Gary Lettow Collection, 1865-2012

Collection Overview

Title: Gary Lettow Collection, 1865-2012

Record Series: MsC-88

Record Group:

Manuscripts

Creator: Lettow, Gary

Date: 1865-2012

Extent: 10 boxes (10.75 linear feet)

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

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Physical Access: Box 10 is located in Manuscripts Oversized 3.

Technical Access: Some of the material was recorded on obsolete technology, such as audiocassettes, VHS tapes, and phonograph records. These have not been digitalized.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Mr. Lettow’s collection was donated to the library in 2016 by his wife, Lucille.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

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Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the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.

Historical Note

Gary Lettow was a long-time teacher in the Cedar Falls Public schools. He was born to Emil and Leah Johnson Lettow on January 28, 1938, in Eldora, Iowa. After graduating from Eldora High School in 1956, Mr. Lettow served in the U.S. Army in Korea. He then received his B.A. from the University of Iowa in 1964, and his M.S. in Music Education from the University of Missouri in 1967.  

Mr. Lettow married Lucille Ziesman on July 25, 1964, in Hubbard, Iowa. The couple had one son, Karl.

Before moving to Cedar Falls, Mr. Lettow taught at the Yale-Jamaica-Bagley Schools in Bagley, Iowa, and at the Columbia Schools in Columbia, Missouri.

In addition to his teaching duties, he was a Civil War scholar who saw to it that many veterans’ graves were identified and marked. Until shortly before his death he performed in the Cedar Falls Municipal Band, Marengo Civil War Band, UNI Horizons Band, and the Iowa Veterans Band.

He was a member of Nazareth Lutheran Church, where he ushered, played in the bell choir, and volunteered in the library.

He retired from the U.S. Army Reserves in 1992, and from the Cedar Falls schools in 1997.

Mr. Lettow died on December 28, 2014, in Cedar Falls. He is survived by his wife and son, daughter-in-law Heather, and grandchildren Logan, Chloe, and Layton Lettow.

Information gathered from the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier and other sources.

Scope and Content

Mr. Lettow collected a large number of military medals, patches, and insignias, as well as brief files with information about veterans from Iowa who were awarded the Medal of Honor during their service. The files are especially strong on Civil War soldiers, but they also cover the Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, Boxer Rebellion, Philippine Insurgence, Battle of Veracruz, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War.

He also collected paper currencies from countries all over the world.

GENERAL LIST OF BOXES

BOX 1 – INFORMATION FILES ABOUT IOWA SOLDIERS

BOX 2 – NATIONAL ARCHIVES FEDERAL PENSION OR BOUNTY LAND GRANT APPLICATIONS; MEDAL OF HONOR HISTORICAL SOCIETY MATERIAL; PAPER CURRENCY; NAVY MEDALS, INSIGNIA, AND PATCHES

BOX 3 – MILITARY BAND MEDALS, INSIGNIA, AND PATCHES; ARTICLES; NATIONAL GUARD STICKERS

BOXES 4-7 – BOOKS

BOX 8 – OVERSIZED BOOKS; DES MOINES REGISTERS; MAGAZINES

BOX 9 – THE ANNALS; MISCELLANEOUS; EPHEMERA

BOX 10 – OVERSIZED EPHEMERA

Inventory

BOX 1 – INFORMATION FILES ABOUT IOWA SOLDIERS

Many of these files contain photographs of the veteran’s grave, news clippings, and correspondence between Mr. Lettow and descendants of the veterans.  One even has two musket balls from a Civil War battlefield.

There is only one female Medal of Honor recipient represented in this collection, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a surgeon during the Civil War.

The files are strongest on Civil War soldiers, but also have a surprising number of Medal of Honor recipients from the Indian Wars (including William F. Cody—Buffalo Bill, who was a resident of Iowa for a time). In addition, there are files from the Spanish-American War, Boxer Rebellion, Philippine Insurgence, Battle of Veracruz, World War I, World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War. Oddly, there is only one entry each for the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Folders 1-50: CIVIL WAR (1861-1865)

