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William John Petersen Edit Profile

educator , writer

William John Petersen, American writer, educator. Recipient Iowa Library Association award for best contribution to American literature by an Iowan, 1937.


Petersen, William John was born on January 30, 1901 in Dubuque, Iowa, United States. Son of Charles Lewis and Bertha Louise (Helm) Petersen.


Bachelor of Arts, University Dubuque, 1926;Master of Arts, University Iowa, 1927;Doctor of Philosophy, University Iowa, 1930;Doctor of Laws, Iowa Wesleyan College, 1958.


Grad assistant, fellow, U. Iowa, 1926-1930;instructor history, U. Iowa, 1930-1936;lecturer history, U. Iowa, since 1936;associate professor, U. Iowa, 1948-1969. Research associate State History Society Iowa, 1930-1947, superintendent, 1947-1972. History lecturer American School Wild Life, summers 1932, 36-40, Drake U. Tours, summers 1933, 34.

Professor of history Washington University, St. Louis, summers 1940, 41, 65, Iowa Wesleyan College, summers 1962, 63.



Board directors Alvord Memorial Commission, 1940. Member Iowa Centennial Committee, 1946. Chairman Johnson County Red Cross War Fund, 1945.

Member American History Association, Southern History Association, Mississippi Valley History Association (editorial board 1953-1956), Society of America Archivists, American Academy Political and Social Science, Minnesota, Kansas history societies, State History Society Iowa, Phi Kappa Delta, Pi Gamma Mu, Zeta Sigma Pi, Delta Upsilon. Clubs: Mason (32 degree), Iowa Author (president 1940-1942). Propeller (Quad City).

Westerners (Chicago), Cliff Dwellers (Chicago), Caxton (Chicago). Research (Iowa City) (secretary-treasurer 1944-1946), Triangle (Iowa City), S.P.C.S. Rotary (Iowa City), Chamber of Commerce (Iowa City).


Married Bessie Josephine Rasmus, September 25, 1937.

Charles Lewis Petersen

Bertha Louise (Helm) Petersen

Bessie Josephine Rasmus