new Student Affairs division at ISU.



In addition to his roles at Iowa State, Helser was a prominent figure in the animal science field, particularly meats investigation. He wrote a textbook, Farm Meats, and was co-author of the issue of Meat Study magazine Essentials in Selection of Meats with V.M. Bell; his writings also appeared in publications for the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station. For a number of years, he acted as carcass division supervisor of the International Live Stock Exposition (1921-1931) and as assistant superintendent of Iowa State Fair's sheep department (1917-1932). Helser also published writings related to his later career in counseling. He was a popular speaker at local high school commencement addresses and spoke a number of times on WOI, generally on topics related to career counseling and religion. In addition to being active in the Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Ames, Helser served as preacher of the Presbyterian Church of Jordan in Boone County, Iowa, for twenty-five years.



Helser died unexpectedly on April 26, 1956, from cancer-related illness, and is buried in the Iowa State University Cemetery. Helser married Elizabeth Stevens of Linnville, Ohio, in 1914, and together they had two daughters: Carolyn Jane and Margaret Elizabeth.

Extent

23.73 Linear Feet (56 document boxes and one half-document box)

Abstract

Maurice D. Helser graduated from The Ohio State University in 1914 and earned a M.S. degree in Animal Husbandry at Iowa State College (University) in 1916, where he then joined the staff. In 1931, at the request of President R.M. Hughes, Helser became the Director of Personnel and later the Dean of the Junior College. Helser was active in the animal science field; he authored a textbook, Farm Meats, and served as the carcass division supervisor of the International Live Stock Exposition and as the assistant superintendent of the Iowa State Fair's sheep department. This collection primarily documents Helser's career as Dean of Personnel and Dean of the Junior College at Iowa State through correspondence files, administrative records, publications, photographs, and speeches. Helser's tenure coincided with the Great Depression, World War II, and the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (also known as the G.I. Bill), all topics which are discussed or alluded to in the letters. Notable correspondents include Charles E. Friley, Harold V. Gaskill, Raymond M. Hughes, Charles H. Brown, T. R. Agg, Henry H. Kildee, and Robert E. Buchanan.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into five series:

Series 1, Personal Papers, 1930-2003

Series 2, Campus Affairs, 1915-1953

Series 3, External Affairs, 1907-1953

Series 4, Correspondence, 1931-1955

Series 5, Speeches and Publications by Helser, 1926-1950

Items in related collections

RS 7/4. Iowa State University. Department of Residence records, 1899-2013

Related collection materials

Copies of seven items authored or co-authored by Helser are available at the University Library and in Special Collections. An Iowa State campus film (call number 4-7426) features a clip of Helser with other members of the Athletic Council.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

Title
RS 7/3/11. Maurice D. Helser papers, 1907-2003 (bulk 1930-1953)
Date
January 22, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Contact:
403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672