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Background of the Bloethe, Elwood & Buchanan Office

by: Orville Bloethe

January 8, 2014

“When I returned home from serving overseas in World War II, I had a passion to go to law school. As a result, upon my return, I went directly from the railroad station in Iowa City to the law school and asked the clerk if I could enroll (even though that law school semester had already started six weeks prior). She checked my undergraduate grades and then told me to be there first thing Monday morning. I graduated in two years with a Juris Doctorate Degree, High Distinction.


In 1949, I rented a single room on the west end of the current office. People told me I would starve setting up my office in Victor. I took care of making federal land bank loans and also worked with Farm Credit which enabled me to get to know many farm families. Gradually the number of clients grew and eventually the office building itself was purchased. What was at one time a bank now became a modern law office with three separate offices, a conference room, and space for three secretaries.

One aspect of the office is to not go home until the work is done and the client is happy. When this is done, one can simply say ‘well done’, go home and sleep well.”

Young Orville Bloethe in uniform.
Orville Bloethe.jpg
Orvile and his children.jpg
Orville and Loanna.jpg

Orville Bloethe, J.D. (1919 – 2016)

Orville received his B.A. Degree in 1941 from the University of Iowa. He then honorably served in World War II with the U.S. Army, retiring as a Major. Upon his return from the war, Orville immediately walked from the train station to enroll at the University of Iowa College of Law. Orville did very well at law school, and became somewhat of a historical figure at the school with the “Bloethe-books” which were study-aids his fellow classmates used for final exams. Orville received his Juris Doctorate, with Highest Distinction, in 1947.


Orville was a member of the Iowa County, Iowa State, and American Bar Associations and was a Fellow of the American College of Probate Counsel. Orville received numerous awards for his legal and charitable works, was named in The Best Lawyer’s in America publication series, and the Iowa State Bar Association has named the Bloethe Tax School in his honor. Orville was also instrumental in establishing special-use valuation for farmers, and even testified before Congress on the subject. Orville retired from the practice of law in 2014, and passed away at his home on December 3, 2016 at the age of 97.

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