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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Lorraine Hansen papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1958-1973
Creator: Hansen, Lorraine (1920-1980)
Extent: 10.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0619
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Diaries of a homemaker and bakery owner from Manson, Iowa

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 2.

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. 839) were donated by Marsha Knittig in 2001.

Preferred Citation: Lorraine Hansen 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

Lorraine Rogers Hansen, homemaker and bakery-owner, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1920 to Martha and Frank Rogar, who later changed their name to Rogers. Frank Rogers was a shoemaker and Martha Rogers ran a boarding house where the family lived. Lorraine Rogers had a sister, Virginia. After high school, she became an art student at Milwaukee State Teachers' College before eloping with Raymond Henry Hansen of Primghar, Iowa, in 1940. They had met many years earlier when he was a boarder at her mother's boarding house and the two corresponded for years before their engagement.

The couple moved to Manson, Iowa, and opened the only bakery in the county. Hansen often worked at the bakery and eventually took over the cake decorating and deliveries. The bakery usually employed two or three people as well as the Hansen children, Truman, Randall, Marsha, Sylvia and Jeffrey. In her spare time, Hansen taught art classes and did calligraphy for Bibles and diplomas. She joined the local Methodist Church and became a 4-H leader in the 1950s. Hansen died in 1980.

The Lorraine Hansen papers date from 1958 to 1973 and measure 10 linear inches. The biographical information consists of notes taken during an interview with Hanson's daughter, Marsha Knittig. The bulk of the collection consists of thirteen diaries that Hansen kept from 1958 to 1969 and 1973. Hansen sporadically writes of daily activities, her children, local events, trips and the weather. She refers to herself as "Mama" and her husband as "Daddy." Hansen occasionally drew sketches in her diaries and inserted newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, her children's homework assignments, and other ephemera. Hansen wrote and kept the diaries in the bathroom of her home, and some of the pages in the 1959 diary are water damaged. Photographs and letters were removed from the diaries and are included in separate folders at the end of the collection; they are labeled with the date and their original location within the diaries. Many of the letters are from her sons after they moved away from home. The photographs are mostly school pictures of Hansen's children.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical information - 2001
  • Diaries (4 folders) - 1958-1965
  • Box 2:
  • Diaries (2 folders) - 1966-1969
  • Diary - 1973
  • Correspondence - 1961-1968
  • Photographs - 1962-1966