  • Folder 1: Anderson, Peter T.
  • Folder 2: Bates, Norman F.
  • Folder 3: Bebb, Edward J.
  • Folder 3: Bennett, Orson W.
  • Folder 4: Birdsall, Horatio L.
  • Folder 5: Bouquet, Nicholas S.
  • Folder 6: Bras, Edgar A.
  • Folder 7: Cadwell, Luman L.
  • Folder 8: Campbell, William
  • Folders 9-10: Clark, Charles A.
  • Folder 11: Cosgriff, Richard H.
  • Folder 12: Donaldson, John P.
  • Folder 13: Drury, James
  • Folder 14: Dunlavy, James
  • Folder 15: Elson, James
  • Folder 16: Fanning, Nicholas
  • Folder 17: Gardner, James D.
  • Folder 18: Godley, Leonidas M.
  • Folder 19: Goldsberry, Andrew
  • Folder 20: Grant, Lewis A.
  • Folder 21: Hayes, John
  • Folder 22: Healey, George W.
  • Folder 23: Herrington, Pitt B.
  • Folder 24: Herron, Francis J.
  • Folder 25: Hill, James
  • Folder 26: Kaltenbach, Luther P.
  • Folder 27: Kephart, James
  • Folder 28: May, William C.
  • Folder 29: Mayes, William B.
  • Folder 30: McWilliams, George W.
  • Folder 31: Miller, James P.
  • Folder 32: Morgan, Richard H.
  • Folder 33: Power, Albert
  • Folder 34: Reddick, William H.
  • Folder 35: Russell, Charles L.
  • Folder 36: Russell, Milton T.
  • Folder 37: Sloan, Andrew J.
  • Folder 38: Smith, Henry I.
  • Folder 39: Spalding, Edward B.
  • Folder 40: Stickels, Joseph
  • Folder 41: Strong, James N.
  • Folder 42: Swan, Charles A.
  • Folder 43: Tibbets, Andrew W.
  • Folder 44: Twombly, Voltaire P. (Has two battlefield musket balls with ephemera, box 9)
  • Folder 45: Vale, John
  • Folder 46: Walker, Mary Edwards
  • Folder 47: Welch, George W.
  • Folder 48: Whitmore, John W.
  • Folder 49: Williamson, James A.
  • Folder 50: Young, Calvary M.

Folders 51-50: INDIAN WARS (1860s-1890s)

  • Folder 51: Burnett, George R.
  • Folder 52: Cody, William F.
  • Folder 53: Harding, Mosher A.
  • Folder 54: Holden, Henry
  • Folder 55: Keenan, John
  • Folder 56: Knox, John W.
  • Folder 57: Pfeiff, Louis
  • Folder 58: Sale, Albert
  • Folder 59: Stanley, Ebin

Folders 60-64: SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR (1898)

  • Folder 60: Birkhimer, William E.
  • Folder 61: Deignan, Osborn W.
  • Folder 62: Grove, William R.
  • Folder 63: Huntsman, John A.
  • Folder 64: Straub, Paul F.

Folders 65-66: BOXER REBELLION (1900)

  • Folder 65: Lawton, Louis B.
  • Folder 66 Titus, Calvin P.

Folder 67-68: PHILIPPINE INSURRECTION (1906)

  • Folder 67: Fitz, Joseph
  • Folder 68: Ray, Charles W.

Folder 69-70: BATTLE OF VERACRUZ (1914)

  • Folder 69: Fletcher, Frank F.
  • Folder 70: Fletcher, Frank J.

Folders 71-73: WORLD WAR I (1914-1918)

  • Folder 71: Izac, Edouard
  • Folder 72: Lemert, Milo
  • Folder 73: Pike, Emory J.

Folders 74-82: WORLD WAR II (1939-1945)

  • Folder 74: Beyer, Arthur O.
  • Folder 75: Briles, Herschel F.
  • Folder 76: Christensen, Dale E.
  • Folder 77: Lindsey, Darrell R.
  • Folder 78: Neppel, Ralph G.
  • Folder 79: Olson, Arlo L.
  • Folder 80: Pierce, Francis J.
  • Folder 81: Riordan, Paul F.
  • Folder 82: Thorson, John F.

KOREAN WAR (1950-1953)

  • Folder 83: Edwards, Junior D.

VIETNAM WAR (1961-1975)

  • Folder 84: Hibbs, Robert J.

LISTS OF IOWA MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS

  • Folder 85: 1 file with several lists and correspondence, plus 1 booklet entitled The Medal of Honor at Gettysburg

BOX 2 – NATIONAL ARCHIVES FEDERAL PENSION OR BOUNTY LAND GRANT APPLICATIONS;  MEDAL OF HONOR HISTORICAL SOCIETY MATERIAL;  PAPER CURRENCY;  NAVY MEDALS, INSIGNIA, AND PATCHES

Folders 1-8: NATIONAL ARCHIVES FEDERAL PENSION OR BOUNTY LAND GRANT APPLICATIONS

  • Folder 1: Bras, Edgar
  • Folder 2: Bresnahan, Patrick
  • Folder 3: Healy, George
  • Folder 4: Kaltenbach, Luther
  • Folder 5: May, William
  • Folder 6: Miller, James P.
  • Folder 7: Tibbets, Andrew
  • Folder 8: Young, Calvary M.

