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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Ruth Hamilton papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1895-2008
Creator: Hamilton, Ruth (1898-2008)
Extent: 6.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0192
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Teacher and world traveler who served in the New Hampshire legislature.

Alternate Extent Statement: Six audiocassettes [AC327-333, 343]
4 videocassettes [V96, 104-105, 162]

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers were donated by Ruth Hamilton (donor no. 273) in 1995 and succeeding years.

Preferred Citation: Ruth Hamilton 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

Ruth Hamilton was born on April 12, 1898 in the town of Alta, Iowa, to Peter and Hulda Jensen. She married Carter Hamilton in 1921 He was a professional baseball player for the Cleveland Indians who became a doctor in 1923. Together they adopted a son, Peter. Hamilton graduated from teacher's college in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1916. She later returned to school to study dramatics and English at the University of Minnesota and continued to study throughout her life, taking classes whenever she could.

As a teacher, Hamilton taught both in the classroom and over the radio. She began her teaching career in a country schoolhouse in Iowa, in 1916, and later went on to teach speech and elocution classes in California and adult English classes in in Hollywood and New York. She wrote many newspaper articles, travelogues and letters to the editor as well as her memoirs, entitled "The Hamilton Saga." Hamilton was elected twice to the New Hampshire legislature, from 1964 to 1973, and worked for a time in real estate. She also had a great interest in antiques and restoring old homes.

After her husband's death in 1949, Hamilton traveled extensively to many destinations around the world and in her later years gave lectures on her experiences. Ruth Hamilton died in her sleep on January 18, 2008 at the age of 109.

The Ruth Hamilton papers date from 1895 to 2008 and measure 6 linear feet.  The papers are arranged in five series: Personal, Professional, Travel, Correspondence, and Artifacts. 

The Personal series (1895-2008 and undated) contains Hamilton's obituary and memoirs including a rough draft of Book 1, 1898 to 1950, a rough draft of Book 2, "Widowhood," and a bound copy of Book 1.  The rough drafts also contain many pictures and newspaper clippings which are not found in the bound copy of the book.  Newspaper clippings, photographs, and other writings concerning Hamilton, her family and her friends and several of the honors received by Hamilton and information she collected on several of her interests are also included here.

The Professional series (1916, 1940-1993 and undated) contains newspaper clippings and photographs of Hamilton during her days of teaching, politics, and speech and radio work.  Several of the bills Hamilton worked on in the New Hampshire legislature and other legislative materials are also included.

The Travel series (1937-1996 and undated) consists of general information from her many trips, lecture materials she used when speaking about her travels, and photographs and brochures from her trips.  Also included here is a videocassette of Hamilton's trip to Europe in 1937 which was originally filmed with an eight millimeter camera.

The Correspondence series (1937-1998 and undated) mainly consists of letters sent and received by Hamilton while abroad.  Included are a collection of letters from Sherman Adams, a political leader in New Hampshire, the novelist Irving Stone, and several from the White House throughout several presidential terms.

The Artifacts series (1895, 1963-1985 and undated) contains many of the souvenirs Hamilton collected from around the world.  Of special interest are the stamps and coins from countries Hamilton visited which are no longer cohesive political entities.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: PERSONAL
Series 2: PROFESSIONAL
Series 3: TRAVEL
Series 4: CORRESPONDENCE
Series 5: ARTIFACTS

