Henry Steinberger was born August 7, 1896 in Rothsay, Minnesota. He moved with his parents to North Dakota in 1902. He farmed with his parents until 1915 and then bought land and continued farming. Mr. Steinberger was married to Edna Laura Tewell of Ray, North Dakota. Edna Tewell was educated at Valparaiso University in Indiana and at Valley City Teacher's College (now Valley City State University). She taught elementary education in rural Tagus and Donnybrook, North Dakota, when she and Mr. Steinberger were married in 1922. In 1930, the couple suffered the loss of their son when their home was destroyed by fire.
Mrs. Steinberger was much involved in the activities of their community and, according to her daughter, was the "motivating force" behind Mr. Steinberger's involvement in conservation. This involvement included the Renville County Soil Conservation District (from 1945), President of the State Association of Soil Conservation District Supervisors (1952), Chairman of the Upper West Souris Watershed Project, Vice Chairman of the Garrison Diversion Conservancy District, member and Vice Chairman of the North Dakota Soil Conservation Committee, Director of the North Dakota State Association of Soil Conservation Districts, Vice Chairman of the North Dakota Reclamation Association, Chairman of the Border Chapter of the Soil Conservation Society of America, and Director of the North Dakota Water User's Association.
Mr. Steinberger's political connections included writing relationships with Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson, as well as writing or personal relationships with state governors and legislators. In 1961, Mr. and Mrs. Steinberger were invited to and attended the Kennedy Inauguration and Inaugural Ball.
Mrs. Steinberger died December 16, 1961. Failing health forced Mr. Steinberger to resign from his various positions in 1970. He died July 1, 1983, at the Lutheran Nursing Home, Minot, North Dakota.
The collection of Mr. Steinberger's papers includes correspondence dating from 1947 to 1982. The bulk of the correspondence is in reference to his many conservation connections. There are also reports, newsletters, agenda and meeting minutes from these various organizations. There are farming records from 1931 to 1947, several appointment-memo books, certificates of merit and membership from several organizations and committees, newspaper clippings, and a number of photographs, mostly official.
The collection also includes a few of Mrs. Steinberger's papers and photographs in connection with her involvement with conservation and the National Society of the Daughters of the Revolution and certificates from the Air Defense Command as a member of the Ground Observers Corps, and a certificate of merit from the American Mothers Committee.
The collection includes several maps and plan sketches for two houses and a barn.