Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Betty Boller oral history

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1999
Creator: Boller, Betty (1924-)
Extent: 13.00 pages.
Collection Number: IWA0290
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Des Moines wife and mother who worked as a secretary during World War II.

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 audiocassette [AC 502]

Arrangement: One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Access: The oral hiorioral history and transcript are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers (donor no.691) were donated by Ashley Kuehl in 1999.

Preferred Citation: Betty Boller oral history, 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

Betty Boller was born in 1924 and grew up in East Des Moines. Her father died during the Great Depression when she was young, so money was tight in the household. She, her mother, and her brothers all held jobs during this time. She did not ever consider college, but she found work soon after finishing high school in 1942. In 1943 she married Don Boller, a high school classmate.

In the interview, Betty Boller discusses the economics of dating when money was very scarce. She describes the secretarial work she did and compares it with the variety of jobs women could find during the war, such as welding jobs. Upon war's end the men retrieved such jobs.

Boller describes her marriage to Don Boller, with whom she had two children. Don Boller worked out of the home, while Betty Boller stayed home to raise the children. She provided leadership for many Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.

When asked if she regretted anything, Boller stated that she wishes she had spent time in the work force, had gained more education, and had studied music. She envies today's young women for the opportunities they have to become self-supporting. Boller instilled the values of a strong work ethic, honesty, religious belief, and citizenship with her children. Her main advice to today's children is to get a good education.

The oral history interview with Betty Boller was recorded on November 14, 1999 by Ashley Kuehl in Urbandale, Iowa. There is one audiocassette and a 13-page transcript of the interview.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: Biographical information

  • Series 1: Biographical information
  • Oral history transcript - 1999
    AC 502 shelved separately

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Boller, Betty, 1924-


Great Depression, 1929
World War, 1939-1945
Twentieth century
Women and war


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

Genre/Form of Materials:
Oral histories (Document genres)
Sound recordings

Women and War