  • Series 1: PERSONAL
  • Box 1:
  • Memoirs: Bound book 1, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Preface, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 1, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 2, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 3, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 4, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 5, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 6, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 7, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 8, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 9, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 10, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 11, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 12, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 13, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 14, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 15, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 16, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 17, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 18, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 19, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 20, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 21, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 22, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 23, undated
  • Box 2:
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 24, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 25, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 26, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 27, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 28, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 29, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 30, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 31, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 32, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 33, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 34, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 35, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 36, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 37, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 38, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 39, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 40, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 41, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 42, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 43, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 44, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 45, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 46, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 47, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 48, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 49, undated
  • Memoirs book 1: Chapter 50, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Preface, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 1, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 2, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 3, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 4, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 5, undated
  • Box 3:
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 6, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 7, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 8, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 9, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 10, undated
  • Memoirs book 2: Chapter 11, undated
  • Documents: Certificate of Baptism - 1898
  • Documents: Deed - 1953
  • Documents: Passports - 1937-1984
  • Education: Report cards - 1905-1916
  • Education: Sixtieth High School Reunion - 1976
  • Family: Hamilton, Carter: Baseball career - 1919-1923
  • Family: Hamilton, Carter: Education - 1916-1943
  • Family: Hamilton, Carter: Father - 1927
  • Family: Hamilton, Carter: Marriage to Ruth Jensen wedding announcement - 1921
  • Family: Hamilton, Carter: Marriage to Ruth Jensen newspaper clippings and photographs - 1921
  • Family: Hamilton, Carter: Newspaper clippings - 1923, 1968
  • Family: Hamilton, Carter: Obituary - 1949
  • Family: Hamilton, Peter: Newspaper clippings - 1936, 1939, 1946
  • Family: Hamilton, Peter: Scrapbook - 1943, 1946, 1958
  • Family tree, undated
  • Family: Jensen, Lloyd (Hamilton's brother) - 1959
