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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Bettie McKenzie papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1874-2003
Creator: McKenzie, Bettie (1925-2005)
Extent: 2.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0136
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Community activist from Red Oak, Iowa.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in boxes 4 and 5
6 audiocassettes [AC1197, 1198, AC2122-2125]

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 199) were donated by Bettie McKenzie in 2005.

Preferred Citation: Bettie McKenzie 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 "Bettie" Bixby, realtor and community activist, was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1925 to Ruth Wickham Bixby and Benjamin Parker Bixby. Ruth Bixby was a nurse and homemaker and Benjamin Bixby was a physician. Bettie Bixby received her BA in political science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1945. In September of that year, she married Lowell "Bob" McKenzie. The couple had three children, Robert, Abigail and Sarah.

The family moved to Red Oak, Iowa, in 1950 when Bob McKenzie took a job with the Thomas D. Murphy Company. Bettie McKenzie was active in her community. In the early 1960s, McKenzie acted as hostess for a Welcome Wagon service she started in Red Oak. She served as president of several organizations, including the Red Oak branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the Montgomery Board of Realtors, the Community Service League, and the United Nations Association. She was also a member of the PTA, the Planned Parenthood of Mid-Iowa Volunteer Council, the Sunshine and Rainbows Day Care Center Board of Directors, and the Montgomery County Democratic Party.

In the 1980s, McKenzie became interested in local history. She served on the Women's History committee and assembled Women's History Day programs for nearly twenty years. She edited several works, including Her Own Story: Ten Benton County Women , They Didn't Have Perma Press , and Women of Montgomery County.

In addition to her community involvement, McKenzie returned to college at Omaha in the 1960s and later took professional courses in real estate from 1973-1987. She worked as a real estate broker for Engquist Insurance (later Hawkeye Insurance).

Bettie McKenzie died in October 2005.

The Bettie McKenzie papers date from 1874 to 2003 and measure 2 linear feet. The papers are arranged in three series: Biographical, Scholarly work, and Advocacy.

The oral history found in the Biographical series was conducted by Kären Mason in 2005.

Scholarly work series includes biographical profiles assembled by McKenzie, as well as her correspondence, research, and writing. The series is arranged in topical files. The Augusta Swanson letters include transcriptions of the original letters.

Women's History Day materials, located in the Advocacy series, contain newspaper clippings, correspondence, fliers and meeting notes. Materials for Women's History Day in 1985, 1986, 1987, and 1999 include photographs. The 1992 Women's History Day materials include a transcription of the history of the Monday Club and a history of "Hawthorne Women." Newsletters contains copies of IoWoman that mention activities McKenzie was involved in, as well as publications that include articles written by McKenzie.
IoWoman newsletters (IWA): Her Own Story: Ten Benton County Women (IWA): Transcripts of oral histories with Benton County women and resulting publication Her Own Story, published in 1992 and edited by Bettie McKenzie.

A History of Military Service in Montgomery County, Iowa: Montgomery County Court of Honor , ca. 1996. Shelved in the printed works collection in the Iowa Women's Archives. Call number 97 - 675.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
Series 2: SCHOLARLY WORK
Series 3: ADVOCACY

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Newspaper clippings - 1958-2003
  • Political materials - 1958-2003
  • Welcome Wagon - 1963-1968
  • AC1197-AC1198: Oral history - 2005
  • Series 2: SCHOLARLY WORK
  • Sub-Series: Biographical profiles
  • Box 1:
  • Famous people from Red Oak - 1923-1992
  • Kate Chopin - 1993
  • Women's history stories (folder 1) - 1988-1989
  • Women's history stories (folder 2) - 1988-1989
  • Women's history stories (folder 3) - 1988-1989
  • Box 1:
  • Women's history stories (folder 4) - 1988-1989
  • Sub-Series: Correspondence
  • Box 1:
  • Augusta Swanson letters - 1884-1932, 1992-1994
  • General - 1988-1989
  • Publishing Her Own Story - 1990-1994
  • Sub-Series: Research
  • Box 1:
  • Bridging Generations: The Lives and Contributions of Rural Iowa Women - 1998
  • Box 2:
  • Census data - 1898, 1870, 1980, 1988
  • Farm data - 1930-1986
  • Manti, Iowa, undated
  • Maytag - 1987-1988
  • Montgomery County - 1874-1987
  • Mormons in Iowa - 1952, 1988, 1994
  • Newspaper clippings - 1874-1988
  • The First Fifty Years: Planned Parenthood of Mid-Iowa - 1984
  • Red Oak, Thomas D. Murphy Company calendar art - 1991 and 1994
  • Women in military service - 1943-1995
  • Women's organizations - 1976-1989
  • Women's work: Iowa poll - 1989
  • Working women - 1981, 1992
  • Box 3: Writing
  • Iowa summer writing course (folder 1) - 1989
  • Iowa summer writing course (folder 2) - 1989
  • Women's history books accounts - 1988-199
  • AAUW, Red Oak - 1959, 1999
  • Series 3: ADVOCACY
  • Box 3:
  • Citizen Ambassador Program, China Joint Conference on Women's Issues - 1995
  • Child Resource Center, Red Oak - 1993
  • Highway beautification - 1965
  • Iowa Women's Archives - 1991-1997
  • Iowa Women's Political Caucus - 1988-1997
  • Newsletters - 1985-1999
  • Red Oak PTA recreation survey - 1959
  • Box 4:
  • School reorganization - 1956-1959
  • United Nations Association, Red Oak chapter - 1961-1968
  • Women's history catalogs - 1988-1991, 1993-1997
  • Women's History Day (folder 1) - 1985-1991
  • Women's History Day (folder 2) - 1985-1991
  • Women's History Day (folder 3) - 1985-1991
  • Women's History Day (folder 4) - 1985-1991
  • Women's History Day (folder 5) - 1985-1991
  • Women's History Day (folder 6) - 1985-1991
  • Women's History Day (folder 7) - 1985-1991
  • Box 5:
  • Women's History Day (folder 1) - 1992-1999
  • Women's History Day (folder 2) - 1992-1999
  • Women's History Day (folder 3) - 1992-1999
  • Women's History Day (folder 4) - 1992-1999
  • Women's History Day (folder 5) - 1992-1999
  • Women's History Day (folder 6) - 1992-1999
  • Women's History Day (folder 7) - 1992-1999
  • Women's History Day (folder 8) - 1992-1999
  • AC1325: Women's History Day, Mar. 9 - 1991
  • AC1322 and AC1323: Women's History Day, Leon, IA, Apr. 6 - 1991
  • AC1324: Women's History Day: Charlotte Skallerup and Bettie McKenzie - 1999
  • Women's history materials - 1988-1993
  • Women's History Month, Montgomery County artists - 1987
  • Women's Rights National Historic Park, undated
  • 'Women who dared' postcards, undated