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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Dallner and Petersen Family papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1907-2001
Creator: Dallner-Petersen family
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0484
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Peterson's journals describe daily life in rural Iowa from 1907 to 1910; Dallner's writings focus on two mysterious deaths that occurred in 1925.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa, with the exception of three photocopied journals, the originals of which are owned by Dana College in Blair, Nebraska.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 819) were donated by Pauline Dallner in 2001 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Dallner-Petersen 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

Pauline Peterson Nielson was born in 1884 in Elk Horn, Iowa, the sixth of ten children. Prior to her marriage, Peterson taught in rural schools near Harlan, Iowa. Her husband N.P.J. Nielson was a Lutheran pastor, and the couple served several different congregations, including Ferndale, California and Midtown, Wisconsin. The Nielsons retired in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Pauline Nielson lived to be 103 years of age.
Pauline Levendahl Dallner was born around 1918, the eldest of two daughters and the niece of Pauline Peterson Nielson. Levendahl was raised in Harlan, Iowa. Her father operated a pharmacy, and Levendahl often worked in the store as a young girl.

The Dallner-Petersen Family papers date from 1907 to 2001 and measure 2.5 linear inches. The papers include three photocopied journals written by Pauline Petersen from 1907 to 1910. These journals document the day-to-day activities of a young woman in her twenties, living in rural Iowa. The collection also includes two memoirs written by Pauline Levendahl Dallner; one spiral notebook containing the unedited essays of Dallner, composed between 1998 and 2001; and Dallner's written depiction of the "Rochelle Salts Mystery," an account of two mysterious deaths in 1925 that implicated her father's pharmacy and resulted in a manslaughter charge.
The Pierce-Stuart family is associated with the Dallner-Petersen family through the friendship of Mary Stuart Clark and Pauline Dallner.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Pauline Petersen Nielson
  • Journals of Pauline Petersen (folder 1) - 1907-1910
  • Journals of Pauline Petersen (folder 2) - 1907-1910
  • Journals of Pauline Petersen (folder 3) - 1907-1910
  • Pauline Levendahl Dallner
  • Memoirs of Pauline Levendahl Dallner - 1987
  • Memoirs of Pauline Levendahl Dallner - 1989
  • Unedited essays of Pauline Levendahl Dallner - 1998-2001
  • Rochelle Salts Mystery
  • Handwritten recipe book - 1989