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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Bowersox and Osborn Family papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1861-2002
Creator: Bowersox-Osborne family
Extent: 1.75 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0500
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: The Bowersox family settled in Johnson County, Iowa in approximately 1855. The papers include a family account book, school exams and teaching certificates.

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. 868) were donated by Wayne Osborn in 2003 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Bowersox/Osborn 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

The Bowersox/Osborn Family papers date from 1861 to 2002 and measure 1.75 linear feet. The papers are arranged in four series: Family, Genealogy, Photographs, and Correspondence.
The Family series consists of papers of individual members of the Bowersox/Osborn family. Included are essays written by Elizabeth C. Bowersox and Lizzie E. Bowersox. There is correspondence written by and addressed to Ruia Bowersox Hurless, Alta Bowersox Yessler, Eugene C. Bowersox and others, including photocopies of Fred Bowersox' World War I letters. The Alta Bowersox Yessler letters were written in 1919 and 1920 when Yessler was homesteading in Minnesota. There is also a journal written between 1861 and 1870, that according to donor Wayne Osborn was written by an unidentified member from the Osborn side of the family.
The Family series also includes photocopies of obituaries for Mary Margaret Shuey Bowersox, Mary A. Osborn and Thomas F. Osborn. There are also two Bowersox family account books, the first dating from 1867 to 1873 and the second from 1911 to 1918. The first page of the 1867 account book consists of minutes of a 'society' meeting, including a roster of members, held on November 23, 1867. The last page of the book is a handwritten draft, in pencil, for a speech titled, 'Life.' The bulk of the older account book consists of the Bowersox family's financial dealings, including monthly and annual expenditures for their farm. Transactions between Jacob Shuey and his son J.S., and hired hands are carefully recorded. There is one section titled, "Money paid for improving land,"and another titled, "Mother's weaving." The second account book is a record of income and daily expenditures for the J.S. Bowersox family from 1913 through 1918.
The Bowersox/Osborn family valued education and many of its members became teachers and school superintendents. Included in the Family series are school exams, essays, teaching certificates and several teacher's books from Malaka Township No. 8 in Iowa, spanning the years 1900-1930. The teacher's books include pupil rosters, courses, grades, remarks by the teachers, honor rolls, and teacher summaries that include the numbers of pupils, salary, tuition, condition of the building, and visitors. Several of the pupils listed in the earlier books went on to become the teachers that kept the records in later years.
The Genealogy series consists of three compilations: The Bauersachs Family in America, 1665-2002 by Jeannette Erkert Bowersox, Dorothy Le Vier Bowersox and Thomas L. Bowersox; The Genealogy and History of the Smith Family compiled by various descendants; and The Shueys and Bowersoxes in Iowa, 1854-1995 compiled by Elizabeth and Edna Bowersox.
The Photographs series consists of both original and photocopied photographs of various Bowersox and Osborn ancestors.
The Correspondence series consists of correspondence mainly between Inez Smyth Osborn to various members of her family, including her mother Elizabeth Bowersox Osborn and her fiancé/husband Wayland Osborn. Also in this series are a few newspaper articles, cards, and postcards.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: FAMILY

  • Series 1: FAMILY
  • Box 1:
  • Bowersox, Elizabeth C. essays
  • Croakers
  • The Spiritual Life of Our Young People's Christian Union
  • So Strikes Pay
  • Bowersox Family account books - 1867-1873
  • Bowersox Family account books - 1913-1918
  • Fred Bowersox autobiography
  • Fred Bowersox correspondence and newspaper clippings - 1918-1935
  • Lizzie E. Bowersox essays
  • Lizzie E. Bowersox school exams - 1891-1893
  • Lizzie E. Bowersox school exams - 1891-1893
  • Lizzie E. Bowersox teaching certificates - 1893-1900
  • Family correspondence - 1882-1920
  • Family correspondence - 1922-1954
  • Family education - 1891-1923
  • Ruia Bowersox Hurless correspondence - 1889-1921
  • Ruia Bowersox Hurless correspondence - 1923-1944
  • Ruia Bowersox Hurless education - 1892-1908
  • Ruia Bowersox Hurless wedding invitation - 1902
  • Box 2:
  • Journal - 1861-1870
  • Obituaries [photocopies]
  • Mrs. Wayne W. Osborn class record book - 1927-1930
  • Alta Bowersox Yessler correspondence - 1919-1936
  • Alta Bowersox Yessler correspondence [photocopies] - 1919-1920
  • Alta Bowersox Yessler physics notebook
  • Box 3:
  • Teachers' record books - 1900-1904
  • Teachers' record books - 1908-1912
  • Teachers' record books - 1912-1917
  • Teachers' record books - 1922-1930
  • Series 2: GENEALOGY
  • Box 2:
  • "The Bowersachs Family in America, 1665-2002"
  • "The Genealogy and History of the Smith Family," undated
  • "The Shueys and the Bowersoxes in Iowa, 1854-1995" - 1995
  • Series 3: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 2:
  • Originals, undated
  • Photocopies
  • Box 2:
  • Inez Smyth and Wayland Osborn - 1924-1925
  • Inez Smyth and Wayland Osborn - 1924-1925
  • Inez Smyth and Elizabeth Bowersox Smyth - 1922-1927
  • Inez Smyth and Elizabeth Bowersox Smyth - 1922-1927
  • Box 4:
  • Inez Smyth to Wayland Osborn (1) - 1924-1926
  • Inez Smyth to Wayland Osborn - 1925-1926
  • Inez Smyth to Wayland Osborn - 1925-1926
  • Inez Smyth to Wayland Osborn - 1925-1926
  • Inez Smyth to Wayland Osborn - 1927
  • Inez Smyth to Wayland Osborn - 1927
  • Inez Smyth and Elizabeth Bowersox Smyth - 1922-1927