MEDAL OF HONOR HISTORICAL SOCIETY MATERIAL

  • Folder 9: Publications, information sheets, brochures, correspondence, etc. See also Box 9.

PAPER CURRENCY

  • Folders 10-15: Mr. Lettow collected paper currency from countries all over the world, including some, such as Yugoslavia, which no longer exist.

NAVY MEDALS, INSIGNIA, AND PATCHES

  • Folders 16-25: There are too many of these to list individually.

BOX 3 – MILITARY BAND MEDALS, INSIGNIA, AND PATCHES;  ARTICLES;  NATIONAL GUARD STICKERS

MILITARY BAND MEDALS, INSIGNIA, AND PATCHES

  • Folders 1-6: Again, there are too many of these to list individually here.

Folders 7-12: ARTICLES

  • Folder 7: Army bands (several articles)
  • Folder 8: “Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II”
  • Folder 9: “Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms”
  • Folder 10: Miscellaneous articles
  • Folder 11: Untitled article with pictures of military emblems
  • Folder 12: “Where Was Camp Pope?”

Folder 13: NATIONAL GUARD STICKERS

Stickers to be placed on bumpers or refrigerators.

BOX 4 – BOOKS

Folder 1: Arlington National Cemetery (James Edward Peters, author, 1986)

Folder 2: Army Badges and Insignia of World War II, Book One (Guido Rosignoli, author, 1975)

Folder 3: Army Badges and Insignia of World War II, Books Two (Guido Rosignoli, author, 1975)

Folder 4: Army Badges and Insignia Since 1945, Book One (Guido Rosignoli, author, 1973)

Folder 5: Civil War in the Northwest, The (Robert Huhn Jones, author, 1960)

Folder 6: Civil War in the Western Border, 1854-1865, The (Jay Monaghan, author, 1955)

Folder 7: Civil War Regiments from Iowa (no author or editor listed, 2003)

Folder 8: Damned Iowa Greyhound, A (Donald C. Elder III, editor, 1998)

Folder 9: Dark Days of the Rebellion (Benjamin Booth & Steve Meyer, authors, 1995)

Folder 10: Dear Catherine, Dear Taylor (Richard Kiper, editor, 2002)

Folder 11: Deeds of Valor, v. 1 (W.F. Beyer & O.F. Keydel, editors, 1905)

Folder 12: Deeds of Valor, v. 2 (W.F. Beyer & O.F. Keydel, editors, 1905)

Folder 13: Dream’s End (Orr Kelly and Mary Davies Kelly, authors, 1998)

BOX 5 – BOOKS

Folder 1: Father Abraham’s Boys in Blue (Theo M. Cook, author, 1973)

Folder 2: Forts Henry and Donelson (Benjamin Franklin Cooling, author, 1987)

Folder 3: Graybeards, The (Harriet Stevens, editor, 1998)

Folder 4: Guide to United States Army Insignia, A (Gordon Petersen, author, 1942)

Folder 5: History of the Sixth Iowa Infantry, A (Henry H. Wright, author, 1923)

Folder 6: Iowa Colonels and Regiments (Captain A.A. Stuart, author, 1865)  Note: This book is very fragile

Folder 7: Iowa Department of the Grand Army of the Republic, The (Jacob Swisher, editor, 1936)

Folder 8: Iowa Soldier in World War I, An (Joe Romedahl, author, 1993)

Folder 9: Iowa’s Forgotten General, Matthew Mark Trumball (Kenneth Lyftogt, author, 2005)

Folder 10: Living with Honor (Salvatore A. Giunta, author, 2012)

BOX 6 - BOOKS

Folder 1: Love Amid the Turmoil (Donald C. Elder III, editor, 2003)

Folder 2: Love and Valor Cemeteries (Charles F. Latimer, author, 2003)

Folder 3: Lyon Campaign, The (E.F. Ware, author, 1991)

Folder 4: Medal of Honor Recipients, 1863-1973 (no author or editor listed, 1973)

Folder 5: Military Uniforms, 1686-1918 (Rene North, author, 1970)

