Cedar Falls Historical Society Oral History Interviews, 1963-1995.

Collection Overview

Title: Cedar Falls Historical Society Oral History Interviews, 1963-1995.

Record Series: 00/00/01

Creator: Cedar Falls Historical Society 

Date: 1963-1995

Extent: 0.417 linear feet, 2 boxes

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: This material is entirely in English.

Access and Use

Accessing the Collection:

These sound recordings were produced under the auspices of the Cedar Falls Historical Society, 1963-1995.  The copies in the University of Northern Iowa Archives are security copies.  Researchers who are interested in listening to the recordings should co

General Use, Reproduction, and Copyright Policies

Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the library cannot grant permission or licensing. Materials currently under copyright are usually still available for research and limited reproduction under Fair Use laws. However, it is the sole responsibility of the patron to determine whether or not their use of a given material falls within Fair Use guidelines and to obtain permission for said use from the rightful copyright owner. If you are unsure where to begin, please consult the Copyright LibGuide. Please note that it is not the library's responsibility to locate or contact copyright holders for a patron, and neither the library nor library employees are responsible for copyright violations of the materials to which they facilitate research access. Please see our full General Use and Service Policies for more information.


Box 1

Tape la--Florence Clay Knox, November 23, 1963
(Recollection of girlhood in Cedar Falls, Iowa) c. 1800's.
Time: 30 min. each side. Interviewer: Herb Hake.

  • birth
  • Clay Street
  • mainstreet
  • town size
  • some local residents and merchants
  • dry goods stores
  • Commercial Hotel
  • "the big ditch"
  • Baptist Church
  • E.L. Andrew's store
  • Mr. Wyth
  • Methodist Church bell
  • transportation
  • Omnibus
  • surrey
  • livery barn
  • entertainment
  • streets
  • 4th of July "Liberty Car"
  • boating on the river
  • clubs and societies
  • schools: Mainstreet, Central, & Lincoln

Tape lb--Florence Clay Knox

  • Arthur LaVon
  • "Fits" Grease
  • Crosby home with fountain
  • servitude in the home
  • seamstress
  • Normal School
  • board sidewalk from town to Normal School
  • first cement sidewalk in Cedar Falls
  • brick sidewalks
  • street lights
  • Cedar Falls' relationship to Waterloo
  • newspapers
  • mail
  • Hearst family
  • Congregational Church

(the interviewer tends to dominate the interview)

Tape 2--Fred D. Cram, February 19, 1964
History of the College. Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 3--Les and Leo Hughes, May 9, 1964
History of the Cedar Falls Band. Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 4--"History in Houses", May 10, 1964
Narration by Herb Hake for Slide Show.

Tape 5a--Anna Arrow Petersen (Mrs. P.C.)
Early 1900's. Time: 10 min. October 24, 1964

Viking Pump
Danish Community ("Little Denmark")

Tape 5b--Mary Marsh (Mrs. Ed)
1853-1880's. Time: 15 min. Counter: 150. November 10, 1964
Brief history of grandparents coming to Cedar Falls in 1853. Recollections of merchants and businesses along Main Street.

  • various doctors
  • Emmet Mullarky
  • Dahl family
  • hospitalization

Tape 5a--Stella Robinson Wynegar
(Memories of Main Street) 1880's Counter: 130 Time: 10 min. November 7, 1964
Mrs. Wynegar talks a great deal about the various businesses located on Main Street during the 1880's. She also describes the various street lights, wooden pumps, paper mill, slaughter house, sidewalks, stump in middle of street, trolley, Indians, and Chinese laundryman.

Tape 5b--Stella Robinson Wynegar
Time: 15 min.

  • Indians
  • Footes Cider Mill
  • ice skating on the river
  • horse racing on the river
  • ice house
  • brick kilns
  • dam on the river
  • swimming in the river
  • Illinois Central Railroad covered bridge
  • oldest house in town

Tape 6--Robert M. Sutton, May 5, 1966
Address given at the 1966 Banquet of the Cedar Falls Historical Society. Speaker introduced by Leland L. Sage. Speaker thanked by Iver Christoffersen.

Tape 7--"River to Railroad", October 7, 1966
Narration by Herb Hake for Slide Show.

Tape 8--Toby and Oliver Olson, June 23, 1968
Cedar Falls as remembered by sons of Danish immigrants.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 9a--Stella Robinson Wynegar
(Recollection of 90 years of residence in Cedar Falls)
Date: 1880's Time: 30 min. March 14, 1970
Interviewer: Herb Hake

  • Birth
  • mills: flour, paper, grain
  • Overman family
  • kerosene street lights
  • carbon street lights
  • business district
  • Overman Park
  • schools: Main Street, Central
  • Bess Streeter Aldrich
  • Zimri Streeter
  • Methodist Church
  • Baptist Church
  • Merchants along mainstreet
  • saloons
  • Chinese laundryman
  • Packard Opera House
  • Soldiers Orphans' Home on mainstreet
  • condition of streets
  • wooden sidewalks
  • creek on 5th St. & Main
  • Baptist Church on 5th St. & Main
  • brick paving
  • Farmer's Home Hotel
  • gasoline trolley
  • automobiles
  • run-away horses
  • Transportation
  • barns
  • property size
  • Entertainment
  • movie theater on 2nd & Main
  • horse races on the Cedar River
  • wooden dam
  • circus
  • building the bridge across the river
  • three railroads
  • Peter Melendy
  • Raab Pottery Shop
  • Harris Pump Factory

Tape 9b--Stella R. Wynegar
Time: 20 min.

