Guide to the Maria Margaretha Kromminga papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1897-1921
Creator: Kromminga, Maria Margaretha (1874-1937)
Extent: 6.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0144
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Diaries of a Monticello, Iowa, native who lived on her parents' farm and never married, raising her son alone.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright has been retained by the donor and her heirs.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no.211) were donated by Nedra Hanken, granddaughter of Maria Kromminga, in 1994.

Preferred Citation: Maria Margaretha Kromminga 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

Biographical Note

Maria (Mary) Kromminga, the second child of Folkert Kromminga and his wife Margaretha, was born on February 3, 1874, in Castle Grove Township, Jones County, Iowa. She received eight years of education in a rural school.

Kromminga lived her whole life with her parents on a farm near Monticello, Iowa. She never married but had a son, Raymond Kromminga, whom she raised alone. After working on the farm each day Maria Kromminga wrote in her diary by lamplight. She seldom wrote about her feelings but kept a record of her daily activities. Maria Kromminga died in January 1937 after catching bronchial pneumonia on New Year's Day.

Content Description

The Maria Margaretha Kromminga papers date from 1897 to 1921 and measure 6 linear inches. The papers are arranged in three series: Obituary, Diaries and Photographs. The papers document Kromminga's daily life in rural eastern Iowa at the turn of the twentieth century.

The six volumes of Diaries (1897-1921) describe Kromminga's and other family members' routine activities. Most entries give accounts of the visits of family and friends as well as accounts of the weather and its effect on Kromminga's mood. At the end of the second volume is a tally of egg production and sales for the years 1900 and 1902. The sixth volume lists items received from the Sears and Roebuck catalog. There are also various farm records, many from 1920 to 1921.

There are four Photographs (1902-1921 and undated) the collection, one of Maria Kromminga ca. 1915 and two of her son, Raymond Oscar Kromminga, from 1902 and ca. 1921. Also included is a photocopy of an undated family photograph of Maria Kromminga, her parents, two brothers, sister and brother-in-law.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Browse by Series:


This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Kromminga, Maria Margaretha, 1874-1937


Farm life
Rural families
Rural women
Unmarried mothers


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Monticello
United States -- Iowa -- Jones County

Genre/Form of Materials:
Personal papers

Autobiographical Resources: Diaries, Memoirs and Oral Histories
Rural and Farm Women