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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Blanche Basye Gilmore papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1970
Creator: Gilmore, Blanche Basye (1873-1970)
Extent: .25 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0616
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Memoir of wife, mother, and grandmother whose husband Eugene Gilmore was Vice Governor of the Phillippines in the 1920s and president of the University of Iowa from 1934 to 1940.

Arrangement: One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright has not been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no.930) were donated by Jean Hagen in 2004.

Preferred Citation: Blanche Basye Gilmore 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
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

Blanche Basye was born November 15, 1873 in Rockport, Indiana to Elizabeth Mary Sampson Basye and John Basye. There were three Basye children: Taylor, Edith and Blanche. After graduating high school in Rockport, Basye attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where she met Eugene Allen Gilmore. Following Eugene Gilmore's graduation from Harvard Law School, the couple were married on December 27, 1899 in a double ceremony with Edith Basye and her groom. The Gilmores initially moved to Boston. Then Eugene Gilmore took a teaching position at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. The Gilmores had three children: Eugene Allen, Jr. (born 1902), Elizabeth (born 1905) and John (born 1910).

In 1921, Eugene Gilmore, Sr. was asked to fill the position of Vice Governor of the Philippines and the family relocated. He served as acting-Governor General in 1927 and 1928, and again in 1929. Also in 1929, the University of Iowa invited him to become head of the law school in Iowa City, Iowa. In 1930, Eugene Gilmore, Sr. was appointed acting-President of the University of Iowa. Retiring in 1939, as mandated by Iowa law, the senior Gilmore served as Dean of the Law School at the University of Pittsburgh from 1939 until 1942. Following his retirement, the Gilmores returned to Iowa City.

Blanch Basye Gilmore died on January 13, 1970. She was preceded in death by her husband.

The Blanche Basye Gilmore papers date from 1970 and consist of the memoir Recollections. The memoir is filled with the adventures of Gilmore's life, including the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, having a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, being in Germany when war was declared in 1914, serving as "First Lady" in the Philippines, meeting the Prince of Wales and artist Grant Wood, having tea with President Coolidge, and traveling extensively in Europe and Asia. Throughout the memoir, Gilmore is first and foremost a wife, mother and grandmother. She describes births, graduations, marriages and grandchildren, and comments on the difficulty of finding good domestic help.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Recollections - 1970
  • Synopsis of memoir by Margaret Richardson - 2005