Margaret Keyes

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Margaret Keyes
Margaret Naumann Keyes

(1918-03-04)March 4, 1918
DiedOctober 14, 2015(2015-10-14) (aged 97)
Alma mater Cornell College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Florida State University
Known forPreservation of the Old Iowa Capitol
Scientific career
Fields Home Economics, heritage conservation
Institutions University of Iowa
Doctoral advisor Janet Katherine Smith

Margaret Naumann Keyes (March 4, 1918 October 14, 2015) was an American academic and heritage preserver. She was a professor of Home Economics at the University of Iowa and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of heritage conservation, best known for her work to preserve the Iowa Old Capitol Building. [1]

University of Iowa Public research university in Iowa City, Iowa, United States

The University of Iowa is a public research university in Iowa City, Iowa. Founded in 1847, it is the oldest and the second largest university in the state. The University of Iowa is organized into 11 colleges offering more than 200 areas of study and seven professional degrees.

Iowa Old Capitol Building United States historic place

The Iowa Old Capitol Building is located in Iowa City, Iowa, United States. It was once the main government building for the state of Iowa, and it now stands as the most prominent landmark at the center of the University of Iowa's campus. The building was depicted on the 1946 Iowa Centennial commemorative half dollar. It was individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1972, and it was named a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1976. In 1978 it was included as a contributing property in the Pentacrest, a historic district listed on the NRHP.


Early life and education

Margaret Naumann Keyes was born in Mount Vernon, Iowa on 4 March 1918 to Charles R. Keyes and Sarah "Sadie" Naumann Keyes. As a child, Keyes had often accompanied her father on travels to Germany and on his archaeological expeditions, leading to her interest in academics. She attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and graduated in 1939 with a B.A. in Home Economics. After graduation, Keyes taught at several Iowa high schools and undertook graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin during summer terms, earning a master's degree in 1951. She was appointed to the Home Economics faculty at the State University of Iowa in September, 1951. A decade later, she won the Ellen H. Richards Fellowship from the American Home Economics Association to undertake doctoral studies at Florida State University, earning a Ph.D. in Historic Preservation in 1965.

Mount Vernon, Iowa City in Iowa, United States

Mount Vernon is a city in Linn County, Iowa, United States, adjacent to the city of Lisbon. The city's population was 3,390 when the 2000 census figures were released, but that number was later revised to 3,808 because the Census Bureau had incorrectly reported that 418 residents of a Cornell College dormitory in Mount Vernon lived in the nearby city of Bertram. A special census taken by the city in 2004 counted 4,171 residents. The population was 4,506 at the 2010 census. Mount Vernon is part of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Charles R. Keyes American archaeologist

Charles Reuben Keyes was a pioneering American archaeologist and linguist based in Iowa, known as the founder of modern Iowa archaeology. He is, with Ellison Orr (1857-1951), considered a key person to gaining protection for the Effigy Mounds National Monument, established by Congress in 1949 to protect hundreds of prehistoric earthworks built by indigenous Native American cultures.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Academic career

Upon returning to the University of Iowa and Keyes taught a variety of courses including Textile Design, Historic Interiors, and research seminars. In the 1970s and 1980s, Keyes led Iowa's drive to preserve and renovate its historic structures. She served as a board member for the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Terrace Hill (the Iowa governor's mansion) Authority, the Iowa City Urban Renewal Design Review Board, the Victorian Society in America, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Keyes's most important work in historic preservation was her 1975 to 1999 direction of the restoration of the Old State Capitol in Iowa City, converting it to a state historical museum. Keyes's commitments as director of Old Capitol, speaking engagements, and service work left her with little time to fulfill her duties as professor in the Home Economics department. She gradually decreased her course load and officially retired as full professor and was granted emeritus status in 1984. She was active as a researcher and active scholar well into her retirement. [2] [3]

Textile design creation of designs for the manufacturing of woven, knitted or printed fabrics

Textile design is essentially the process of creating designs for woven, knitted or printed fabrics or surface ornamented fabrics. Textile designers are involved with the production of these designs, which are used, sometimes repetitively, in clothing and interior decor items.

Terrace Hill United States historic place

Terrace Hill, also known as Hubbell Mansion, Benjamin F. Allen House or the Iowa Governor's Mansion, is the official residence of the Governor of Iowa, United States. Located at 2300 Grand Avenue in Des Moines, it is an example of Second Empire architecture. The home measures 18,000 square feet. It sits on a hill overlooking downtown Des Moines, and has a 90-foot (27 m) tower that offers a commanding view of the city. The building's steeply pitched mansard roof, open verandas, long and narrow and frequently paired windows, and bracketed eaves give this house an irreplaceable design. The house was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.

National Trust for Historic Preservation US nonprofit organization for historic preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded, nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., that works in the field of historic preservation in the United States. The member-supported organization was founded in 1949 by congressional charter to support the preservation of America’s diverse historic buildings, neighborhoods, and heritage through its programs, resources, and advocacy.