  • Harris Pump Factory
  • husband's occupations
  • family history
  • family dwellings
  • sidewalks
  • inventor of Viking pump
  • wages for men and women
  • first furnace in Cedar Falls

Tape lOa--Stella Robinson Wynegar
(Recollection of 90 years of residence in Cedar Falls)
Date: 1880's Time: 30 min. August 15, 1970
Interviewer: Herb Hake

  • Illinois Central Railroad
  • wooden covered bridge over rail tracks
  • Indians camped in Cedar Falls
  • stockyards-5th & Water St. (State)
  • first post office
  • Cotton Theater
  • Wild Buffalo Bill's show in Melarky's pasture
  • circus
  • Cedar Valley District Fair
  • race track
  • family horse and airplane
  • trotting races at fair
  • Harry Israel and family
  • hydro plane on river
  • Mainstreet bridge
  • boating & swimming on river
  • church picnics held in Round Park in Cedar Heights
  • Rainbow Drive (origin of name)
  • William Taft in Cedar Falls
  • boys leaving for WWI
  • Armistice Day, November 11, 1918
  • Cedar Falls Concert Band
  • Knapp home
  • stone sidewalks
  • tar and gravel sidewalks
  • Ed Wilson
  • Joe Foster (night watchman at bank)
  • fire in Wisebard stable
  • WCF&N car barns' fire
  • mill fire
  • fire department equipment & its use
  • washing machine factory
  • Casey's Blacksmith Shop
  • early druggists

Tape lOb--Stella R. Wynegar
Time: 20 min.

  • liquor in drug store during prohibition
  • Pheiffer charity
  • first gas station
  • irst town marshal
  • Ku Klux Klan
  • Dead Man's Island in Cedar River
  • Owner of The Record
  • early doctors
  • watertower (broke & froze)
  • wooden water pipes (wooden boxes)
  • springs by river
  • early stores
  • state GAR camp
  • Old Central Public School
  • Field brothers & their horses
  • stone barn southwest of town

Tape 11--Joseph B. Clay, October 20, 1970
John Livingston, August 17, 1972
Recollections of a pioneer industrialist and a pioneer aviator.
Interviewer: Doris Ford

Tape 12a--Florence Clay Knox
(Recollection of girlhood in Cedar Falls, Iowa)
c. 1880's. Time: 30 min. per side. June 29, 1973
Interviewer: Herb Hake

  • Bess Streeter Aldrich
  • Chinese laundryman
  • Congregational Church
  • Commercial Hotel
  • Pheiffer brothers
  • Pheiffer brewery
  • Pheiffer Drug Company
  • kerosene street lamps
  • carbon arc street lights
  • only Black family
  • water tower (broke & froze)
  • Cedar Valley Fair
  • horse racing
  • automobiles
  • gasoline trolley
  • Woman's Club House
  • lovely old homes
  • Normal School
  • Principal Gilchrist
  • Cotton Theater
  • opera house
  • roller skating rink

Tape 12b--Florence Clay Knox

  • Overman block & other Overman property
  • Peter Melendy
  • first school in Cedar Falls
  • Stone bridge on mainstreet
  • mainstreet
  • public school discipline
  • mud streets
  • rock streets
  • board sidewalks
  • 4th of July "Liberty Car"
  • trolley car
  • city water system
  • garbage system
  • snow removal
  • transportation on the snow
  • sledding on "Cameron's Hill"
  • horse racing on the river ice
  • cutting ice for the ice house
  • trading with the Indians

Tape 13--George A. Bairnson, October 4, 1973
Anecdotes of 50 years of medical practice.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 14--Erma B. Plaehn, November 11, 1973
Gallery Talk on "Early Government in Black Hawk County."

