Rod Library--Special Collections
To: Members of the Faculty
From: J. W. Maucker, President
Date: January 3, 1966
Word has been received of the death of Miss Rowena A. Edwards, former member of the Library staff at State College of Iowa, at a rest home in Elgin, Illinois.
Miss Edwards was born in Traer, Iowa, on June 27, 1877, and attended Iowa State College, Ames; Simmons College, Boston; and State College of Iowa. She joined the Library staff at State College of Iowa in 1916 as Cataloger, becoming Head Cataloger in 1918. After attaining emeritus status in 1947, she served on a part-time basis until her retirement in 1953.
Funeral services for Miss Edwards will be held. at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 6, at Dahl Funeral Home in Cedar Falls, with burial in Buckingham Cemetery, Traer, Iowa.
The flag will be flown at half-mast on Thursday afternoon and the Campanile bells will be played during the time of the funeral service in memory of Miss Edwards.
The Chair recognized Miss Dieterich, who read the following statement memorializing Rowena Edwards and moved that it be made a part of the permanent minutes of the faculty and that copies be sent to other members of the family:
ROWENA A. EDWARDS
To those of our present faculty who were here during any part of the years from 1916 to 1953, the name of Rowena Edwards is not unfamiliar. To them the news that came from Elgin, Illinois, of the death of Miss Edwards on January 2, 1966, brought memories of the college library, and in particular the catalog department. They must have recalled the gracious lady who presided over that department (most of those years as head cataloger) with quiet efficiency and unfailing courtesy and good humor. They might have pictured her, too, in her beloved Cedar Heights, which her father, Luther Edwards, had founded in 1908 and helped to develop. To this day Edwards Avenue perpetuates the family name.
Born in Traer June 27, 1877, schooled in Waterloo, Ames, and later Simmons College, Boston, where she had her preparation for library work, Miss Edwards came to Iowa State Teachers College in 1916. Before the year at Simmons, she had spent some fifteen years in the United States Weather Bureau in Washington. There she had risen to the position of assistant librarian. This was during the time when her uncle, "Tama Jim" Wilson, was the Secretary of Agriculture. The Washington years added unusual enrichment to her life, as did her later foreign travel, in a day when it was far less common than now.
During the long period of the Cedar Falls years, Miss Edwards' devotion to the College and her profession was matched by that to her family and her church. Her pride in her family and her generous concern for the well-being of its members were evident to all who knew her well. Her church was a deeply-felt interest. She was a charter member of the Cedar Heights Community Presbyterian Church, which her mother, Elizabeth Wilson Edwards, had been largely instrumental in founding. Later that church honored Miss Edwards by making her the first woman to serve as an elder. She was an enthusiastic member of the Faculty Women's Club and served ably for a year as its president. The D. A. R., too, listed her as a member. In all of her associations, whether professional or social, as charming hostess or welcome guest, she showed an unusual sensitivity to the feelings of others. In short, Miss Edwards was the kind of person who made life more pleasant for all with whom she came in contact. The College and the community are richer for her life and work.
We offer this as our tribute to a valued colleague and friend who worked among us and will not soon be forgotten.
Irene Ehresman, Chairman
Hake seconded. Motion carried.
Faculty Senate minutes, 850, March 21, 1966