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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Nancy De Vries Blom papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1982-1986
Creator: Blom, Nancy De Vries (1907-1993)
Extent: 1.00 linear inch.
Collection Number: IWA0387
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Dutch immigrant who came to the United States in 1915 as a young child and lived on a farm in northwest Iowa.

Arrangement: One folder, shelved in SCVF. My Story by Nancy Blom shelved in printed works: CT275 .B5795 A3 1982

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 553) were donated by Grace Blom Klein in 1998.

Preferred Citation: Nancy De Vries Blom 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

Nancy DeVries Blom was born in the Netherlands in 1907. Her older brothers had immigrated to the United States and, in 1915, as World War One made life in Europe increasingly difficult, the brothers sent passage money for their parents and six siblings to come to Iowa. The Bloms came through Ellis Island in New York and traveled by train to Doon, Iowa where they supported themselves by farming. They rented a succession of farms in Sioux County Iowa and nearby South Dakota. Nancy's mother died of tuberculosis when Nancy was thirteen and Nancy assumed responsibilities for the household chores. Within five years, her father went bankrupt and he moved to town while Nancy supported herself as a hired girl with a family in town. On the day that she turned eighteen, she married Walter Blom. Nancy and Walter Blom subsequently farmed in near Sioux Center and raised five children. In 1982, Nancy Blom enrolled in a writing workshop where she composed "My Story," a vivid account of her life until marriage.

The Nancy DeVries Blom papers consist of a memoir written in 1982, newspaper clippings about the writing workshop she attended in Sioux Center, and a transcribed "page from Mother's diary, October 26, 1963" describing the marriage of a son. Blom's memoir, "My Story," concerns her journey to Doon, Iowa, from the Netherlands in 1915 and her family's struggle to survive on prairie farms in western Iowa and South Dakota in the decade surrounding World War One. In "My Story" Blom recalls in great detail the customs of a working-class Dutch family, the move to Iowa, the family's efforts to succeed at the unfamiliar enterprise of prairie farming, and the chores she performed, especially after her mother's death. She also recounts her courtship and marriage. A story about her egg business is also included.

My Story by Nancy Blom is shelved in the Iowa Women's Archives printed works collection.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: Nancy De Vries Blom

  • Series 1: Nancy De Vries Blom
  • General - 1982-1986
    Shelved in SCVF.