CEDAR RAPIDS — Winners from Mason City and Forest City were among those bestowed Excellence in History Awards this past week from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees. The awards honor individuals, organizations and communities that make outstanding contributions to the field of Iowa history. Among this year’s winners:

 

== Main Street Mason City won the Loren Horton Community History Award for its “Haunted Historic Building Tour”. The award recognizes outstanding local history projects completed during the previous calendar year. 

 

== The Winnebago Historical Society in Forest City won the Certificate of Recognition for volunteers for the document preparation and digitization for “Read All About It”

 

== Kevin Mason of Mason City won the Mildred Throne & Charles Aldrich Scholarly History Award for his article “Inkpaduta in Iowa: Dakota Decline, Dispossession, and Erasure” in The Annals of Iowa. The annual award recognizes the most significant article on Iowa history in a professional history journal during the previous year

 

== John Skipper of Mason City won the George Mills & Louise Noun Popular History Award for the article “James B. Morris Sr.: Persevering war veteran, lawyer, publisher, and civil rights activist” in the Iowa History Journal. 

 

Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and State Historical Society of Iowa announce Excellence in History awards

DES MOINES – Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg joined the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees to bestow the annual Excellence in History Awards during a ceremony today at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids.

The awards honor individuals, organizations and communities that make outstanding contributions to the field of Iowa history. The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

“The history of Iowa overflows with rich and colorful stories about the people and places that made our state what it is today,” Gregg said. “We thank our award winners because the stories they saved and shared help us understand who we are as we navigate the future.”

“This year’s award winners have overcome extremely difficult circumstances over the past couple of years, devoting countless hours to researching and sharing Iowa history,” said Tyler De Haan of Van Meter, chair of the historical society’s board of trustees. “We appreciate their curiosity and authenticity for the generations that can learn from their work.”

This year’s list of award winners includes individuals and projects in nearly every part of the state, including Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Forest City, Mason City, Sibley and Waterloo.

“The number of nominations this year is a strong indication that Iowa history continues to offer fascinating topics, not only for Iowans, but also for others across the country to learn about our state,” State Historical Society of Iowa Administrator Susan Kloewer said. “We’re proud to honor this year’s award winners.”

Earlier this month, the State Historical Society’s board of trustees recognized Leah Rogers of Mount Vernon with the Petersen-Harlan Lifetime Achievement Award for her 40-year career in historic preservation, scholarly research and educational outreach programs. She received the award on June 2, during the 2022 Preserve Iowa Summit in Mason City.

During today’s ceremony, the board also recognized individuals, organizations and communities that received Excellence in Iowa History Awards in 2020 and 2021, when in-person ceremonies were canceled due to the pandemic.

Here are the winners of this year’s Excellence in Iowa History Awards:

Dorothy Schwieder Excellence in Research Award
Dorothy Schwieder (1933-2014) was a groundbreaking historian, biographer and scholar, as well as the first woman to become a history professor at Iowa State University.

  • Rebecca Conard of Coralville
  • Article: “The Arc of Iowa History,” The Annals of Iowa 

Benjamin F. Shambaugh Award
This award recognizes the most significant book published about Iowa history during the previous calendar year. Its namesake was the superintendent of the State Historical Society of Iowa and a professor of political economy at the University of Iowa.

George Mills & Louise Noun Popular History Award
This award recognizes the most significant popular history article on an Iowa history topic published during the previous calendar year. It is named in honor of George Mills, a journalist and popular historian, and Louise Noun, a philanthropist and scholar of women’s history.

Certificate of Recognition

Certificate of Recognition

Loren Horton Community History Award
This award recognizes outstanding local history projects completed during the previous calendar year. Its namesake represented the State Historical Society of Iowa in many capacities from 1973 until 1996.

Certificate of Recognition (program or event)

Certificate of Recognition (project related to museum, library, archives, education or historic preservation)

Certificate of Recognition (research or publication)

Certificate of Recognition (volunteers)

  • Winnebago Historical Society in Forest City
  • Document preparation and digitization: “Read All About It” 

Certificate of Recognition (youth project)

  • Beth Thole of Sibley
  • Event: Historical Headstone Tour 

Mildred Throne & Charles Aldrich Scholarly History Award
This annual award recognizes 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.

Certificate of Recognition

  • Stefan Lund of Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Article: “Inexcusable by Us as Soldiers: Wartime Dissent at the 1863 Keokuk Soldier Mob,” The Annals of Iowa

William J. Petersen & Edgar R. Harlan Lifetime Achievement Award
This 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: Petersen, long-time curator of the State Historical Society in Iowa City, and Harlan, who served as the second director and curator of the Historical Department of Iowa and played a key role in acquiring many of the museum’s most important collections.

Excellence in Archaeology and Historic Preservation Award
This award recognizes the previous year’s best archaeology or historic preservation project at the local or state level.

  • Branden Scott of Impact7G, Inc., in Des Moines
  • Publication: “Controlling Water: Exploring Low Head Dams and Minor Water Control Structures throughout the State of Iowa”

Certificate of Merit

More information is available at iowaculture.gov.