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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Elizabeth Wherry papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1904-1960
Creator: Wherry, Elizabeth (1893-1956)
Extent: 5.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0028
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Farm magazine writer.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use:

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 29) were donated by Marguerite Johnson in 1966 and Ruth Wherry in 2000.

Preferred Citation: Elizabeth Wherry papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

Elizabeth Wherry was widely recognized as an Iowa author and columnist and a member of the first Iowa Dairy Industry Commission. In her writing, her chief subjects were rural life and farming. She is perhaps best known for her column "Country Air," which she wrote for nearly thirty years for Wallace's Farmer, where she also worked as associate editor. Among Wherry's many published writings are feature articles for Successful Farming magazine, and a column for the Cedar Rapids Gazette's farm page called "Soul Conservation." Wherry was also a prolific author of children's literature, and wrote children's books for Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Other writings include a radio program for WSUI in Iowa City called "Country Neighbors" and book reviews for the Des Moines Register.

Wherry was born January 29, 1893, in Tipton, Iowa, as Elizabeth Cripliver, daughter of Jacob and Ella Cripliver. After graduating from Tipton High School in 1909, she studied education at Iowa State Teachers College(now the University of Northern Iowa) in Cedar Falls from 1909-1910 and 1913-1914.

She married Don L. Wherry on March31, 1914. She and her husband were farmers from 1920 to 1943 near Wyoming, Iowa. It was during this time that Elizabeth Wherry made a name for herself as a writer concerned with the role and duties of the farm woman. In an era before water systems and sewage disposal, electricity, hot water and freezers, Wherry gave other farm women advice on how to cope with the isolation and hard work in order to live more graciously. Hers was a message of kindness and hospitality.

The Wherrys had two sons: John, born in 1919, and Richard, born in1925. John Wherry contributed a column for a time in the Clinton Iowa Herald. Don Wherry spent the last several years of his life teaching in the Iowa public school system.

After her husband's death in 1948, Elizabeth Wherry moved to Iowa City, where she was the house mother for the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She attended the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) from 1948 to1950, where she studied writing and journalism and made the honor roll. After several years, she moved to Mount Vernon, Iowa where she was house mother for Peiffer Hall at Cornell College. In 1953 she moved to Anamosa, Iowa, where she died in 1956 of a heart attack.

The Elizabeth Wherry papers measure 5linear feet and date from 1904 to 1960. The papers are arranged in five series: Domestic life, Education, Family, Writings for adults, and Writings for children. This collection documents the personal and professional life of a writer known for her articles on farming and women's rural issues, and for her stories and poems for children.

The Wherrys kept detailed accounts relating to the management of their Wyoming, Iowa farm. Elizabeth Wherry's personal papers, such as recipes, diaries, photographs and a scrapbook, relate to the interior management of the farm. Her diaries span from 1932 to 1953. The photographs include undated pictures of Wherry and her immediate family. These papers are located in the Domestic life series (1919-1960).

In the Education series(1909-1951) Wherry's college notebooks reflect her studies in children's education and sociology. At the State University of Iowa in 1949, she took a sociology course entitled "Problems of marriage and family," in which she conducted a survey of widows.

The Family series (1904-1960)contains correspondence, newspaper clippings and documents pertaining to the Cripliver and Wherry families.

The Writings for adults series (1920-1956) consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, and manuscripts that relate to the essays, fiction, newspaper articles, plays, poetry, speeches, and radio programs Wherry wrote for an adult audience. In the late twenties and thirties she compiled notes and transcripts toward a history of Iowa pioneers, based on her ancestors' personal experiences.

Wherry published numerous works for children, including essays, fiction, articles for Better Homes and Gardens, poetry, and non-fiction. The newspaper clippings, manuscripts, and papers pertaining to these works are found in the Writings for children series (1928-1942).
Virgina Randolph papers (IWA): Randolph was Wherry's niece. The Randolph papers contain biographical sketches, photographs and clippings pertaining to Wherry

Browse by Series:
Series 1: DOMESTIC LIFE
Series 2: EDUCATION
Series 3: FAMILY
Series 4: WRITINGS FOR ADULTS
Series 5: WRITINGS FOR CHILDREN

