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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Phillips and Tarbell Family papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1999
Creator: Phillips and Tarbell Family
Extent: 1.00 linear inch.
Collection Number: IWA0448
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Articles and essay describing the family's participation in the Iowa State Fair.

Arrangement: One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 656) were donated by Olive Jean Phillips Tarbell in 1999.

Preferred Citation: Phillips and Tarbell 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

Mildred Horstman was born on a farm in Appanoose County, Iowa on May 17, 1912. She had only one sibling, a sister, who survived childhood. Horstman attended rural schools, working on the family farm until she married neighboring farmer Keith Phillips in 1930. Keith Phillips soon constructed a new home for their family of five and gradually increased the acreage of their farm. Their new farm house had a generator for electricity, but cooking was done on a wood stove until the 1940s when their township was electrified. Many of the over 5,000 blue ribbons that Mildred Phillips won were for baking and canning done on a wood stove. Phillips won awards from the Meredith Corporation, Pillsbury Company, Iowa Lard Association, Betty Crocker Company, Better Homes and Gardens, and the Iowa Honey Association. Mildred Phillips´ mother, Eva Will Horstman, also won numerous blue ribbons in county fairs. Phillips´ daughter, Olive Phillips Tarbell, and her granddaughter, Robin Tarbell-Thomas, have each won over 2,000 ribbons for their baked and canned goods. Robin´s daughter, Molly, age five, has already won three blue ribbons from the Iowa State Fair in the culinary department, making five generations of women noted for their prize-winning baked and canned goods.

The Phillips and Tarbell papers consist of an essay and newspaper articles from 1999 and measure one linear inch.  A five-page essay written by Olive Phillips Tarbell in 1999 describes a number of culinary contests won by Mildred Phillips from the 1930s to the 1990s.  This essay also describes the various contests won by five generations of men and women in this family, as well as the family's enjoyment of camping and competing at the Iowa State Fair.

The collection also includes newspaper and magazine articles written in 1999.  These articles describe Robin Tarbell-Thomas, who was chosen to represent Gedney Pickles in 1999, Molly Tarbell-Thomas' blue ribbon at the 1999 Iowa State Fair, and the generation of Phillips and Tarbells who have excelled at canning and baking.

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This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Tarbell, Olive Phillips
Phillips, Mildred
Tarbell-Thomas, Robin
Tarbell-Thomas, Molly

Corporate Names:
Iowa State Fair


Rural women
Farm life


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

Genre/Form of Materials:
Family papers

Family Names:
Phillips family
Tarbell family

Rural and Farm Women