KENNETH F. NEU PAPERS, 1932-1949
Kenneth F. Neu was born in Charlotte, Iowa on December 15, 1907. Raised in Mason City, Neu studied law and became an attorney, establishing a practice in that city after being admitted to the bar in 1934. Neu was active in professional organizations, serving as Iowa state chairman of the Junior Bar Conference of the American Bar Association from 1937-1940. In 1940, Neu assumed the role of state secretary of the Young Republican Club in Iowa, actively campaigning for this organization on behalf of presidential candidate Wendell Willkie.
In June 1940, Iowa Attorney General John Rankin appointed Neu to be special assistant attorney general in charge of state claims. Prior to this appointment, Neu had worked as Rankin’s secretary, and had also served as chief clerk of the Iowa House of Representatives. Neu worked as special assistant attorney general until 1944, when he entered military service in the midst of World War II. In 1943, Neu was also elected president of the Iowa State Junior Bar Association.
After twenty months of military service, Neu returned to Iowa, practicing law in Mason City before moving to Des Moines in 1947, where he lived for the rest of his life. Neu subsequently served as chief of the Iowa Department of Transportation driver’s license division, and was president and counsel to the Iowa League of Savings Institutions until his retirement in 1973. In addition, Neu was appointed honorary consul of Belgium for the states of Iowa and Nebraska, receiving the medal of “Knight of the Order of the Crown of Belgium” from King Baudouin in 1975.
Kenneth F. Neu died in Des Moines, Iowa on September 13, 1987.
The Kenneth F. Neu Collection consists of 0.4 linear feet (one document box) of material collected by Neu, and divided into two series: personal and political. The personal files contain clippings about Neu’s career and activities from 1932-1949, as well as a copy of the 1975 order honoring Neu for his work as honorary Belgian consul. Also included in these files are documents relating to his work on behalf of Wendell Willkie in 1940. The political files contain sample ballots, postcards, broadsides, news clippings, pamphlets, political cartoons, and ephemera. Most of this material is from the 1932 presidential campaign, as well as various local campaigns in the state of Iowa.
The Kenneth F. Neu Collection contains memorabilia and documents from the 1932 and 1940 presidential campaigns in Iowa, as well as files relating to the political activities of Republican political activist and attorney Neu (1907-1987). Neu’s daughter donated these files to the Hoover Presidential Library in 2001.