  • Series 1: DOMESTIC LIFE
  • Box 1:
  • Calendars - 1947, 1948
  • Christmas greetings lists - 1948-1953
  • Craft-making, newspaper clippings, undated
  • Diaries (3 volumes) - 1936, 1942, 1953
  • My Garden Book - 1930-1939
  • Travels (2 volumes) - 1938
  • Farm operations: Auction announcement, undated
  • Farm operations: "Facts supporting earnings" - 1954
  • Farm account books chronological - 1932
  • Farm account books chronological - 1933
  • Farm account books chronological - 1934
  • Farm account books chronological - 1935
  • Farm account books chronological - 1936
  • Farm account books chronological - 1937
  • Farm account books chronological - 1938
  • Farm account books chronological - 1939
  • Farm account books chronological - 1940
  • Farm account books chronological - 1941
  • Farm account books chronological - 1942
  • Box 2:
  • Farm account books chronological - 1943
  • Farm account books chronological - 1944
  • Farm account books chronological - 1948
  • Farm account books chronological - 1949
  • Farm account books chronological - 1950
  • Farm account books chronological - 1951
  • Farm operations: Legal action - 1946
  • Farm operations: Master Farm Homemaker Work Sheet - 1927
  • Gamma Phi Beta - 1950
  • Newspaper clippings - 1930-1960
  • Obituaries: Elizabeth Wherry - 1956
  • Obituaries: Family and friends - 1938, 1944
  • Organizational affiliations - 1933-1957
  • Packing list - 1946-1947
  • Photographs, Wherry and family, undated
  • Recipes, undated
  • Recipe books, undated
  • Box 3:
  • Scrapbook - 1918-1925
  • World Wars I and II memorabilia - 1919-1943
  • Wyoming, Iowa memorabilia - 1930
  • Series 2: EDUCATION
  • Box 3:
  • College: Iowa State Teachers College, notebooks - 1909-1914
  • State University of Iowa: Class notebooks - 1949-1951
  • State University of Iowa: "Problems of marriage and family": Correspondence, incoming - 1949
  • State University of Iowa: "Problems of marriage and family": Notes - 1949
  • State University of Iowa: "Problems of marriage and family": Research articles - 1949
  • State University of Iowa: "Problems of marriage and family": Surveys - 1949
  • State University of Iowa: Student records - 1948-1951
  • High School - 1909
  • Series 3: FAMILY
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence: Incoming - 1926-1956
  • Correspondence: Outgoing - 1949-1955
  • Eliza Cripliver - 1941
  • Estate papers: Bertha Cripliver - 1940
  • Estate papers: Ella Cripliver - 1941
  • Estate papers: Forrest Cripliver - 1940, 1942
  • Box 4:
  • Newspaper clippings - 1933-1951
  • Don Wherry: Correspondence from - 1918
  • Don Wherry: Fiction manuscript, undated
  • Don Wherry: Marriage, undated
  • Don Wherry: Medical records - 1912, 1948
  • Don Wherry: Professional and organizational affiliations - 1904-1944
  • Don Wherry: Teaching career - 1944
  • John Wherry: - 1919-1947
  • John Wherry: My Garden Book - 1930
  • Richard Wherry - 1925-1960
  • Series 4: WRITINGS FOR ADULTS
  • Box 4:
  • Background research: Newspaper clippings - 1948
  • Background research: Notes: Loose, undated
  • Background research: Notes: Notebooks, undated
  • Correspondence: Fan mail, incoming - 1931-1956
  • Box 5:
  • Correspondence: Publishers: Incoming - 1920-1956
  • Correspondence: Publishers: Outgoing - 1931, 1953
  • Correspondence: Magazine contests, incoming: "Gadgets" - 1955
  • Correspondence: Magazine contests, incoming: "Job I Enjoy Most" - 1955
  • Correspondence: Radio programming, incoming - 1930
  • Essays: Miscellaneous manuscripts - 1935
  • Essays: "Vegetables Then and Now," notes, undated
  • Essays: "Weather," notes, undated
  • Fiction, manuscripts, undated
  • History of Iowa pioneers: Correspondence, incoming - 1929
  • History of Iowa pioneers: Narratives: Ella Cripliver - 1934
  • History of Iowa pioneers: Narratives: Miscellaneous, undated
  • History of Iowa pioneers: Notes, undated
  • History of Iowa pioneers: Transcripts, undated
  • Newspaper articles: Cedar Rapids Gazette, "Soul Conservation": Clipping [also in Box 11 scrapbook] - 1943
  • Newspaper articles: Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air": Clippings [see also Box 19]
  • Newspaper articles: Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air" - 1929-1940
  • Newspaper articles: Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air" - 1941-1946
  • Newspaper articles: Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air" - 1947-1953
  • Newspaper articles: Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air" - 1954-1956
