Guide to the Icey Lenora Teel Harling papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1902-1973
Creator: Harling, Icey Lenora Teel (1878-1964)
Extent: 1.25 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0238
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Lecturer, author and playwright who ran the Teel School of Expression in Davenport, 1918-1934 and was later a writer and editor for the Durant News.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in boxes 1 to 5.

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. 330) were donated by the Muscatine Art Center in 1995.

Preferred Citation: Icey Lenora Teel Harling 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

Icey Lenora Teel, a well-known reader, entertainer, lecturer, teacher, author, and playwright, was born on February 27, 1878 in Nevada, Missouri. She moved to Iowa with her mother and sister at the age of three when her father died. She was educated at the Ann Morgan School of Speech and Acting in Chicago, the Northwestern School of Speech and Dramatics in Evanston, Illinois, the Sargent School of Acting in New York, and the Eagan School of Acting in Los Angeles.

Teel traveled extensively throughout the entire country for her lecture tours. She also entertained soldiers during World War I when her regular lecture circuit was cut short. From 1918 to 1934 Teel ran and taught speech, dramatic arts, and speech correction in her own facility, the Teel School of Expression, in Davenport, Iowa.

Teel was married in 1934 and subsequently stopped teaching in her school to help her husband, George Harling, run his newspaper in Durant, Iowa. Icey Harling remained at the Durant News for eighteen years as a writer and editor.

Icey Harling died as a result of a fall on August 31, 1964 at the age of eighty-six.

Content Description

The Icey Lenora Teel Harling papers date from 1902 to 1973 and measure 1.25 linear feet.  The papers are arranged in two series: Scrapbooks and Miscellaneous.

The Scrapbooks (1902-1973) contain newspaper clippings from Harling's professional career, her community involvement, the activities of her students, and activities revolving around her husband and family.  The scrapbooks also contain programs from Harling's performances, those from performances sponsored by her School of Expression, and programs for her husband George Harling's band concerts.  Many letters to both Harling and her husband and photographs of them and of their family are also included.  Loose items from the scrapbooks are filed in box 5 under the title of the scrapbook.

The Legend Round Robin scrapbook comes from a group with which Harling was involved.  Members shared legends and stories with each other and compiled them into a notebook.

The Maurice Harling scrapbook was compiled by George Harling's son and contains items about his parents' lives and about his own involvement in politics.

The Miscellaneous series (1917-1962) contains several of Harling's original written works, reviews, portraits, and correspondence (1917-1971 and undated.)  Also included are brochures from the Mary Andrew Clark Home in California where Harling lived for seven years, and for Camp Dodge in Des Moines, Iowa, where Harling entertained soldiers during World War I.

Detailed Description of the Collection

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This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Harling, Icey Lenora Teel, 1878-1964
Harling, George
Harling, Maurice

Corporate Names:
Teel School of Expression (Davenport, Iowa)

20th century

Family life
World War, 1914-1918
Women in education
Women in the performing arts
Women in war

Newspaper editors

Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Davenport
United States -- Iowa -- Durant
United States -- Iowa -- Des Moines

Genre/Form of Materials:
Personal papers

Teachers and Teaching
Women in Wartime