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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Virginia Becker papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1976-1993
Creator: Becker, Virginia (1918- )
Extent: 1.00 linear foot.
Collection Number: IWA0540
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Scrapbooks of Bremer County, Iowa, Farm Bureau woman.

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. 946) were donated by Virginia Becker in 2004.

Preferred Citation: Virginia Becker 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

Virginia N. Becker, farmwoman, homemaker, and community activist, was born in Waterloo, Iowa, to Luella and Ellsworth Howe in 1918. She spent her childhood in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and graduated in 1936 from Cedar Falls High School, where she was active in both sports and Girl Scouts. After doing housework and working at a Girl Scout camp to pay her room and board fees, Becker earned her BA in 1940. She then taught high school business, physical education, and English courses, and later served as a deputy county auditor for nine years. In 1942, she married Robert J. Becker. After World War II, the couple began farming in Bremer County, raising livestock and grain, including a Grade A dairy herd. In 1945, Becker bore her first child, Kathy, and by 1952 she had given birth to Linda, Bruce, Robert, Virginia, and Todd. In 1978, she received the Master Farm Homemaker's Award.

Becker was a member of the Iowa Farm Bureau Women's Committee. She served as chairman of the county Farm Bureau legislative committee and as the District 1 women's chairman on the state committee from 1977 to 1983. She also volunteered with the Waverly Hospital Auxiliary and belonged to the Plainfield American Legion and the Amvets auxiliary, as well as the Bremer County Historical and Genealogical Societies. She also served for twenty years on the Bartels Care Review Committee in Waverly, Iowa. Upon moving to Plainfield, Iowa, in 1978, Becker became active in Plainfield Methodist Church, teaching Sunday School, coordinating missions, and acting as vice president of the United Methodist Women. Becker's political activity included supporting US Senator Charles Grassley's 1980 senatorial campaign and the 1984 campaign of US Representative Cooper Evans, as well as involvement in several other policy-making committees.

The Virginia Becker papers date from 1976 to 1993 and measure 1 linear foot. The collection consists of Becker's scrapbooks, documenting her work for the Iowa Farm Bureau Women's Committee, as well as her family life and other community involvement. Materials related to the Farm Bureau include photographs, newspaper clippings, and columns Becker wrote during her time as District 1 women's chairman. Many articles and photographs feature Charlotte Mohr, who was president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Women's Committee. Other materials in the scrapbooks include correspondence, birth announcements, programs, and newspaper clippings pertaining to the local news of Bremer County. The biographical folder contains several loose photographs of the Nigerian exchange student whom Becker hosted for a week in 1976 and a 1984 gathering of the Iowa Women's Farm Bureau.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: Biographical information
Series 2: Iowa Farm Bureau Women's Committee

  • Series 1: Biographical information
  • Box 1:
  • Photographs - 1976-1993
  • Series 2: Iowa Farm Bureau Women's Committee
  • Box 1:
  • Scrapbooks - 1975-1979
    5 vols.
  • Box 2:
  • Scrapbooks - 1980-1983
    4 vols.
  • Box 3:
  • Scrapbooks - 1984-1985
    2 vols.