  • Family: Parents: Newspaper clippings, undated
  • Family: Parents: Wedding invitation and photograph - 1895
  • Family: Sweden/Denmark family information - 1915, 1937, 1971-1975
  • Friends: Gelb, Trudy - 1990
  • Friends: MacLaughlin, Don - 1979
  • Friends: Peters, Ron, undated
  • Friends: Praschnik, Herman, undated
  • Friends: Certificates - 1986, 1990
  • Friends: Unsung Heroines Award - 1986
  • Interests: Art - 1972-1974
  • Interests: Gauguin, Jean - 1980, 1986-1987
  • Interests: Iconography - 1975-1995
  • Interests: Student museum - 1993
  • Interests: Optimists Club - 1996
  • Interests: Optimists Club: International Optimists Convention Speech [shelved in videocassette collection: V162] - 1997
  • Box 4:
  • Interviews
  • Interviews: NEWS 6 WCPX, Orlando, Florida [shelved in the videocassette collection: V104-V105] - 1996
  • Newspaper clippings - 1923, 1939-1998
  • Writings: Biographical - 1942, 1986
  • Writings: Poetry and a memoir of a friend - 1962, 1968
  • Miscellaneous: Business cards, undated
  • Miscellaneous: "Durant depression, 1928", undated [shelved in the audiocassette collection: AC 343]
  • Miscellaneous: Highlights of life in Florida - 1952-1961, 1983, 1995
  • Miscellaneous: Highlights of life in New Hampshire - 1941, 1961
  • Miscellaneous: Mother's Day - 1996
  • Miscellaneous: Party of a Century: 100 Years of Caring and Sharing program - 1998
  • Miscellaneous: Thanksgiving - 1996
  • Miscellaneous: Widowhood timeline - 1950-1986
  • Photographs: Alta, Iowa - 1995
  • Photographs: Birthdays - 1989
  • Photographs: Birthdays - 1990
  • Photographs: Birthdays - 1991
  • Photographs: Birthdays - 1992
  • Photographs: Birthdays - 1993
  • Photographs: Birthdays - 1994
  • Photographs: Birthdays - 1995
  • Photographs: Birthdays - 1996
  • Photographs: Hamilton, Carter - 1934, 1948, 1949
  • Photographs: Family (folder 1) - 1907-1930, 1948
  • Photographs: Family (folder 2) - 1907-1930, 1948
  • Photographs: Friends - 1973-1996
  • Photographs: Portrait [closed for conservation] - 1963
  • Photographs: Thornburg, Iowa - 1996
  • Box 5:
  • Photographs: Travel - 1937, 1965, 1974-1976, 1984-1987
  • Photographs: Miscellaneous - 1977, 1995
  • Series 2: PROFESSIONAL
  • Box 5:
  • Politics: New Hampshire Legislature: General information, undated
  • Politics: New Hampshire legislature (cont.): Photographs - 1986
  • Politics: House journal - 1970
  • Politics: Bills - 1965
  • Politics: General Court Manuals - 1941, 1965, 1969
  • Politics: Sesquicentennial Booklet, New Hampshire State House - 1969
  • Politics: National Order of Women Legislators Annual Convention - 1969
  • Politics: Brown Book of the New Hampshire Legislature - 1965, 1969
  • Politics: Diary of the 1964-1965 legislative session: Draft one - 1964-1965
  • Politics: Diary of the 1964-1965 legislative session: Draft two (typescript) - 1964-1965
  • Politics: Legislative sessions of 1965 and 1969 - 1965, 1969
  • Politics: Legislative sessions of 1965 and 1969: "Beginning of My First Political Campaign--1963" [shelved in the audiocassette collection: AC328] - 1993
  • Politics: Legislative sessions of 1965 and 1969: Official documents - 1963-1965, 1968
  • Politics: Legislative sessions of 1965 and 1969: Photographs - 1964, 1965
  • Politics: Editorials - 1969
  • Politics: Speeches - 1965, 1968
  • Politics: Issues: Legal voting age - 1969
  • Politics: Issues: Junkyards, undated
  • Politics: Issues: Highway regulation and protection - 1965
  • Politics: Issues: Four-year term for governors - 1970
  • Politics: Issues: Wiretapping and eavesdropping - 1955-1971
  • Politics: Issues: Youth - 1969
  • Politics: Issues: Comments by Hamilton on issues: Vietnam, bed bugs, and LSD, undated [shelved in the audiocassette collection: AC329]
  • Politics: Issues: Comments by Hamilton on issues: Dog and Cat Bill, journalism, Nixon, and Kent State, undated [shelved in the audiocassette collection: AC330]
  • Politics: Issues: AC331 Audiocassette comments by Hamilton on issues: New Hampshire State Hospital, liquor stories, litter bugs, and the Dog and Cat Bill, undated [shelved in the audiocassette collection: AC331]
  • Politics: Issues: AC332: Comments by Hamilton on issues: Feldman Bill, and legislature stories, undated
    [shelved in the audiocassette collection]
  • Politics: Issues: AC333: Comments by Hamilton on issues: Legislature stories, undated
    [shelved in the audiocassette collection]
