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It took decades for Iowa to establish its borders

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

The state of Iowa is 175 years old this year and today the borders are familiar and fixed. However, it took quite a while for them to get that way. In this edition of Talk of Iowa, Paul Anderson of Iowa State University tells host Charity Nebbe all about how establishing Iowa's borders was painstaking, complicated and resulted in many U.S. Supreme Court cases.

Later on, Nebbe speaks with Leo Landis about Iowa City artist Mildred Pelzer, who in 1934 created a map detailing Iowa legends and histories.

The program concludes with Jeff Meyer of Iowa Wesleyan University who speaks about the life of Belle Babb Mansfield, the first woman in the nation to pass the bar exam. Mansfield was born in Burlington and is a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant.


  • Paul Anderson, professor emeritus at Iowa State University in the departments of landscape architecture and agronomy
  • Leo Landis, state curator, State Historical Society of Iowa
  • Jeff Meyer, electronic resources and instruction librarian at the Chadwick Library at Iowa Wesleyan University
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River