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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Dorothy Pearl Unmack Dix papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1982-1999
Creator: Dix, Dorothy Pearl Unmack (1908-1997)
Extent: 1.00 linear inch.
Collection Number: IWA0449
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Harrison County, Iowa-born schoolteacher.

Arrangement: One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Access: The papers are open for research.

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

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 658) were donated by Catherine Dix Bonham in 1999.

Preferred Citation: Dorothy Pearl Unmack Dix 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

Dorothy Pearl Unmack was born February 8, 1908 near Magnolia in Harrison County, Iowa. Her parents were farmers and descendants of German and Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants. During most of her childhood, the family moved between Calhoun township and the town of Magnolia. Dorothy Unmack received her education in both towns and graduated from Magnolia High School in 1926. She married a neighboring farmer Ernest Dix, in November of the same year, and together they raised eight children. They farmed on his family's farm until they moved first to Magnolia during the Depression and then to Missouri Valley during World War Two. When Dorothy Unmack Dix's youngest child was in third grade, she enrolled at Omaha University for teacher certification. She taught for eighteen years before retiring. In 1988, when Ernest Dix died, they had sixty-one grand and great-grandchildren. Dorothy Dix died in 1997.

The Dorothy Pearl Unmack Dix papers consist of photocopies of a manuscript memoir that measures one linear inch. Dorothy Dix wrote the memoir intermittently from 1982 to 1990. A typescript of this memoir and an introduction by the author's daughter Catherine Dix Bonham are also included. Dorothy Dix wrote in a plain, factual style and describes her childhood activities and schooling in the Loess Hills area of Harrison County in western Iowa. She describes berrying, riding to school on horse-drawn buses, shopping, and working as hired help during high school. She also describes the clothing worn by young girls of the time. The memoir details her marriage, the austerities of the Depression, the loss of their family farm, and the careers of eight healthy children.

Browse by Series:

  • Memoir - 1990