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Gov. Branstad presents “Excellence in History” awards

Posted April 14, 2015 in Web Exclusives

DES MOINES – Gov. Terry Branstad and State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI) Board of Trustees Chair William Bartine presented this year’s “Awards for Excellence in History” today during a ceremony at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines. SHSI is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA).

“I am pleased to recognize and honor the recipients of this year’s ‘Awards for Excellence in History,’” Branstad said. “As many people know, I am passionate about Iowa and our state’s history and I appreciate the dedication our award recipients have shown to preserve and share our rich history.”

“These awards and certificates recognize the best of Iowa history and we are very pleased to present them to our honorees today,” Bartine said. “They are the cream of the crop and their contributions to Iowa history will be studied and enjoyed by Iowans for generations to come. Congratulations to all our award recipients for their notable achievements.”

Through the awards program, SHSI’s Board of Trustees recognizes individuals, organizations and communities who made outstanding contributions last year to the study and practice of Iowa history. The list of this year’s SHSI Board of Trustees “Awards for Excellence in History” recipients follows:

George Mills/Louise Noun Award

The award recognizes the author of the most significant popular history article on an Iowa history topic published during the previous calendar year. It is named in honor of Iowa reporter and popular historian George Mills and historian of women’s history and philanthropist Louise Noun.

·         Award Recipient: Susan Futrell of Iowa City, Iowa

·         Title: “Atoms Amidst the Cornfields: Pride, Patriotism and Secret Atomic Research at Ames, Iowa”

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/georgemills-louisenoun-futrell.jpg> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Susan Futrell and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

·         Honorable Mention; John Busbee of Des Moines, Iowa

·         Title: “Last Full Measure of Devotion: Civil War Claimed All Six Littleton Brothers”

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/georgemills-louisenoun-busbee.jpg> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, John Busbee and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

·         Honorable Mention: Timothy Walch of Iowa City, Iowa

·         Title: “A Capital Librarian! The Life and Times of Forrest Spaulding”

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/georgemills-louisenoun-walch.jpg> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Timothy Walch and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

Mildred Throne/Charles Aldrich Award

This annual award recognizes the author of the most significant article on Iowa history in a professional history journal during the previous calendar year. It is named in honor of Mildred Throne, longtime editor of the Iowa Journal of History and Politics, and Charles Aldrich, who founded the third series of the Annals of Iowa.

·         Award Recipient: Eric Steven Zimmer, Iowa City, Iowa

·         Title: “Settlement Sovereignty: The Meskwaki Fight for Self-Governance, 1856-1937”

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/mildredthrone-charlesaldrich-zimmer.jpg> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Eric Steven Zimmer and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

·         Honorable Mention: Derek Oden of Corpus Christi, Texas

·         Title: “Perils of Production: Farm Hazards, Family Farming, and the Mechanization of the Corn Belt, 1940-1980”

·         Photo Not Available

·         Honorable Mention: Shari Rabin of Brooklyn, New York

·         Title: “A Nest to the Wandering Bird’: Iowa and the Creation of American Judaism, 1855-1877”

·         Photo Not Available

Benjamin F. Shambaugh Award

This annual award recognizes the author of the most significant book published on Iowa history during the previous calendar year. It is named in honor of Benjamin F. Shambaugh, who for 40 years was the superintendent of the State Historical Society of Iowa and a professor of political economy at the University of Iowa.

·         Award Recipient: Bryce T. Bauer of Queens, New York & Chaffee County, Colorado

·         Title: “Gentlemen Bootleggers: The True Story of Templeton Rye, Prohibition, and a Small Town in Cahoots”

·         Photo Not Available

·         Honorable Mention: Laurence Gonzales of Evanston, Illinois

·         Title: “Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival”

·         Photo Not Available

·         Honorable Mention: Lowell J. Soike of Des Moines, Iowa

·         Title: “Busy in the Cause: Iowa, the Free-State Struggle in the West, and the Prelude to the Civil War”

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/benjaminshambaugh-soike.jpg> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Lowell J. Soike and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

Loren Horton Community History Award

This award is named in honor of Loren Horton, who represented the State Historical Society of Iowa in many capacities from 1973 until his retirement in 1996. As SHSI’s field services coordinator and senior historian, Horton’s work brought him in close contact with many local historical organizations. In keeping with that legacy, this award recognizes the best project that increases awareness and participation in Iowa history on a local level. The award recognizes an individual, group, or organization whose outstanding local history project was completed during the previous calendar year.