  • Politics: Newspaper clippings - 1940
  • Politics: Newspaper clippings - 1961-1969
  • Box 6:
  • Politics: Campaigns: Adams, Sherman - 1959
  • Politics: Campaigns: Carter, Jimmy - 1977
  • Politics: Campaigns: McCarthy, Eugene - 1968-1969
  • Politics: Campaigns: McGovern, George - 1972
  • Politics: Campaigns: Peterson, Walter - 1968-1969
  • Politics: Inaugural invitations - 1965, 1977
  • Real estate - 1963, 1993
  • Speech and radio - 1938-1939
  • Teachers college - 1916
  • Teaching experience - 1916-1917, 1923
  • Series 3: TRAVEL
  • Box 6:
  • Trips: Europe - 1937
  • Trips: Europe: V96 videocassette - 1937
    [shelved in the videocassette collection]
  • Trips: California - 1939
  • Trips: Norway - 1951
  • Trips: Europe: Denmark - 1955
  • Trips: Europe: Italy - 1955
  • Trips: Europe: Switzerland - 1955
  • Trips: Europe: West Germany - 1955
  • Trips: Scandinavia: Norway - 1963
  • Trips: Scandinavia: Sweden - 1963
  • Trips: Arctic trip: Leningrad - 1963
  • Trips: Arctic trip: Moscow - 1963
  • Trips: Arctic trip: Norway - 1963
  • Box 7:
  • Trips: Arctic trip: USSR - 1963
  • Trips: East Germany - 1963
  • Trips: Balkan trip: Bulgaria - 1965
  • Trips: Balkan trip: Czechoslovakia - 1965
  • Trips: Balkan trip: Denmark - 1965
  • Trips: Balkan trip: Greece - 1965
  • Trips: Balkan trip: Hungary - 1965
  • Trips: Balkan trip: Switzerland - 1965
  • Trips: Balkan trip: Turkey - 1965
  • Trips: Balkan trip: West Germany - 1965
  • Trips: Balkan trip: Yugoslavia - 1965
  • Trips: Balkan trip: Miscellaneous - 1965
  • Trips: Iceland - 1969
  • Trips: Iceland - 1971
  • Trips: USSR - 1971
  • Trips: Sweden - 1972
  • Trips: Ireland - 1972
  • Trips: France - 1974
  • Box 8:
  • Trips: London - 1974
  • Trips: African cruise - 1974
    [oversize shelved in map case]
  • Trips: USSR - 1974
  • Trips: East Germany - 1974
  • Trips: Italy: Malcesina - 1975
  • Trips: Italy: Pompeii - 1975
  • Trips: Italy: Sorrento (Island of Capri) - 1975
  • Trips: Italy: Florence - 1977
  • Trips: Italy: Rome - 1977
  • Trips: Italy: Syracuse - 1977
  • Trips: Italy: Sicily - 1977
  • Trips: Italy: General - 1977
  • Trips: Africa - 1977
    [oversize shelved in map case]
  • Trips: Yucatan - 1982
  • Trips: USSR - 1983
  • Trips: USSR: AC327 Audiocassette: Memories of trip - 1983
    [shelved with audiocassettes]
  • Trips: Yucatan - 1983
  • Box 9:
  • Trips: Black Sea Cruise - 1984
  • Trips: Belgium - 1984
  • Trips: Holland - 1984
  • Trips: Mexico - 1985
  • Trips: London - 1985
  • Trips: Portugal - 1985
  • Trips: Mexico and Cuba - 1986
  • Trips: Romania - 1986
  • Box 10:
  • Trips: Costa Rica - 1987
  • Trips: Costa Rica - 1988
  • Trips: London - 1990
  • Lectures: Programs, undated
  • Lectures: Notes: Africa, undated
  • Lectures: Notes: Iceland, undated
  • Lectures: Notes: USSR, undated
  • Lectures: Notes: Photographs - 1996
  • Lectures: Denmark: Knud Rassmussen Museum, undated
  • Lectures: Denmark: Miscellaneous, undated
  • Lectures: Greece, undated
  • Lectures: Iceland, undated
  • Lectures: London, undated
  • Lectures: Poland, undated
  • Lectures: Portugal, undated
  • Lectures: USSR: Gagarin, Yuri, undated
  • Lectures: USSR: Hermitage, undated
  • Box 11:
  • Lectures: USSR: Photographs, undated
  • Lectures: USSR: Stamp collection, undated
  • Lectures: USSR: Miscellaneous, undated
  • Series 4: CORRESPONDENCE
  • Box 11:
  • General - 1937, 1939
  • General - 1940-1949
  • General - 1950-1959
  • General - 1960-1969
  • General - 1970-1979
  • General - 1980-1989
  • General - 1990-1998
  • General, undated
  • Adams, Sherman - 1952-1968
  • Series 5: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 12:
  • Balkan trip handicrafts - 1965
  • Yuri Gagarin viewer - 1963
  • Leaf and rock from the Acropolis - 1984
  • Hamilton's baby cup
  • Stone from the ruins of the temple where Apostle Paul spoke - 1965
  • Coins: Ireland and Costa Rica
  • Coins: Yugoslavia, East Germany, the Netherlands, South Africa, Austria, Belgium, and West Germany
  • Coins: Hungary and Romania
  • Coins: Turkey, Greece and Cuba
  • Coins: Soviet Union
  • Coins: Mexico
  • Coins: Africa and Portugal
  • Coins: England and Denmark
  • Pins from the Soviet Union
  • Stamps from various countries
  • Doll from the Soviet Union - 1970
  • Locket - 1933
  • Wallet from the Soviet Union - 1983
  • Cigarette case from the Soviet Union
  • Silver spoon from parent's wedding set - 1895