Selected publications

Old Capitol: Portrait of an Iowa Landmark by Margaret N. Keyes, 1988 Keyes-OldCapitol.jpg
Old Capitol: Portrait of an Iowa Landmark by Margaret N. Keyes, 1988
International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Personal life

Keyes and her lifetime companion, Floy Eugenia Whitehead, traveled to a variety of worldwide locations, including Israel, Jamaica, Taiwan, and Europe. For over thirty years, the two lived at a home near the university in Iowa City that was renowned for its gracious hospitality. Eugenia Whitehead who served as the chairperson of the Department of Home Economics at the University of Iowa from 1955 to 1971 died in 1998. [4]

The Keyes family

Margaret's father, Charles Reuben Keyes was born on 5 May 1871 in Mt. Vernon, Iowa to Marsden and Martha Whittington Keyes. He attended Cornell College and married Sarah "Sadie" Naumann in 1902. Charles Keyes attended Harvard University for his Ph.D. in German, and taught German at Cornell College until his retirement in 1941. He also had a lifelong interest in local archeology, was employed by the State Historical Society of Iowa and was known for his expertise in local Native American archaeology and burial mounds. He died in 1951. Sarah Naumann Keyes died in 1963. [5]

Harvard University Private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 13,100 postgraduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning. Its history, influence, wealth, and academic reputation have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It has often been cited as the world's top university by most publishers.

State Historical Society of Iowa american Non-Profit-Organization

The State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI), a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, serves as the official historical repository for the State of Iowa and also provides grants, public education, and outreach about Iowa history and archaeology. The SHSI maintains a museum, library, archives, and research center in Des Moines and a research library in Iowa City, as well as several historic sites in Iowa. It was founded in 1857 in Iowa City, where it was first affiliated with the University of Iowa. As the organization grew in size and collections, it became a separate state agency headquartered near the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines.

Margaret Keyes had one older sister, Catherine Ann Keyes, who was born 25 April 1905, attended Cornell College, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Yale University. Catherine Ann Keyes served on the faculty of Oberlin College as a music historian and music librarian in the early 1940s. [6] Catherine married Philip L. Miller (1906 - 1996) who had been a music librarian at the New York Public Library in 1938. She earned her Ph.D. in Music History from Yale University in 1948. [7] Philip and Catherine Keyes Miller served as music librarians at the New York Public Library from October 1945 until their retirement. Catherine also served on the faculty of Columbia University teaching music librarianship beginning in 1946. [8] She died January 1978 in Brooklyn, New York.

Marsden Keyes (Margaret's paternal grandfather) was born 15 Feb 1832 in Northumberland, New York to William W. Keyes and Laura Rice. He married Margaret Purves in Nova Scotia in 1856. After living in Lone Rock, Wisconsin, the couple moved to Mt. Vernon, Iowa, in 1860 and had three children. Margaret Purves Keyes died in 1863. Marsden Keyes then married Martha Whittington in 1866. Marsden Keyes was a carpenter and home builder in Mt. Vernon during a period of large growth for the town, from 1870 to the 1890s. He died in 1902. [9]

Margaret Naumann Keyes was a descendant of Edmund Rice, an English immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony, as follows: [10]

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  1. Jeff Charis-Carlson (21 Oct 2015). "Historian, preserver of the Old Capitol dies at 97" . Retrieved 27 Dec 2015.
  2. "Margaret Naumann Keyes Papers". University of Iowa Special Collections. Archived from the original on 1 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  3. "Profile:Margaret Keyes by Bob Hibbs". Iowa City Press-Citizen. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
  4. "Floy Eugenia Whitehead Papers". University of Iowa Special Collections. Archived from the original on 2010-07-03. Retrieved 27 Nov 2009.
  5. "Charles Reuben Keyes Papers". University of Iowa Special Collections. Archived from the original on 10 October 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  6. Keyes, Catherine Ann. "Music in Ohio Libraries: Oberlin Conservatory of Music." Notes 8 (August 1940): 30.
  7. "Ph.D. Dissertation Catherine Ann Keyes Miller". Yale University. Archived from the original on 2010-07-06. Retrieved 13 Nov 2010.
  8. Miller, Philip L. (1989). Music Library Association: Notes from an Early Observer pp. 119-122 In: Alfred Mann (ed.), Modern Music Librarianship: Essays in Honor of Ruth Watanabe. Pendragon Press, Stuyvesant, NY. ISBN   978-0-918728-93-7.
  9. "Keyes Family Papers". University of Iowa Special Collections. Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2009.
  10. Edmund Rice (1638) Association, 2009. Descendants of Edmund Rice: The First Nine Generations. See: Edmund Rice (1638) Association
  11. "Noah Rice". Edmund Rice (1638) Association. Retrieved 12 November 2009.