Folder 6: On the Skirmish Line Behind a Friendly Tree (Stacy Dale Allen, editor, 2006)

Folder 7: Palimpsest, The (magazine, April 1972)

Folder 8: Perfect Picture of Hell, A (Ted Genoways & Hugh Genoways, editors, 2001)

Folder 9: Return with Honor (George E. Day, author, 1989)

Folder 10: Ribbons and Medals (H. Taprell Dorling, author, 1974)

Folder 11: Rock Island Arsenal (no author or editor listed, 1992)

Folder 12: Roster of Iowa Soldiers, v. 1 (no author or editor listed, 1908)

BOX 7 – BOOKS

Folder 1: Roster of Iowa Soldiers, v. 2 (no author or editor listed, 1908)

Folder 2: Roster of Iowa Soldiers, v. 5 (no author or editor listed, 1911)

Folder 3: Roster of Iowa Soldiers, v. 6 (no author or editor listed, 1911)

Folder 4: Short History of the Rock Island Prison Barracks, A (Otis Bryan England, author, 1985)

Folder 5: Soldier Boy (Barry Popchock, author, 1995)

Folder 6: Southern Sons, Northern Soldiers (Julie Holcomb, editor, 2004)

Folder 7: Such Are the Trials (Kathleen Davis, editor, 1991)

Folder 8: Tramps and Triumphs if the Second Iowa Infantry (John T. Bell, author, 1961)

Folder 9: Triumphant Service Songs (no author or editor, 1934)

Folder 10: Uncle Sam’s Orchestra (John Canarina, author, 2007)

Folder 11: Union Must Stand, The (Mark Grimsley, Todd Miller, editors, 2000)

Folder 12: With Fire and Sword (Major S.H.M. Byers, author, 1911)

BOX 8 – DES MOINES REGISTERS; MAGAZINES; OVERSIZED BOOKS

Folder 1: Des Moines Register (several issues from 1940)

Folders 2-3: Magazines

  • Folder 2: Life magazine, July 2, 1951
  • Folder 3: U.S. News and World Report, September 13, 1991

Folders 4-10: Oversized books

  • Folder 4: Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms (William Emerson, 1996)
  • Folder 5: Sesquicentennial History of Iowa, A, v. 3 (Donald A. Kimball, author, c. 1995)
  • Folder 6: Sesquicentennial History of Iowa, A, v. 4 (Donald A. Kimball, author, c. 1995)
  • Folder 7: Sesquicentennial History of Iowa, A, v. 5 (Donald A. Kimball, author, c. 1995)
  • Folder 8: Sesquicentennial History of Iowa, A, v. 6 (Donald A. Kimball, author, c. 1995)
  • Folder 9: Sesquicentennial History of Iowa, A, v. 7 (Donald A. Kimball, author, c. 1995)
  • Folder 10: Soldier Life and Many Must Fall (two books in one, no author or editor listed, 2008)

BOX 9 – ANNALS ;  MISCELLANEOUS;  EPHEMERA

THE ANNALS  (publication of the Medal of Honor Historical Society)

Folders 1-4: The Annals, June 1984-March 2006 (many issues missing)

Folders 5-9: MISCELLANEOUS

  • Folder 5: Brochures, posters, programs, etc.
  • Folder 6: Correspondence
    • Lufkin, Jack
    • Peck, Bertha
    • Sprague, Steve
    • Unknown, but likely descendants of Harry Mast
  • Folder 7: Notebook with Medal of Honor recipients
  • Folder 8: Photographs of Civil War re-enactors
  • Folder 9: Postcards (blank)

Folders 10-15: EPHEMERA

  • Folder 10: Boson whistle
  • Folder 11: Bullets and shrapnel from Fort Hood
  • Folder 12: Military cap
  • Folder 13: Musket balls from Civil War battlefield at Fort Donelson, Tennessee (were with the informational material about Voltaire P. Twombly)
  • Folder 14: Stage Door Canteen (2 cassette tapes)
  • Folder 15: World War II, The Music Video, v. 1-2 (2 VHS tapes)

BOX 10 – OVERSIZED EPHEMERA

Folder 1: Prints, sheet music, etc.

Folder 2: Stage Door Canteen (3 phonograph albums)

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Library Associate Dave Hoing in August 2016. Updated October 2017 (dh). Linear feet count updated on August 9, 2017. Note to staff: The Lettow Collection, MsC 88, is located after the Grassley Papers Collection in the back room. Because of the latter's size, it is filed toward the end of the manuscript collection, between MsC 87 and MsC 88.