Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

RS 11/9/12
Frank D. Paine (1886-1942)
Papers, 1909-1963, undated

Descriptive summary


Paine, Frank D. (1886-1942)




1909-1963, undated


0.3 linear feet (1 half-document box and 1 photo album)

collection number:

RS 11/9/12


University Archives, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information


Open for research

publication rights:

Consult Head, Special Collections Department

preferred citation:

Frank D. Paine Papers, RS 11/9/12, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.


Biographical note

Frank D. Paine was born in Burt, Iowa, on March 7, 1886 to Denison and Sarah S. Paine. In 1905, he began coursework in Electrical Engineering at Iowa State College (University), graduating with a B.S. in 1909. While at ISC, he served on the Bomb (yearbook) board, the Junior Trot Committee, as class treasurer, and as class vice president. Paine was elected to two honorary engineering fraternities (Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi) and was a member of Delta Upsilon, a social fraternity.

After graduation, Paine was employed by General Electric in Schenectady, NY and then Pittsfield, MA. In 1911, he became superintendent of the Sanborn, IA electric plant and worked there until leaving to teach at Iowa State College.

From 1912 to 1942, he served in various capacities at Iowa State College: first as Electrical Engineering instructor and later as head of the General Engineering department (1929-1942). Paine also acted as head of the Engineering Personnel Service at Iowa State College until 1934. During his time at ISC, Paine also worked for the state of Iowa as supervisor of the Iowa project on rural electrification (1924-1926), as well as numerous other engineering positions relating to Iowa industry and electrification. In 1928, he turned down an appointment as engineering attaché to then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, choosing instead to remain at Iowa State College.

Beyond his duties in the General Engineering department, Frank D. Paine is remembered for coining the name "VEISHEA," putting together the acronym of the first letters of the ISC college divisions (Veterinary Medicine, Engineering,Industrial Science, Home Economics, Agriculture). Elsewhere on campus, Paine was instrumental in the construction of the Memorial Union and later served on its Board of Directors.

While continuing his professorial duties, Paine served as mayor of Ames for two terms (1938-1942) and was instrumental in the construction of additions to Mary Greeley Hospital (now Mary Greeley Medical Center) and the Ames Public Library.

Frank Paine married Grace Rees in 1908 and fathered two sons: Rees D. and Frank R. Paine.

Paine died of a heart attack in 1942.


Collection description

The collection (1909-1963, undated) consists of biographical information, news clippings, publications, and college memorabilia, including football game postcards designed and sold by Paine to finance his education. In a separate box is a football-shaped photograph album containing photographs of the Iowa State College (University) Campus (Paine also made the album).



The collection is arranged topically.


Container list

Box Folder Title Dates



Biographical Information

1916-1955, undated



College Memorabilia

1909 circa



Iowa State College General Engineering Degree Established: Department Chair Frank Paine




Photo album

1909 circa