  • Newspaper articles: Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air": Illustrations, undated
  • Box 6:
  • Newspaper articles: Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air": Manuscripts - 1934-1942
  • Newspaper articles: Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air": Scrapbooks [see also Boxes 12-15] - 1929-1932
  • "Homemaking Today," newspaper clippings - 1950-1956
  • Miscellaneous articles: Newspaper clippings - 1936-1956
  • Miscellaneous articles: Scrapbooks [see also Boxes 16-17] - 1928-1938
  • Plays: The Other Wise Man, manuscript, undated
  • Plays: The Prairie Town: Manuscripts, undated
  • Plays: The Prairie Town: "Pageantry for a Prairie Town," undated
  • Plays: The Prairie Town: Programs, undated
  • Plays: The Prairie Town: Synopses, undated
  • Poetry: Newspaper clipping, undated
  • Poetry: Manuscripts, undated
  • Public speaking: Newspaper clippings - 1930
  • Public speaking: Correspondence, incoming - 1938-1946
  • Public speaking: Programs - 1930-1945
  • Public speaking: Transcripts, undated
  • Publicity, newspaper clippings - 1928-1930
  • Box 7:
  • Radio programs: Country Landscape: Correspondence, incoming - 1941
  • Radio programs: Country Landscape: Manuscripts of episodes 1-7 - 1940
  • Radio programs: Country Landscape: Manuscripts of episodes 8-15 - 1941
  • Radio programs: Country Landscape: Manuscripts of episodes 16-28 - 1941
  • Radio programs: Country Landscape: Manuscripts of episodes 1-7 - 1941-1942
  • Radio programs: Country Landscape: Manuscripts of episodes 8-14 - 1942
  • Box 8:
  • Radio programs: Country Landscape: Manuscripts of episodes 15-22 - 1942
  • Radio programs: Country Landscape: Manuscripts of episodes: Fragments, undated
  • Radio programs: Miscellaneous manuscripts - 1943, 1948
  • Radio programs: Transcripts - 1930, 1942
  • Box 11:
  • Newspaper articles: Cedar Rapids Gazette, "Soul Conservation": Scrapbook - 1941-1949
  • Box 12:
  • Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air": Scrapbooks - 1928, 1950-1956
  • Box 13:
  • Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air": Scrapbooks - 1934-1936
  • Box 14:
  • Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air": Scrapbooks - 1937-1942
  • Box 15:
  • Wallace's Farmer: "Country Air": Scrapbooks - 1943-1949
  • Box 16:
  • Miscellaneous articles: Scrapbooks - 1928-1936
  • Box 17:
  • Miscellaneous articles: Scrapbooks - 1936-1938
  • Box 19:
  • Newspaper articles: Wallaces Farmer: Country Air clippings - 1920-1956
  • Series 5: WRITINGS FOR CHILDREN
  • Box 8:
  • Craft-making, manuscripts, undated
  • Essays, manuscripts, undated
  • Fiction, manuscripts, undated: "Joe Chick Stories"
  • Fiction, manuscripts, undated: "Hollyhock Lane"
  • Fiction, manuscripts, undated: Miscellaneous
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "Boys and Girls", newspaper clippings - 1938
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "Children's Page": Newspaper clippings [see also Box 18 scrapbook] - 1932-1935
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "Children's Page": Manuscripts - 1931
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "Children's Page": Manuscripts - 1932
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "Children's Page": Manuscripts - 1933
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "Children's Page": Proof sheet, undated
  • Box 9:
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "For Boys and Girls," clippings [see also Box 18]
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "The Interesting Family," scrapbook [see also Box 18]
  • Magazines: Better Homes and Gardens: Newspaper clippings - 1929-1930
  • Magazines: Better Homes and Gardens: Home Gardener's Pronouncing Dictionary - 1930
  • Magazines: Better Homes and Gardens: Leaflets, undated
  • Magazines: Better Homes and Gardens: Memorabilia, undated
  • Non-fiction: My Rainy Day Notebook - 1930
  • Non-fiction: My Garden Book - 1929
  • Poetry: Manuscripts: My Garden Book - 1928-1935
  • Poetry: Manuscripts: When Little Boys Take Thought (3 folders) - 1927-1928
  • Box 10:
  • Poetry: Manuscripts: We Live on a Farm - 1935
  • Poetry: Music for poems, undated
  • Poetry: Notebooks - 1935-1936
  • Poetry: Rough drafts - 1934-1936
  • Box 18:
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "Children's Page": Scrapbook - 1930-1942
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: "The Interesting Family," scrapbook, undated
  • Magazines: The Farmer's Wife: For Boys and Girls, clippings, undated