·         Award Recipient: Jason Clayworth and Charlie Litchfield of Des Moines, Iowa

·         Project: The Des Moines Register series: “Iowa’s Lost Schools”

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/lorenhorton-clayworth-litchfield.jpg> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Jason Clayworth and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

·         Certificate of Recognition: Ames 150 sesquicentennial commemoration of the U.S. Civil War

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/lorenhorton-ames.jpg> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Jim Black, Casie Vance, Gloria Betcher, Allyson Walter, Crystal Davis, Melissa Mundt and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

William J. Petersen/Edgar R. Harlan Award

The Petersen/Harlan Award recognizes an individual, group, or organization that has made significant long-term or continuing contributions to Iowa history. It is named in honor of two legends at the State Historical Society of Iowa, William J. Petersen and Edgar R. Harlan. William Petersen, long-time curator of the State Historical Society in Iowa City, was known for his book, “Steamboating on the Mississippi,” earning the nickname “Steamboat Bill.” Edgar Ruby Harlan, who served as the second director and curator of the Historical Department of Iowa, played a key role in acquiring many of the museum’s most important collections.

·         Award Recipient: Living History Farms of Urbandale, Iowa

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/peterson-harlan-livinghistoryfarms.jpg> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Robert B. Kurtz, Jr., Ruth Haus and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

The Board of Trustees also presents four Preservation Projects of Merit Awards to recognize projects that exemplify the best of historic preservation practices, meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings, utilize the state historic preservation and cultural and entertainment district tax credit program, and were successfully completed in the previous state fiscal year.

The list of Preservation Projects of Merit Award recipients recognized today follows:

Judith A. McClure Historic Preservation Award

The Judith A. McClure Award recognizes outstanding preservation of a residential property. The award is named for Judith A. McClure, lifelong preservation architect and Sherman Hill pioneer.


·         Award Recipients: David Schlarmann and Shauneen Linton

·         Project: Garver House, Des Moines

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/mcclure-garverhouse.JPG> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, David Schlarmann, Shauneen Linton and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

Margaret Keyes Historic Preservation Award

The Margaret Keyes Award recognizes an outstanding large historic preservation project, a project with qualitied rehabilitation costs of $500,000.00 or more. The award is named for Margaret Keyes, a native of Mount Vernon, Iowa.  She was a nationally recognized leader in the field of heritage conservation and is best known for her work to preserve the Old Capitol at Iowa City, Iowa.


·         Award Recipient: Mike Nelson (ND 22 Fleming, LLC)

·         Project: Fleming Building, Des Moines

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/keyes-fleming.JPG> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Mike Nelson and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

Adrian D. Anderson Historic Preservation Award

The Adrian D. Anderson Award recognizes an outstanding small historic preservation project, a project with qualified rehabilitation costs of $500,000.00 or less. The award is named for Adrian D. Anderson, the first State Historic Preservation Officer and, later, director of the Iowa Historical Department.


·         Award Recipients: Tom McDonald and Marlene McDonald

·         Project: New Providence Building Association Stores, New Providence

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/anderson-newprovidence.JPG> : (l-r) Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie, Sen. Bill Dix, Tom McDonald, Marlene McDonald and Gov. Terry Branstad at the “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

William J. Wagner Historic Preservation Award

The William J. Wagner Award recognizes the historic preservation project that best exemplifies the use of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings. The award is named for William J. Wagner, Iowa’s first preservation architect – renowned for major projects including the Madison County Courthouse, the Marshall County Courthouse and Terrace Hill. Wagner is also noted for his design of the Riverfront YMCA in Downtown Des Moines.


·         Award Recipients: Jim Royer (J. Development Company)

·         Project: Abraham Lincoln High School Gymnasium, Council Bluffs

·         Photo <http://www.iowahistory.org/about/awards/images/wagner-abrahamlincoln.JPG> : Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie (left), Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa (fourth from left) and Gov. Terry Branstad (right) with Jim Royer (second from right) and the Abraham Lincoln High School Gymnasium rehabilitation project team during an “Awards for Excellence in History” ceremony Monday at the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

More information about SHSI and the “Awards for Excellence in History” is available at http://www.iowahistory.org or 515-281-5111.





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