Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Velma Carney papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1908-2004
Creator: Carney, Velma (1907-2004)
Extent: 5.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0560
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Adair County, Iowa, farm woman. Papers include household accounting ledgers.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 1.

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. 1017) were donated by Beverly Young.

Preferred Citation: Velma Carney 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

Farm wife Velma Ann Carney was born in 1907 in Casey, Iowa, the daughter of Burton and Alice Knauer Crandall. She grew up in the Casey and Adair area where she attended rural schools and graduated from Adair High School in 1925. After graduating Crandall taught in rural schools.

Crandall married Lloyd Carney in 1931. The Carneys lived in the house and farmed the land that belonged to his parents. They raised cattle, hogs, and chickens, making money through the sale of cream and eggs. After two years of poor corn harvests, Lloyd Carney attended a meeting in 1936 where he was introduced to a new crop, soybeans. With a successful soybean crop and livestock the Carneys were able to save money and began looking for a farm of their own to buy. In 1938 they bought 80 acres.

The Carneys moved to Adair County in 1968 and farmed there until their retirement. Lloyd Carney farmed approximately 500 acres, 200 head of cattle and some hogs, and Velma Carney cooked, kept the books, washed the clothes, and drove the tractor. In the late 1950s and 1960s they remodeled the farm house with electricity, a new bathroom, kitchen, and furnace. In her new kitchen Carney replaced the old cook stove with a new electric stove. They built a house in Adair in 1973 and sold the home farm. With land left the Carneys continued to farm for another two years until they sold out in 1975 and retired. The retired couple traveled to Texas and Florida in the winter.

Lloyd Carney was hospitalized in January 1988 and was moved to a nursing home the next month. He died in September 1990. Velma Carney continued to live in her home in Adair from 1990 until 2000. After a heart attack in 1996, she was admitted to the Health Center in Adair for the winters of 1996 and 1997. She was again hospitalized for congestive heart failure in 2000 and remained in the Adair Health Center until her death in 2004.

The Velma Carney papers date from 1908 to 2004 and measure 5 linear inches. Household accounting ledgers dating from 1932 to 1967 make up the bulk of the collection. Carney maintained financial records of the expense of maintaining machinery, the cost of feed, groceries, livestock and even cat food and rat poison, and their income from selling cream, eggs, grain, and livestock. The papers include a journal written by Carney in 1994 in which she recalls her almost 60 years of marriage. She begins with her honeymoon and early days of farming with her husband. The handwritten journal was found in a drawer in Carney's Adair home in 2000 and typed by a family friend who added an addendum to tell "the rest of the story." Photographs depict Carney as an infant, a high school graduate, and with her husband celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. Also included are documents relating to Carney's high school and teacher training, her wedding and her memorial service.

Browse by Series:

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • "Velma's Journal"
  • High school certificates - 1921-1930
  • Physics experiments notebook - 1924-1925
  • Wedding invitation and certificate - 1931
  • Memorials - 1991, 2004
  • Photographs - 1908-1981
  • Household accounting ledger (4 folders) - 1932-1967