I grew up in Southeastern Iowa and remain fascinated by midwestern life. While often referred to as "flyover country," the Midwest is a region that has been fundemental in the development of the United States. The independant yeoman farmer, the land speculator, the aspiring politician, service men and women, the innovator, and the educator have all provided inspiration and dedication through the hard work ethos of the Midwest.

My presentations, speeches, and research are appropriate a wide variety of audiences including corporate histories, service clubs, community groups, and many other entertaining and educational events.

I am available for historical research and/or to present speeches on a variety or local, state, regional, and national topics including (but not limited to):

Numerous historical topics (including events, people, places, etc.)

The Des Moines River Improvement Project
The Illinois and Michigan Canal
The Louisville and Portland Canal
The Era of Internal Improvements
Midwestern settlement and homesteading
Iowa's Connections to Federal Agriculture
"Tama" Jim Wilson
E.T. Meredith - U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Henry A. Wallace
Henry C. Wallace
American Market Farming

Good Roads Movement and Early Bicycle Advocacy
America's Golden Age of Cycling
Orlando Stevens - Cycling World Champion from Ottumwa, Iowa

If you are interested in learning more about possible speaking and presentations for your functions, please feel free to contact me to inquire about details and fees. My speaking fees are usually minimal and typically cover simply travel expenses and travel time.

I welcome your historical inquiries and my research fees are negotiable.


"The Des Moines River Improvement Project," Invited Wapello County Historical Society Speaker Series, March 13 2019, Ottumwa, IA

"The Iowa Sprinter and World Champion: Orlando Stevens," Invited Speaker, Smithsonian Hometown Teams/Heroes Exhibit, May 25, 2018, Ottumwa, IA

“A Discussion on Agricultural history and infrastructure,” Invited Panelist, RDG Design Residency Program,
October 2016, Des Moines, IA

“The Houses That Sears Built,” session moderator for the Preserve Iowa Summit, September 2016, Davenport, IA

"The Des Moines River Improvement Project," for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, History on the River
Series, March 2013, Bonaparte, IA

"Sowing the Seeds of Communication: The Department of Agriculture, E.T. Meredith, and the Growth of American Radio," for the Agricultural History Society Conference, June 2009, Little Rock, AR

"Boosterism, Statehood, and Law: The Politics of Improvement in nineteenth century Iowa," for the Policy History Conference, May 2008, St. Louis, MO

"Navigating Improvement in a Settler Society: Constructing the Des Moines River Improvement Project, 1846-1902," for the Society for the History of Technology National Conference, October 2007, Washington, D.C.

"Integrating the World Wide Web into the Historical Profession: Dissemination of Historical Content on the Internet," for the Agricultural History Society National Conference, June 2007, Ames, IA

"Technological methodologies in historical teaching and research" panel organizer for the Agricultural History Society National Conference, June 2007, Ames, IA

"Constructing Regionalism through Improvement: The Des Moines River Lands Grant and Improvement Project," for the James A. Rawley Graduate Conference in the Humanities, April 2007, Lincoln, NE

"The Promise of a Great Water Thoroughfare for the Transportation of Midwestern Produce: The Des Moines River Lands Grant and Improvement Project," for the Agricultural History Society National Conference, June 2006, Boston, MA

"Improving the River and the State: The Legacy of the Des Moines River Lands Grant," for the Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference, October 2005, St. Louis, MO