Senator Arthur A. Small View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 10/3/2015
Birth Place: Brunswick, ME
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 68 (1979) - 71 (1985)
House: 64 (1971)
65 (1973)
66 (1975) - 67 (1977)
Home County: Johnson
Arthur A. Small
Johnson County


Arthur A. Small was born on October 14, 1933, in Brunswick, Maine, to Arthur and Alice Crimmins Small. He passed away on October 3, 2015, at the age of 81. He is survived by three children, Peter, Martha, and Arthur; and four grandchildren.

Small earned his bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1959. He served three years in the U.S. Army. He then attended graduate school at the University of Iowa, studying English. There he met, and in 1960 married, Mary Jo O’Callaghan, who became his best friend and inseparable political and life partner.

Small was a faculty member of St. Ambrose College in Davenport. He served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman John R. Schmidhauser. In 1970, Small was elected to the Iowa House, and he went on to serve four terms in the House and two terms in the Senate. While serving in the Iowa General Assembly, he entered law school at the age of 48, earning a law degree from the University of Iowa, College of Law. After leaving elected office, Small practiced law and worked as a lobbyist representing a variety of clients, including the state judges’ association and some rural schools.

Small was known politically for his support of progressive policies. Small’s legacy of legislative victories includes increased protections for renters in tenant/landlord ordinances and limitations in how much banks could charge customers during the advent of automatic teller machines. He often advocated for increased state funding for higher education in general, and the University of Iowa in particular. He is remembered as a renaissance man who brought intelligence and passion to his many undertakings.

Art Small was a Johnson County Democrat. He served in the Iowa House from 1971–1978, and in the Senate from 1979–1986, during the 64th, 65th, 66th, 67th, 68th, 69th, 70th, and 71st General Assemblies.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE EIGHTY-SEVENTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF IOWA: That in the passing of the Honorable Arthur A. Small, the State has lost an honored citizen and faithful and useful public servant, and that the Senate by this resolution expresses its appreciation of his service to the State and tenders its sympathy and kindest regards to the members of his family.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That a copy of this resolution be spread upon the Journal of the Senate and that the Secretary of the Senate be instructed to forward an enrolled copy to the family of the deceased.

Joe Bolkcom

Robert E. Dvorsky

Thomas A. Greene