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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Josephine Hirons Pullen papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1949-1996
Creator: Pullen, Josephine Hirons (1912-)
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0241
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Teacher, artist, poet and author from Early, Iowa.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: With the exception of her five books of poetry, for which the donor retains copyright, copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 334) were donated in by Josephine Hirons Pullen in 1996.

Preferred Citation: Josephine Hirons Pullen 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

Josephine "Jo" Hirons Pullen, teacher, artist, poet and author, was born to Frank G. Hirons and Edith Culp Hirons on December 3, 1912 on a farm outside of Early, Iowa. Josephine Hirons graduated in 1933 from the Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) with degrees in art, English, and drama. Along with her interest in art, she displayed a life-long interest in poetry and writing. Hirons taught art in various Iowa schools until she married Charles Pullen in 1938. The couple moved to Ida Grove, Iowa, where Jo Pullen assisted her husband in starting a rural electric co-op, a local business cooperative that provided electricity for rural homes in the Ida Grove area. During this time, Pullen also began writing a column titled "Ida Says" for the Ida Grove newsletter Ida News, which was published by her husband´s company. Pullen resumed teaching art in the early 1960s in Ida Grove, but returned to Early, Iowa, a few years after her husband´s death in 1972. Pullen continued to write and began having poetry published in 1978. She later wrote articles for Acres of News, the newsletter of a local retirement community.

The Josephine Hirons Pullen papers date from 1949 to 1996 and measure 2.5 linear inches.  The papers are arranged in two series:  Biographical material and Writings. 

The Biographical material consists of newspaper clippings that document Pullen's poetry-book signings and various community activities.  Also included is a People magazine article in which Pullen described the difficulties faced by her small farm community of Early, Iowa, in the 1980s. 

The Writings series includes copies of the Ida News, for which Pullen wrote a column called "Ida Says."  Included also are copies of Acres of News, a newsletter for the residents of the Wesley Acres Retirement Community, for which Pullen wrote a column called "I Was Just Thinking...", and one copy of each of her five published books of poetry entitled Poems Book I: This Mustard Seed, Poems Book II: Growing Season, Poems Book III: Kaleidoscope, Poems Book IV: People and Places, and Poems Book V: Turn, Turn, Turn.  The last folder contains a photograph of Pullen at an amateur art exhibition in 1972.

Browse by Series:
Series 2: WRITINGS

  • Box 1:
  • Newspaper clippings - 1969-1982
  • Leah Rosen, Small Town, Big Trouble: Is It Too Late for Early Iowa?, People, November 3 - 1986
  • Series 2: WRITINGS
  • Sub-Series:
  • Box 1: Ida News (incomplete)
  • Chronological - 1949-1952
  • Chronological - 1953-1956
  • Chronological - 1957-1964
  • Sub-Series: Acres of News
  • Box 1:
  • Acres of News - 1995-1996
  • Sub-Series: Books of poetry
  • Box 1:
  • Poems Book I: This Mustard Seed (FAS Publishing) - 1978
  • Poems Book II: Growing Season (FAS Publishing) - 1978
  • Poems Book III: Kaleidoscope (FAS Publishing) - 1980
  • Poems Book IV: People and Places (Miller Printing and Publishing 1982) - 1982
  • Poems Book V: Turn, Turn, Turn (Dunbar-Jones Partnership and Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa) - 1994
  • Series 3: PHOTOGRAPH
  • Box 1:
  • Photograph - 1972

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Pullen, Josephine Hirons, 1912-

20th century

Women and literature
Farm life


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Early
United States -- Iowa -- Ida Grove

Genre/Form of Materials:
Personal papers

Teachers and Teaching