State Librarians: 1846-1868
Lemuel B. Patterson- 1846 to 1851
Lemuel B. Patterson was the first State Librarian when Iowa became a state. He was born in Rushville, Indiana, Sept. 12, 1824. He came to Iowa City in the spring of 1841, and was admitted to the State bar in 1846. It is reported that while holding office he drew up the first homestead law passed by the Iowa Legislature. He was a member of the Iowa City council in 1857-1859. On May 10, 1851, while serving as State Librarian, he married Miss Jane Hazard, who, with an infant son, died of cholera in1856. In 1860, he became a practicing attorney, in partnership with Levi Robinson. The firm of Patterson & Robinson, Iowa City, was long reputed to be the oldest law firm in the State of Iowa. Patterson was a Democrat in politics; was City Attorney in 1868-1870, and again in 1874-1876. In 1874, he won the railroad bond suit for his city in the Supreme Court vs. Iowa City. Mr. Patterson accumulated some valuable city property and was to the last an influential citizen of the former State Capitol. He died March 15, 1897.
Israel Kister– 1851 to 1852
Israel Kister was born in York County, Pennsylvania on Feb. 4,1810. His parents moved to Wooster County, Ohio when he was fifteen and that is where Israel received his education. Kister moved to Van Buren County, Iowa in 1839 with his wife Susan, and then on to Davis County in 1843 where he purchased 234 acres of land. As a young lawyer in Iowa, he was appointed commissioner to organize Kishkekosh County (now Monroe County) and to locate its county seat – Albia. Israel Kister became Iowa’s second State Treasurer from 1850 to 1852. At this time he also served at Librarian for the State Library (1851 to 1852). His wife, Susan, died in 1853 and Israel married Catherine Douglass onDec. 9, 1854. Israel Kister died on August 22, 1881 and is buried with his wives in the IOOF Cemetery in Bloomfield, Iowa.
Martin L. Morris– 1852 to 1855
Martin Luther Morris was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania on Jan. 20, 1816. He married Sarah Jane Wood in Uniontown, Pennsylvania on Jan 22, 1838. They had nine children: William W., Priscilla L., Martha A., William C., Emma D., Martin L., Ella M., Morgan R., and Jeannie. Morris was a printer and in 1840 published the American Union, a weekly Democratic paper. The family came to Iowa in 1846. Martin Morris was State Treasurer of Iowa from Dec. 4, 1852 to Jan. 2, 1859. He was also State Librarian from 1852 to 1855. When the Civil War broke out, Morris enlisted in the First Iowa Cavalry July 18, 1861 and was promoted to Quartermaster Sergeant. The family had moved to Kansas by 1870 and his wife, Sarah, died there in 1886. Morris remarried to Mary Elizabeth Green in 1888. They moved to Yamhill, Oregon where Martin Morris died on Jan. 17, 1893 at age 76. He was buried in the Pike Cemetery in Yamhill.
John Pattee– 1855 to 1858
John Pattee was born in Canada on July 23, 1820. His father was a Methodist missionary and preached in Canada. He came to Iowa around 1850 and was a carpenter in Bremer County. John married Lidia Lanning on Aug. 23, 1855. That same year he was appointed State Auditor by Governor Clark serving that position until Jan. 3, 1859. John Pattee also served as State Librarian from 1855 to 1858. John and Lidia had oneson, Samuel. Lidia died in 1859. John married Priscilla Clark (sister of Iowa’s Governor E. Clark) on July 7, 1861. During the Civil War he served as Lieutenant Colonel of the 7th, 14th, and 41st Infantries. After the War, the Pattee family moved to the Dakotas. John Pattee died on Nov. 30, 1901 in Hot Springs, South Dakota.
John Parshall Coulter– 1858 to 1860
John P. Coulter was born about 1803 in Pennsylvania. He became a physician, moved to Wooster, Ohio and married Elizabeth. John and Elizabeth had four children in Ohio: Lewis, Edward, Elnora, and Flora. The family moved to Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa and John Coulter became the State Librarian from 1858 to 1860. Coulter volunteered in the 12th Iowa Infantry, Company D during the Civil War, serving as a Lieutenant Colonel. Afterwards, he moved his family to Marion, Iowa (also in Linn County), and was the County Auditor from 1870-1875. Coulter died in 1879 at age 76 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.
Lewis I. Coulter- 1860 to 1868 (son of John P. Coulter)
Lewis I. Coulter was born in Ohio in 1836, the son of John P. Coulter and Elizabeth. He married Kate K. Thurston in Des Moines, Iowa on April 26, 1860 and had two children, a son, Edward and daughter, Jessie F. in Des Moines. Lewis Coulter was a clerk in the office of the Iowa Supreme Court and after being appointed Deputy served as the State Librarian from 1860 to 1868. In 1870 Coulter was the Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction. He moved his family to Chicago, Illinois by 1880 and worked for the American Book Company.