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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Marcella Henley Smith papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1938-2012
Creator: Smith, Marcella Henley (1909-2012)
Extent: 5.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0681
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Memoir, Confetti, of her life in Albia, Iowa, correspondence, and journals of books read since 1959.

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. 842) were donated by Marcella Henley Smith in 2002.

Preferred Citation: Marcella Henley Smith 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

Marcella Henley was born November 30, 1909 to Will Henley and Pearl Smith Henley on a farm in Monroe County, Iowa. Will Henley had been orphaned and had little schooling, but he worked hard as a rural laborer, for the coal mines and railroads, and with the Albia police department. Pearl Smith Henley had a grade school education and a passion for reading which she passed down to her daughter. Henley had an older step-brother, Babe, who was injured in World War I. She also had one biological brother, Bill.

In 1940 Henley married Clell Smith. He died in 1995. They had no children. Smith spent her entire life in the Albia, Iowa area. Together, Marcella and Clell Smith ran a sandwich shop in Albia. During her husband's absence during World War II, Marcella Smith purchased a flower shop and greenhouse. She was always active in the Presbyterian Church; as a high school student she was nominated to attend the national convention of the Young People's Christian Union in Seattle. During World War II, she became active with the local chapter of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls as their Mother Advisor. As a senior citizen, Marcella Smith was instrumental in developing a senior center in Albia.

The Marcella Henley Smith papers date from 1938 to 1999 and measure 5 linear inches. The papers consist of >em>Confetti, a book of short essays Smith wrote describing her life in rural Iowa from childhood through aging adulthood; letters Smith wrote to her mother and brother, Bill, during a month-long trip she took east and into Canada in 1938, along with two letters sent to Smith from her mother and one from family friend, Pearl Richey; several journals in which Smith documents her reading from 1959 to 1992; book lists; and newspaper articles that were originally stuffed into the reading journals that cover such topics as new publications, U.S. presidents and world history.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Biographical - 2012
  • "Albia Woman's Club, 1920/21-1970/71," by Mrs. Clell Smith - 1920-1971
  • Book lists, undated.
  • Confetti, a memoir by Marcella H. Smith - 1999
  • Correspondence (2 folders) - 1938
  • Reading journals (2 folders) - 1959-1992
  • Newspaper articles - 1961-1982, 2012