Collection 137 Papers of Ira E. Hartman
Scope and Contents
Sermons and sermon outlines, diaries, poetry, financial ledgers, and other items related to Ira Everett Hartman's evangelistic ministry. Primarily sermons and sermon outlines--over 250 in all--delivered by Hartman in evangelistic services in Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado. The sermons also contain reflections of contemporary issues and mores. Diaries covering 1939-47 report national and international news; financial ledgers reflect the Great Depression.
Sermons and outlines cover a variety of religious subjects including the Bible, temptation, Jesus Christ, various holidays, the Christian life, evangelism and missions, the Church, holiness, faith, repentance, resurrection, salvation, sin and conversion; on biblical passages from both Old and New Testaments; and various topics of contemporary political and social interest like patriotism, temperance, capitalism, and Abraham Lincoln.
The diaries report national and international news; World War II predominates. The financial ledgers reflect the impact of the Great Depression. The collection also includes a biographical sketch, chronology, genealogy and obituaries for Hartman and his wife Minnie.
- Created: 1901-1958
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Ira Everett Hartman was born September 6, 1867, on a farm near Polk City, Iowa, the fifth child of Joseph S. Hannah Elizabeth (Russell) Hartman. In 1885, the Hartmans and four of their children moved from Iowa to the Dakota Territory, where they homesteaded hear Tripp. The family soon returned to Iowa where Ira became a student and railway telegraph operator.
On July 18, 1891, he married Minnie Elizabeth Kaster (1871-1954), daughter of Friedrich and Minnie (Hildebrand) Kaster, who were German immigrants. Throughout the decade, he worked as a carpenter, paper hanger, and painter to support his wife and children: Jesse Ray (1893-1979) m. Bertha Nelson, Lillian Victoria (1894-) m. Fred Smith, Verna Viola (1897-1979) m. George Ellicott, and Margaret May (1903-1971) m. Clarence Mitchell.
About 1899, Hartman became a Christian and shortly enrolled in a four-year seminary course, which he completed in three years, and was then ordained in the United Brethren Church at Goodell, Iowa. Hartman served Iowa congregations in Des Moines, Ventura, Lovilia, Stilson, Goodell, and Dumont. In 1909, the failing health of Mrs. Hartman necessitated a different climate, and the family moved to Colorado where Hartman served as a supply minister in the Manitou Springs area. Later, he was pastor in the United Brethren Churches of Mead and Delta, Colorado; Bayard, Nebraska; and Niwot and Yuma, Colorado, after which he retired from the active ministry although yet a young man.
In 1913, the Hartman family moved to Longmont, Colorado, where Ira set himself up as an optometrist. Although no longer in the pastorate of any one congregation, he continued to preach as an evangelist throughout the area. A list of the Iowa and Colorado towns in which he preached can be found on the Chronology page in this guide.
In July 1951, the Hartmans celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary. Less than a month later, on August 10, Rev. Ira Hartman died at their home in Longmont. His widow died October 16, 1954, in the same house; they are buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Longmont.
From notes on his sermon outlines, Ira E. Hartman preached in the following places:
Lovilia - December 1905; April, July, September, October, November, December 1906
Coal Creek - October, November 1906
Edwards - October, November 1906
Carmel - January 1907
Goodell. - May, December 1907; January, February, May 1908; February 1909
Stilson - February, May, November, December 1908
Dumont - May, July 1909
Ventura - October 1903; August 1931
Mead - November, December 1909; January, July 1910
Dilly Chapel (west of Johnstown) - April 1910
Longmont - November, December 1914; February 1915; April 1916; 1919; 1922; 1923; 1947; 1948; 1950; and many other times
Berthoud - 1910; 1926; 1927
Loveland - 1923
Johnstown - 1927
Lake View - April 1910
Grover - January 1919
Peetz - May 1916; 1918
Padroni - 1916
Buckingham, Marcy - 1920
Eckley - December 1916
Genoa - December 1914
Flagler - 1918
Seibert - December 1915; June 1916; May 1920
Stratton - 1912; 1915; 1916; 1923
Holyoke - July 1916
Bryant - 19??; 1917
Soddy - December 1919
Plain View - 1917
Pleasant Valley - 1916; 1917; 1922; 1923
Kit Carson - 1916; February 1919
Arlington - November 1919; December 1922
Kansas Valley - December 1922
Roggen - April 1916
Bayard - February, March 1912
Crete - June 1919
Lamar - 1919
Language of Materials
Arrangement of Material
[NOTE: In the Arrangement description, the notation "folder 2-5" means box 2, folder 5.] Scope and Content
This collection consists primarily of over 250 sermons and sermon outlines by Hartman. The majority of these are individually foldered and arranged in two groups: titled and untitled. The titled sermons (folders 1-14 through 1-175) are arranged alphabetically; the untitled ones (folder 1-176 through 1-259) are arranged by Scripture text in keeping with the order of the Bible. Many sermons have dates and places of presentation jotted in the margins. In these cases, the earliest date appears on the folder. These preaching-dates are probably indicative of writing-dates, but this cannot be taken absolutely.
