Irving H. Hart

Extension Faculty, University Archivist

            Irving Hart July 14, 1958. To Members of the Faculty: Irving H. Hart, Director of Extension Service for many years, came to the close of a long and useful life at his home last Saturday, July 12. Mr. Hart had undergone surgery during the past winter but had returned to service at the college this spring. More recently, however, he was hospitalized for what proved to be his final illness. Mr. Hart came to Iowa State Teachers College in 1914 as professor of rural education and assistant director of the extension division. In 1918, he assumed the office of Director of Extension Service and served in this capacity until 1948. Since then he has served as college archivist and historian on an emeritus basis. Highly respected by his colleagues, Mr. Hart was an exceedingly active member of this faculty, serving on many important faculty committees. He will always be remembered for his keen insight into, and unflagging enthusiasm for, the program of this college. Services for the family only will be held at the Hart residence in Cedar Falls on Tuesday morning, July 15. The flag will be lowered to half mast and the campanile will be played at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday as an expression of our admiration and respect for Mr. Hart. Sincerely yours, J. W. Maucker, President. IOWA STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE Senate Minutes Docket No. 623 July 28, 1958 With the death of Irving H. Hart on July 12, 1958, this college lost one of its greatest leaders. To call him a gentleman and a scholar is on both counts completely accurate. His influence throughout his forty-four years of service to this institution has been felt not just within the area in which his principal duties lay but spreading out over the entire college community. Irving Hart was an unusual combination of the conservative, the liberal, the traditional, and the progressive in one man. Many of the aspects of this institution which we now value came about because of his initiative and foresight. As Director of Extension for thirty-three years from 1915 to 1948, he created and established the teacher-consultative service and organized and supervised study centers for in-service training in localities all over the state. He was instrumental in organizing the National Association for Field Services in Teacher Education. From 1942 to 1948 he initiated and established our radio service and after his retirement was an important figure in the television program carried on by the college notably in the series entitled "Landmarks of Iowa," a weekly schooltime program which was awarded national honors. At faculty meetings Mr. Hart's reasonable judgment was sought and highly regarded both in matters of policy and procedure. Under his leadership the first set of rules and regulations of the faculty was prepared and the groundwork for faculty procedural organization was established. After his retirement in 1948 he established the college archives and was the college archivist and historian until his death. In 1951 he published The First 75 Years, a history of the college, and at the time of his death was completing a definitive history. In local and state community affairs he has made an enviable contribution. The Iowa State Education Association elected him president for two years in 1933 and 1934, and he was parliamentarian for many years thereafter.* His complete history of educational legislation in Iowa is being microfilmed at this time for library records. In recognition of his contributions to education, he was awarded a special citation by his alma mater, Grinnell College, at its June 1958 commencement exercises. He was an important figure in the Iowa State Historical Society. On the local scene he was a member of the Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce and its president in 1936 and 1937. He was also a member of the Sartori Hospital Board and its chairman for eleven years from 1937 to 1948. Irving Hart was always keenly aware of his environment and demonstrated repeatedly an ability to recognize and put to creative use the common-place things overlooked by most of us, and he had a further ability to interest others in his discoveries. A case in point is the result of his purchase many years ago of a summer cottage on Sandy Lake, Minnesota. With the help of his sons he made archaeological discoveries relating to the American Indian and the early travel routes of white settlers. As a result of these contributions he was made a life member of the Minnesota State Historical Society. Be it therefore resolved that we honor the memory of Irving H. Hart and that this resolution be placed on the records of this body, and that a copy be sent to the members of his family expressing our gratitude for his service to Iowa State Teachers College, to the State of Iowa, and to public education throughout the nation. A. E. Brown Elmer Ritter Stanley Wood * Mr. Hart was President of I. S. T. A. for one year only, 1933-34. Fred D.Cram CEDAR FALLS --- Funeral services for I.H. Hart, an Iowa State Teachers College staff member for 44 years, will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the Dahl Funeral Home. Mr. Hart, 80, died as the result of cancer at his home Saturday night. He had been seriously ill for about two months. The veteran educator was the director of extension services at I.S.T.C. for 34 years after he came to the college in 1914. Following his retirement in 1948 he was archivist and served in an emeritus capacity in that position for the past ten years. Prior to coming to I.S.T.C., Mr. Hart was superintendent of schools at Allison, Iowa. Before that he taught in military and preparatory schools in Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas. Mr. Hart originated the idea of the I.S.T.C. consultative services provided for teachers and school officials throughout Iowa. He also sponsored the establishment of the radio studios at ISTC. Mr. Hart was known more recently through his participation in the "Landmarks of Iowa History," a weekly schooltime television series. Mr. Hart was born in Grinnell, Iowa, Sept. 3, 1877. He received his schooling in Iowa and was a graduate of Grinnell College, which honored him this spring for distinguished service in education. He saw service in both the Spanish American War and World War I. Among the many organizations to which he belonged were the Iowa State Education Association, the National Education Association, Phi Beta Kappa, the Iowa Historical Society, and the Masonic Lodge. He was a member of the St. Luke's Episcopal Church here. A prolific writer on the subject of education, his books included: The First Seventy Five Years, a history of Iowa State Teachers College; "Milestones," a history of the Iowa State Education Association, and "Stories of Iowa," a series of 30 radio dramas. Survivors include his wife; two daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Bennett of Evanston, Illinois, and Mrs. Frank Zink of Glen Ellyn, Illinois; and two sons, Irving H. Hart, Jr. of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Evan A. Hart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Rev. Mr. William Bagby will officiate the private funeral Tuesday.