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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Bessie Wilkerson papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1994
Creator: Wilkerson, Bessie
Extent: 1.00 item.
Collection Number: IWA0320
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Former seamstress and long-time resident of Fort Madison, Iowa.

Arrangement: One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright has not been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 440) were donated by Bessie Wilkersonin 1997.

Preferred Citation: Bessie Wilkerson 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

Bessie Wilkerson moved to Fort Madison, Iowa, from Des Moines, Iowa, in 1927 and attended high school there. She dropped out of school at the age of sixteen to marry Marshall Wilkerson. They had three sons and six daughters of whom seven lived to adulthood. To help support her family, Wilkerson took in sewing, which she could work on at home while raising her children. All of the surviving children attended college, even though neither Bessie Wilkerson nor her husband ever finished high school. Bessie Wilkerson was nominated for Mother of the Year in 1961.

The Bessie Wilkerson papers date from 1994 and consist of one newspaper clipping.

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This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Wilkerson, Bessie
Wilkerson, Marshall

Corporate Names:
Iowa Mother of the Year


African American women
Child rearing
Family life
Twentieth century


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Fort Madison

Genre/Form of Materials:
Personal papers

African American Women in Iowa