Tape 15--Earl Eiler, November 24, 1973
Experiences in the butcher 's trade.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 16--Charles J. "Chuck" Hearst, November 30, 1973
History of Maplehearst Farm.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 17--1973 Christmas Party, December 9, 1973, Part II
Recollections of 50-year residents: Iver Christoffersen, Clare Berg, Elmer Rasmussen, Mabel Nasby, Cleo Howard, and Fauntelle Bancroft.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 18--1973 Christmas Party, Deember 9, 1973, Part II
Recollections of 50-year residents: Mrs. L. E. Schwanke and Mrs. Nick Ilax, Frank and Fern Hitchcook, Edith Dryden, N. E. Brown, Herman Siepert, Robert Riker, Edith Berg, John J. McCoy, Louis Wood, Sally Paine, Ruth Casey, and Helen Isley.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 19--Hans and Aksel Holst, December 29, 1973
History of the Danes in Cedar Falls.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 20--Mrs. Charles Chickering, February 8, 1974
Recollections by a granddaughter of George V. Clark.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 21--Bert Schou, July 30, 1974
Experiences of a locomotive engineer.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 22--Inez Radell, August 6, 1974
Recollections by the daughter of a pioneer merchant.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 23--Oren F. Paine, November 9, 1974
Experiences in the building trade.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 24--Edith Dryden, December 2, 1974
Experiences of a milliner.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 25--1974 Christmas Party, December 8, 1974
Recollections of Danish traditions by Margaret Michaelsen, Lillian Nielsen, Iver Christoffersen, Mrs. Hieber (mother of Douglas Hieber), Theresa Petersen, Dagne Petersen, Harder Aksel Holst, and Olivia Johnson.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 26--Clara Nolte, January 4, 1975
Recollections of a German teacher and early advocate of Woman's Rights.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 27--Malcolm Price, Marh 17, 1975
History of the College during World War II.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 28--Robert H. Corning, February 8, 1976
Recollections of boyhood and manhood in hardware business.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 29--Robert H. Corning, February 8, 1976
Conclusion of interview.

Tape 30--Gerald S. Wise, June 18, 1976
Memories of boyhood in Cedar Falls and Sears, Roebuck career.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 31--Les Santee, September 2, 1976
Recollections of real estate salesman and state legislator.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 32--Gladys Hearst and Sally Pinkham, November 16, 1976
Recollections of WAVES officers stationed on ISTC campus during World War II.
Interviewer: Cornelia Davis

Tape 33--Iver Christoffersen, November 23, 1976
Memories of long-time local attorney and civic leader.
Interviewer: Herb Hake

Tape 34--Herb Hake, July 15, 1977
Personal recollections.
Interviewer: Alice Myers (2 copies)

 Box 2

Tape 35--Olivia Johnson, Part I, September 7, 1977
Identification and description of Museum exhibits.

Tape 36--Olivia Johnson, Part II, September 9, 1977
Identification and description of Museum exhibits continued.

Tape 37--Olivia Johnson, Part III, September 10, 1977
Identification and description of Museum exhibits concluded.

Tape 38--William D. Lynch, March 6, 1978
Recollections by a "Professor's Kid" of boyhood in Cedar Falls.
Announcer: Herb Hake

Tape 39--Ferner Nuhn, I and II, September 19, 1978 (2 copies)
Random Recollections by a Cedar Falls author about his parents and their connections with the German Evangelical Church, father's association with the railroad and the building and loan business, Ferner's meeting and marrying Ruth Suckow, the Cedar Falls Art Association, famous visitors in the Nuhn homes, and father's success in bringing the Bible Conference to Cedar Falls.
Interviewer: Gladys Hearst

Tape 40--Ferner Nuhn, III (conclusion), September 19, 1978 (2 copies)

Tape 41--Interview with William D. Lynch

Tape 42--Interview with Nannett E. Waldman

Tape 43--Luther Burkett Program on Martin White and Iowa Pottery, March 25, 1979.

Tape 44--Interview with Welker Schaller, March 26, 1979.

Tape 45--Ice Cutting nd., Roger Miller, Waterloo
Interviewer: Nancy Redfern

Tape 46--Carl Howes, September 23, 1979
Interviewer: Maxine Schwank

Tape 47--Cedar City Open House, April 13, 1980
Interviewer: Elsie Randall Tietz

Tape 48--John Harns on Raab Vases, September 4, 1980
Interviewer: Nancy Redfern

Tape 49--Historical Society Banquet, May 9, 1980
Speaker: James L. Hearst

One-room School Experiences of UNI Staff and Faculty Members, interviewed by William Dreier

Tape 1: Jean and Gordon Porter, interviewed March 4, 1993

Side A: Jean - on staff from 1969-82 in Housing and Food Services
Side B: Gordon - on staff from 1968-82 in Physical Plant-Golf Course

Tape 2: Gordon Porter, Part II

Tape 3: Melvin Schneider, interviewed December 22, 1994

Side A: Melvin - on staff from 1945-58
Side B: Empty

Tape 4: Basil Reppas, interviewed January 25, 1995

Side A: Basil - on staff from 1961-present in Educational Psychology and Foundations
Side B: probably empty

Tape 5: Mildred Wood, interviewed May 16, 1994

Side A: Mildred -B.A. 1956, M.A. 1962, on faculty 1962-65
Side B: probably empty

Tape 6: William Dreier, recorded May 18, 1993

Side A: William - on faculty 1949-1985 Recording his memories of the one-room school in Hardin County, Iowa.
Side B: probably empty

Processing Information

Web version of this finding aid was created by Library Assistant Susan A. Basye, Library Assistant, July 1998; updated, April 11, 2013 (GP). Updated by Library Associate Dave Hoing, February 2018.

Rod Building
About Us
My Account
Ask Us!
Site Search
Floor Maps
Staff List