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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Swope and DeLand Families papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1876-1998
Creator: Swope and DeLand
Extent: 5.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0391
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Family papers and subject files concerning women artists, women writers, and peace activism in Northwest Iowa.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright for original poetry has been retained by the donor. Copyright for other materials has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 561) were donated by Barbara DeLand Kearney in 1998 and 1999.

Preferred Citation: Swope and DeLand Family 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

Sarah Jane Beall married the Methodist minister John H. Swope, in 1864, in Maryland before coming to Des Moines, in 1872. When he died in 1876, his wife and five children supported themselves by delivering milk within the community. One son, Howard Swope, married his orphaned neighbor Jessie West and together they became small town merchants in Storm Lake and real estate developers in Minneapolis during the Depression. They sent their daughter, Mary Lurene Swope (1896 -1978), to Western Female College in Oxford, Ohio. She subsequently worked in Washington, D.C. at the Office of Procurement during World War One. In 1921, Mary Lurene Swope married her Storm Lake neighbor James Lael DeLand (1894-1986), called Lael.

The father of James Lael DeLand was James DeLand, a state district judge in Storm Lake, and his mother, Ida Sherman, was the daughter of a local dentist. DeLand and Sherman had married in 1882 and afterwards were active in the growth of Storm Lake, socializing with other prosperous families and engaging in various benevolent activities.

The marriage of Mary Lurene and James Lael DeLand ended in divorce in 1938. Afterward, Mary Lurene Swope DeLand worked in the Buena Vista County TreasurerĀ“s Office for fifty dollars a month and raised her two daughters Barbara Jean and Janet DeLand. She became increasingly incapacitated with Muscular Dystrophy.

Barbara DeLand spent her first year of college at the University of South Dakota. She also attended Buena Vista College and the University of Minnesota, where she graduated in 1945 in Social Work. She married Dick Kearney, her childhood friend, and they lived in Storm Lake where they raised two daughters and two sons. Barbara Kearney was active as a photographer and writer. She became a peace activist during the 1980s.

The Swope and DeLand Families papers date from 1882 to 1997 and measure five linear inches. The papers are arranged in four series corresponding to four women in the families: Sarah Jane Buell Swope, Ida Sherman DeLand, Mary Lurene Swope DeLand, and Barbara DeLand Kearney.

The Sarah Jane Buell Swope (1841-1918) series consists of undated reminiscences about her marriage and years as a widow.

The Ida Sherman DeLand series includes an 1882 autograph album, a diary written between 1905 and 1934, a photocopy of this diary, and a fiftieth wedding anniversary album. The diary recounts daily activities of this civic leader, wife, mother, and grandmother. The anniversary album includes newspaper clippings about the DeLands, photocopies of photographs of the DeLands, and a list of over 450 guests.

The Mary Lurene Swope DeLand series includes a wedding album dating from 1921, and reminiscences written by Mary Lurene Swope in 1978, the year before she died. They describe her mother, Jessie West Swope and recount her father's rise in business and real estate. They also relate her childhood experiences, her college days at Western Female College in Oxford, Ohio, and the maids she had during her life. They do not mention the muscular dystrophy that precipitated her death.

The Barbara DeLand Kearney series includes subject files of four writers (including the donor) and peace activities in the Storm Lake area. The files include biographical information and newspaper articles about Kearney. There are also newspaper articles, publisher's briefs, interviews, and correspondence, dating from 1983-1997, of author Marjorie Holmes. A subject file for local poet Catherine Bonham includes her poetry and newspaper articles about her dating from 1986-1998. The file of Danute Hutchins, a Russian-born translator, artist, and writer contains a poem, photographs, notes, and newspaper articles about her from 1979-1989. Other subject files contain papers relating o the Buena Vista Peace Network, a Peace Lantern Exchange in 1986, the opening f the Iowa Peace Institute in Grinnell, the Storm Lake Peace Choir, and other publicized events mainly in the 1980s.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Reminiscences - 1876
  • Box 1:
  • Autograph album - 1882
  • Diary - 1905-1934
  • Diary (photocopy) - 1905-1934
  • Fiftieth wedding anniversary album - 1932
  • Box 1:
  • Wedding book - 1921
  • Reminiscences (photocopies) - 1978
  • Box 1:
  • Creative enterprises - 1994-1997
  • Subject files: Holmes, Marjorie - 1983-1993
  • Subject files: Bonham, Catherine - 1991-1998
  • Subject files: Hutchins, Danuta - 1980-1989
  • Subject files: Buena Vista Peace Network - 1981-1987
  • Subject files: Peace publicity - 1983-1985
  • Subject files: Peace Lantern Exchange - 1986
  • Subject files: Peace chorus - 1986
  • Subject files: Iowa Peace Institute (Grinnell) - 1986-1987