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Release: Immediate

Papers belonging to former U.S. senator from Iowa are discovered, donated to UI

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The once missing papers of William Squire Kenyon, a former Republican U.S. senator from Iowa have been found and will be housed at the special collections department at University of Iowa Main Library.

Bob McCown, manuscripts librarian, says he expects the papers to be delivered to the UI on Thursday, Nov. 12.

The papers mean researchers can narrate and explain further Kenyon's work as a senator from 1911 to 1922 and learn more about the government during the Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge presidencies. Kenyon later served as a judge from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1922 until his death in 1933.

Kenyon's best known opinion as a judge was his decision to cancel the Teapot Dome leases that were associated with the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s.

When he died in 1933, boxes containing his writings were sent to his brother and were believed to have been stored in an attic or carriage house belonging to that family.

McCown intermittently contacted the Kenyon family in an attempt to locate the papers, but no one knew of their whereabouts until Roger Natte, a retired Iowa Central Community College history professor, and friend of McCown's, learned that the family's house had been sold and the new owners discovered the papers.

"We have a number of Iowa governors', senators' and legislators' papers. This adds to the mix and makes the UI a rich repository for people studying Iowa politics," McCown says.

The papers are a joint donation to the UI from the Kenyon family and the Mike Doyle family.