Our Iowa Heritage Index: The Iowa Historian Hall of Fame.

As you can see, our growing website Our Iowa Heritage covers a lot of time (pre-1800 to the present) and a lot of people. We’ve written about famous people and the not-so-famous ones as well. Yet, despite a person’s prominence (or lack of it), everybody has a story. And as you read our posts, you’ll hopefully discover that everyone’s story is a good one. So, in order to better find these good stories and details surrounding them, we’ve added this INDEX of HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS to help you along the way. Enjoy your journey.

Our Iowa Heritage: An Introduction. We might suggest you start here! Here’s how & why I got started collecting stamps, coins, and other Iowa memorabilia.

Parvin & Aldrich – Making & Collecting Iowa History. In the mid-1800’s, Iowa became the new home for two young men from the East. Throughout their lives, they both made history and became impressive collectors of all things Iowa. T.S. Parvin and Charles Aldrich – two friends who left their unique mark in Iowa history.

The Old Stone Capitol Remembers – Benjamin F. Shambaugh. Professor Shambaugh was born in 1871 near Clinton, growing up as an Iowa farm boy yet always with a deep hunger for education. Over time, he became a dynamic administrator and teacher, authoring three books – the best known of which is The Old Stone Capitol Remembers (1939), editing nine more, and writing scores of articles as the first Supervisor/Editor of the State Historical Society of Iowa. Here at Our Iowa Heritage, his writings have served as a cornerstone to all we have published.

William J. Petersen – Steamboat Bill. Raised on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, this young man from Dubuque went on to become world-renowned as a history professor at SUI (1930-1968) and as the long-time supervisor for the State Historical Society of Iowa (1947-1972). Taking after Samuel Clemens, Petersen became famous because of his writings about life and steamboating on the Father of Waters.

Irving Weber – Mr. Iowa City. Named the “official historian” of Iowa City, Irving Weber was an ice cream salesman for most of his career. But when he retired in 1966, he began writing down his Iowa City memories which, over the next twenty-five years, produced more than 800 newspaper articles and eight historic books, all treasures for those who want to relive the rich heritage of Iowa City and Johnson County.

Weber’s Winners – Iowa City’s Finest. In 1979, The Iowa City Press Citizen ran a special section called Chronology – 1841/1979. It featured the famed Iowa City historian, Irving Weber, writing a short blurb on the top 25 people who “left their stamp on Iowa City.” Join us as we pick up where Weber left off, writing a post on each of those 25 Iowa City history-makers.

Weber’s Fun Facts – Old Stone Capitol. In 1976, the Iowa City Lion’s Club published Irving Weber’s Iowa City: 102 short historical stories that had originally been published by the Iowa City Press Citizen. Here is the first article from Weber’s first book, written in a quiz format, focusing on the most prominent landmark in Iowa City.

Iowa City’s Bell Keeper – Herb Gartzke. On July 4 1881, Iowa City opened its brand new, state-of-the-art City Hall. Atop the building, an ornate clock tower housed a 1800-pound bell that rang out across Iowa City for many decades. Reports say the bell was so effective, it could be heard as far away as West Branch! When City Hall was razed in 1962, Herb Gartzke, our historical hero, appeared on the scene to rescue both the bell and clock works, keeping these icons safe from the wrecking ball. Today both the City Hall clock and bell have been restored and are back at work in downtown Iowa City.

Marybeth Slonneger – Iowa City’s Artistic Historian. Iowa City has a rich heritage of talented artists and gifted historians, but Marybeth Slonneger just might be our city’s first resident who is actually both. Come meet Marybeth and take a brief look at her fourth book (2015), Finials: A View of Downtown Iowa City.


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