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Phineas Stephens Shearer papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: RS 9/11/15

Scope and Content

The collection contains biographical information and articles written by Shearer. In addition, the papers contain “The History of the Animal Science Department” and the research materials he collected in order to write this history. These documents include lists of graduates and faculty members and information regarding alumni.


  • 1917-1978

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Phineas Stephens (P.S.) Shearer was born May 24, 1889 in Melbourne, Iowa. He received his B.S. (1912) in Animal Science and M.S. (1928) in Animal Science from Iowa State College (University). As an undergraduate at Iowa State, Shearer was active in many student organizations, including Theta Delta Chi, the Philomathean Literary Society, Livestock Judging Teams, the student newspaper (Iowa State Student), the student yearbook (the Bomb), and was elected Junior Class Vice-President.

Shearer accepted a position at the University of Nebraska as an Assistant Professor (1912-1913) in Animal Husbandry. He returned to Iowa State as an Assistant Professor (1913-1915) in Animal Husbandry (Animal Science) and was soon promoted to Associate Professor (1915-1919) and Professor (1919-1978). Shearer also held the position of Head of the Department of Animal Husbandry (1935-1954).

Shearer was considered to be one of the leading judges of beef cattle in the United States. He is credited with the foundation of Iowa State’s livestock judging competition, the Little International (now known as the Little North American) in 1914. Shearer was also the coach for the Iowa State livestock judging teams (1919-1935).

He belonged to numerous honorary and professional societies, including Alpha Zeta, Gamma Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, and the American Society of Animal Production (American Society of Animal Science) (President, 1950 and Fellow, 1957). He received several honors and awards for his commitment to animal science, including having his portrait hung at the Saddle and Sirloin Club in Chicago, IL (1953); a copy of the portrait hangs in Kildee Hall. Shearer was also made a member of Iowa State University’s Block & Bridle Hall of Fame (1974).

Shearer married Mary Kelly (1915) in 1918, they had three children: Robert (1942), Patricia Jenkins, and Mary Jeanne Staley. He passed away October 20, 1978.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 document box)


The collection is organized Alphabetically.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 9/11/15. Phineas Stephens Shearer papers, 1917-1978
January 22, 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