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Griffith J. Buck papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 9/16/55

Scope and Content

This collection (1934-2010) contains biographical information on Griffith Buck and research materials documenting his work with roses and geraniums. The biographical information includes photocopies of scrapbooks, faculty information forms, and news clippings. The research materials contain photocopies of Buck's rose and geranium breeding notes. The collection also contains writings and published articles by Buck. The materials in this collection are primarily photocopies from the originals though there are some original biographical materials. The Department has also digitally scanned some materials, primarily photographs of Buck, his family, and his research and other interests.


  • Creation: 1934-2010

Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Griffith J. Buck was born to Griffith Allen and Mary Louise (Inns) Buck on April 19, 1915, in Cincinnati, Iowa. He graduated from Rockford (Illinois) Central High School (1932) and later attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College (1940-1941). During World War II, he served in the airborne infantry (1942-1945) and attained the rank of Sergeant.

After the war, he earned a B.S. (1948) and M.S. (1949) in horticulture and a Ph.D. (1953) in microbiology from Iowa State College (University). Buck joined the staff of the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State as Instructor in 1949. He was promoted to Associate (1952-1953), Assistant Professor (1953-1958), Associate Professor (1958-1974), and Professor (1974-1985).

Buck was primarily interested in floriculture and focused on rose and geranium breeding. He is credited with developing more than 85 varieties of roses, many of them hardy enough to withstand the cold Iowa winters. He was the first to develop a hybrid blue rose. Buck was also widely known for his developments with geraniums and other flowering plants. He received patents for several varieties of roses and geraniums which he developed at Iowa State.

In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities, Buck served on various committees and organizations. During his tenure at Iowa State he managed the Horticulture greenhouse, developed and managed the Horticulture gardens, served on the College Career Days Committee, the University Commencement Committee, and the Safety Committee. Outside of the University he was an active member of the American Rose Society, serving on the Research Committee and the International Rose Registration Committee and chairing the Classification Committee. Buck also served as a judge in the pre-introductory test-program of All-America Selections, Inc.

Buck married Ruby E. Costello of Edina, Missouri, on August 31, 1947. They had two children: Mary Eileen and Susan Louise. Griffith Buck passed away on March 28, 1991.


0.63 Linear Feet (1 document box and 1 half-document box)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized Alphabetically.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 9/16/55. Griffith J. Buck papers, 1934-2010
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