Guide to the Autobiographical Sketches of Rural Iowa Women

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1998-1999
Creator: Autobiographical Sketches of Rural Iowa Women
Extent: .50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0407
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Reminiscences of Iowa Farm Bureau women donated to the Rural Women's Project.

Administrative Information

Arrangement: Four folders, shelved in SCVF.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright has been retained by individual donors.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no.578 ) were donated by various people in 1999 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Autbiographical Sketches of Iowa Rural Women, 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

Biographical Note

The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation worked closely with the Iowa Women´s Archives Rural Women´s Project Archivist in 1998 and 1999 to encourage farm women to preserve records that document their life experiences. In response, many farm women wrote short autobiographical sketches.These have been gathered in one collection.

Content Description

The Autobiographical Sketches of Rural Iowa Women collection dates from 1998 to 1999 and 2003; it measures 0.5 linear inches. The northeast and northwest corners of the state are the principal areas represented.
Included in the collection are newspaper columnist Dorothy Blunt, farm woman Artis England, the active Mennonite Gladys Fisher, care facility activity coordinator Irma Jacobsma, church organist Charlotte Vaughn, Clara Winkie who passed her General Education Development (GED) test at age 60, and Farm Bureau leader Doris Wright Zimmerman. Also included are the recollections of five Plymouth County farm women: Elsie Easton, Laura Lauter, Doris Ludwigs, Lois Newberg and Randy Oetken.
Most of these women were born and raised on farms and later raised their own families on farms during the Depression and World War II. Newspaper clippings, family histories, and church histories accompany some of the sketches.  This collection offers perspectives from rural women who have not created many records or found representation in major repositories.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Browse by Series:


This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Blunt, Dorothy
England, Artis
Fisher, Gladys
Jacobsma, Irma
Vaughn, Charlotte
Winkie, Clara
Zimmerman, Doris Wright
Easton, Elsie
Lauter, Laura
Ludwigs, Doris
Newberg, Lois
Oetken, Randy


Rural women
Great Depression, 1929
World War, 1939-1945
Women and war
Farm life
Country life


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa
United States -- Iowa -- Plymouth County

Genre/Form of Materials:
Artificial collections

Rural and Farm Women
Women and War