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Fredrica Van Trice Shattuck - An Everlasting Stage Presence

by Philip Shaddock

From the Archives at Iowa State University:

"Fredrica Van Trice Shattuck was born in Monroe, Wisconsin, on November 11, 1883, to George Luther and Ann (Raymer) Shattuck. Shortly after she was born, the family moved to Medford, Wisconsin. She received her B.A. (1905) in drama from the University of Wisconsin.

Shattuck arrived at Iowa State College (University) as Instructor (1907-1913) of public speaking. She was promoted to Assistant Professor (1913-1914), Associate Professor (1914-1916), Professor (1916-1969), and Head (1916-1930) of the department. Shattuck retired from teaching in 1956 at which time she became librarian of the browsing library in the Memorial Union.

At Iowa State, Shattuck was a visible member of the faculty and a great promoter of speech and drama throughout the state. She taught Extension short courses, presented at teacher training seminars across the state, and created "The Little Country Theatre" as an Iowa State Fair exhibit, which was a one-act play presented free to the public and continued for eight years. Shattuck also founded the Iowa State Players in 1914 and produced, directed, and staged theater productions for over twenty years.

Shattuck was a member of the Speech Association of America, which she helped found in 1915, a member of Phi Kappa Phi, and the American Association of University Women. She was included in the first edition of Who's Who of American Women (1959) and was a charter member of the Iowa State Chapter of Mortar Board. Shattuck was awarded the Alumni Faculty Citation (1953) and the campus theater was named after her in 1960.

Shattuck died on November 20, 1969, in Ames, Iowa."


School Yearbook 1907, age 24

Frederica Shattuck also makes an appearance in the book "Haunted Colleges and Universities" by Tom Ogden (p. 187). Tom claims that nine years after her death her ghost moved into the theater named after her. "People reported encounters with her apparition in the auditorium and backstage until the theater was torn down in 1979. Her ghost now occupies a newer playhouse on campus called the Fisher Theater, which opened in the Iowa State Center in 1973. Her presence there was reported in the student newspaper in 1978 after her old wheelchair rolled into the middle of the Fisher stage all by itself."  

I think Frederica might have been amused that her skill at playing imaginary people lived long after her. 











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