Sermons also appear in folders 1-4, 1-11, 1-12, and 1-13. Folder 1-11 consists of the contents of one envelope in Hartman's papers, labeled "Revival Sermons used at Pleasant Valley and Plain View." These have been kept together to illustrate the range of topics and texts which Hartman night use in any particular series of meetings. The specific rallies in question have been tentatively dated 1917, which puts them in the same year that evangelist Billy Sunday was drawing huge crowds in New York City. Folders
1-4, 1-12, and 1-13 are notebooks which contain sermons, notes and texts that for obvious reasons cannot be interfiled by title with the main run of sermons. Lists of sermons within these volumes are found in each folder.
Although peppered with allusions to the great men of the past--British monarchs, John Bunyan, the Wesleys, the Pilgrim Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln (an entire sermon, folder 1-100)--Hartman's sermons address themselves to contemporary issues as well. The Titanic disaster (folder 1-174), social activism under the guise of "Christian capitalism" (folder 1-13, pg. 110), patriotic celebrations such as the Fourth of July and Decoration Day (folders 1-47, 48, 70): all these find themselves the subject of Hartman's speaking. Hallmarks of his era are a racist (but not intentionally malicious) poem, "Ringing the Changes" (folder 1-10), and an anti-Mason tract and a piece of Ku Klux Klan smear-tactic literature against presidential candidate Al Smith in 1928 (both folder 1-7). One sermon of special note is "The Minister as a Prize Fighter," an example of early twentieth century analogy concerning manhood. Also of interest is a description of the more memorable events of the Hartmans' sojourn to the Dakota Territory, recorded in his essay, "Through Fire and Storm" (folder 1-2).
box 2 consists of Ira Hartman's diaries (1939-1945, 1947) and his financial ledgers (1929-1932, 1944-1954). The diaries are principally one-line, factual entries apparently filtered from news broadcasts through Hartman onto the diary pages. The supposition that Hartman relied on the radio (rather than newspapers) for his raw material is supported by his marginal notations of broadcast times and often by mention of the reporter's name: H. R. Baukhage during the war years, and Lowell Thomas and Drew Pearson in the 1947 volume. His original spellings (eg. Ugo Slavia and Isenhower) undoubtedly stem from hearing these names without seeing them in print. There is little editorializing on Hartman's part, and his opinion is seldom given. (Three examples of such personal input are January 28, 1939, which relates his fears of encroaching socialism, and January 16, 1941, and January 7, 1945, both of which tell Hartman's opinion of why World War II was being fought.)
The staples of Hartman's diary are local and national crimes and disasters, deaths of famous persons, domestic and foreign politics (especially the presidential elections of 1940, 1944, and 1948), and World War II. The war occupies over ninety percent of the diary, with news both of the warfronts and of the war effort at home. The earlier sections of the diary deal extensively with the "Townsend Plan," an old age pension scheme proposed by Francis E. Townsend, a private citizen. On March 20, 1947, Hartman notes that his and Mrs. Hartman's first pension checks arrived.
No mention is made of Hartman's evangelistic activities, which largely pre-date this diary. He often reports in detail the topics of sermons he has heard, many of which directly concern the war and patriotism, even before Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. He tells about a 1939 Thanksgiving sermon on "God and the American Way," and an October 1940 sermon on God and Americanism in general. Two evangelists' deaths are noted in short entries: Aimee Semple Mc Pherson, October 13, 1944; and Gipsy Smith, August 5, 1947.
The financial ledgers are a parallel log of income and expenses. The volume for 1929-1932 is interesting for its reflection of the economy from the months before the stock market crash to the middle of the Depression's nadir. The volume for 1951-1954 contains brief eulogies of both Rev. and Mrs. Hartman, written by members of the family.
Accruals and Additions
These materials were received by the Billy Graham Center Archives from the Hartman family in August 1980, and December 1980.
Accession 80-101, 80-159
September 5, 1980
February 20, 1981, revised
Galen R. Wilson
- Bible -- Sermons.
- Christian life -- Sermons.
- Christian life.
- Christmas sermons.
- Church and social problems -- Sermons.
- Church and social problems.
- Church. -- Sermons.
- Conversion -- Sermons.
- Depressions -- 1929
- Depressions -- 1929 -- United States.
- Easter -- Sermons.
- Economics -- Christianity.
- Evangelical United Brethren Church.
- Evangelistic sermons.
- Evangelistic work -- Colorado.
- Evangelistic work -- Iowa.
- Evangelistic work -- Nebraska.
- Evangelistic work.
- Faith -- Sermons.
- Fourth of July
- Fourth of July -- Sermons.
- Hartman, Ira Everett -- Sermons.
- Hartman, Ira Everett.
- Holiness -- Sermons.
- Jesus Christ -- Sermons.
- Jesus Christ.
- Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
- McPherson, Aimee Semple, 1890-1944.
- Missions -- Sermons.
- Mother's Day
- Mother's Day -- Sermons.
- New Year sermons
- Patriotism -- Sermons.
- Presidents -- United States -- Elections.
- Presidents -- United States.
- Racism -- United States.
- Religion and politics -- United States.
- Religion and politics.
- Repentance -- Sermons.
- Resurrection -- Sermons.
- Salvation -- Sermons.
- Sermons, American.
- Sin -- Sermons.
- Sin, Unpardonable
- Sin, Unpardonable -- Sermons.
- Smith, Gipsy, 1860-1947.
- Temperance -- Sermons.
- Thanksgiving Day addresses.
- World War, 1939-1945.
- Collection 137 Papers of Ira E. Hartman
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Roman Script