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Finding Aid

Stella M. Mason ( 1861-1957)
PAPERS, 1852-1958
QUANTITY: 1.5 linear feet and artifacts

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 1137) were donated by Bill Kloss in 2007.

The papers are open for research.
Copyright: Copyright held by the donor has not been transferred to the University of Iowa.

Preferred Citation:
Box #, Stella M. Mason, Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Photographs: In Box 1.
Audiovisual: None.

Processed by: Lindsay E. Shannon, 2008.

Iowa Women's Archives Logo

Iowa Women's Archives
100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Phone: 319-335-5068
Fax: 319-335-5900
E-mail the Iowa Women's Archives


Stella M. Mason was born in 1861 near Edgewood, in Delaware County, Iowa. In 1885, she received BS and Master of Accounts degrees from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa. Mason taught for four years in New Hampton, Iowa, where she began studying medicine under Dr. Amos Babcock. In 1893, she received an MD from Hahnemann Medical College, a homeopathic institution and one of the only medical colleges in Chicago open to women at the time.

In 1893, Mason began practicing medicine in Mason City, Iowa, where she was the first female physician and surgeon in the city. She practiced until 1943; when she retired, she was the longest practicing physician and only female physician in Mason City. (However, seven other women had practiced intermittendly from 1893 to 1943). Mason belonged to many organizations, including Mason City Business and Professional Women's Club, the local chapter of the American Association of University Women, and Iowa State Medical Society. She was president of the Mason City Woman's Suffrage Association when the Nineteenth Amendment was passed. In 1947, Mason received an honorary degree from Upper Iowa University. Mason died in 1957 in Mason City, Iowa.

Scope and Content Note

The papers of Stella M. Mason date from 1852 to 1958 and measure 1.5 linear feet. The collection is arranged in two series: Scrapbooks and Artifacts.The papers document the life, medical practice, and personal interests of Stella M. Mason.

The Scrapbooks series (1852-1950) contains nine scrapbooks, dating from 1852 to 1950. Scrapbooks include newspaper clippings, prints, and commercial art.

The Artifacts series contains medical equipment and supplies, Mason's State of Iowa physician's certificate, correspondence from travels abroad, and a photograph of Stella Mason.

Box List
Box 1                                                                                         
Artifacts, Personal
Photograph of Stella M. Mason, ca. 1910, correspondence, 1957-1958

Scrapbook, 1852-1895
Scrapbook, 1902-1903

Box 2 
Scrapbooks, 1881-1894 (3 items)

Box 3                                                                                         
Scrapbook, 1881-1900

Box 4
Scrapbook, 1891-1898

Box 5
Scrapbook, 1906-1929

Box 6
Scrapbook, 1921-1950

[map folder]
Stella M. Mason State of Iowa physician's certificate, 1893

Box 7
Lederle Solution Liver Extract
Dolphin Court Plaster
Glaseptic Ampoules Pituitrin (Solution of Pituitarty (Obstetrical))
Thread and suture needles
Iodoform Powdered Heavy
Iowa Department of Health Silver Nitrate
Hypodermic needles and fine wires
Miniature rolling pin
Test tube
Syringe and needles

Box 8
Woodward Hardware Co. Razor
Stag Co. Safety Razor Sharpener
Sealing wax and seals
Antiphlogistine applicator

Box 9
Medical instruments (14 items)

For more information about this collection contact the Iowa Women's Archives.

Iowa Women’s Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City IA 52242.
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Page created October 2008