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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Cheryl Britton papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1890-2003
Creator: Britton, Cheryl (1910-2003)
Extent: 4.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0873
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Career nurse and avid traveler who grew up in Dedham, Iowa and Des Moines.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs box 8, 9, 10, 12-18.

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. 899) were donated by Nancy Loeffler in 2004.

Preferred Citation: Cheryl Britton 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

Cheryl Gene White (pronounced with a hard "ch" as in church), the eldest of Ruby Goad and Hershel White's four children, was born near Ferris, Illinois in 1910 before moving to Dedham, Iowa as a baby. Following Ruby White's death during the influenza pandemic of 1919, the family moved to Des Moines where the children were primarily raised by their grandmother Emma "Mother" White. Cheryl White graduated from Des Moines'™ Abraham Lincoln High School in 1928 and enrolled at the Iowa Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, completing her R.N. degree in 1931.

White married Chester "Chet" Francis Britton in 1931. The couple had three children: a son who died in infancy, Jerry, and Nancy. Cheryl and Chet Britton divorced in 1959, but she remained close with the Britton family for the rest of her life.

In 1959, Britton and her daughter Nancy moved to southern California. After working several years as a private duty nurse, she joined the staff of Leisure World in Laguna Hills, where she spent the rest of her career. After retirement, Britton enjoyed gardening and travelling on group tours. She moved to Chico, California in 1992, near Nancy and her husband Al Loeffler, where she remained for the rest of her life. Cheryl Britton died in 2003.

Britton was an acquaintance of journalist Dora Jane Hamblin; they met while participating in the Camp Fire Girls at Camp Hantesa in Boone, Iowa.

The Cheryl Britton papers are arranged in five series: Biographical, Travel, Correspondence, Photographs, and Artifacts.

The Biographical series (1903-2003) documents the lives of Cheryl Britton and her family, both the Whites and the Brittons.  Included are documents from both her marriage to, and divorce from Chester Britton, information about her nursing career, formal diaries and notes jotted on calendars, the guest book from Britton's first condo, and family trees for both White and Britton families.

The Travel series (1949-1991) contains travel documents such as boarding passes and itineraries and travel journals and notes kept by Britton, including a few sketches.  Much of this material dates from Britton's life after retirement from nursing, which allowed her to travel more frequently.

The Correspondence series (1907-2002) makes up the bulk of the collection.  Most of the correspondence is either to or from Cheryl Britton, but it also contains communications between various members of the White and Britton families, including Edwardian era postcards sent to Chester Britton's maternal grandmother, Mary Mason. The series is organized according to the family member who wrote the items. Britton's cousin, Claude Conklin, wrote to her while serving in the United States Navy Air Corps during World War II, and her nephew William "Buck" Britton Jr. was a career Navy officer and wrote to Britton from the Naval Academy and his various postings around the United States and the globe.

The Photographs series (1890-2000) contains photographs from both the White and Britton families dating back to the 1890s, including both formal portraits and snapshots.  The series also contains numerous photos from several decades of Britton's travels.

The Artifacts series (1860-1981) contains a number of certificates and diplomas awarded to members of the White and Britton families, organization-membership pins, Britton's nursing cap, and a hand-embroidered handkerchief handed down within the Britton family since 1860.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
Series 2: TRAVEL
Series 3: CORRESPONDENCE
Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS
Series 5: ARTIFACTS

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Annual update letters - 1999-2003
  • Birth and death certificates - 1965-2003
  • Cheryl and Chester Britton's first grocery receipt - 1932
  • Cheryl and Chester Britton's marriage and divorce papers - 1931-1959
  • Nursing - 1931-1976
  • Chester Britton - 1924-1968
  • Identification cards and card file - 1976-1988
  • 50th high school reunion - 1978
  • Leisure World Condos information - 1967
  • Receipt for furniture bought by Herschel and Ruby White - 1910
  • White family - 1903-1959
  • White family tree - 1910-2002
  • Britton family tree, undated
  • Alice Mason Britton, cooking class notes, undated
  • Alice Mason Britton, cookbook, undated
  • Wall calendars with notes - 1976-1989
  • Condo guest book - 1976-1978
  • Address book and Christmas card lists - 1959-1998
  • Box 2:
  • Pocket calendars - 1971-1991
  • Memo book: "Plans for Christmas" - 1969
  • Diary - 1948-1950
  • Diary - 1965
  • Diary - 1972-1978
  • Diary - 1987-1992
  • Ephemera from green diary - 1984-1988
  • Ephemera from white diary - 1965-1980
  • Diary - 1983-1989
  • Box 3:
  • "A Book of Memories" - 1975-1995
  • Check registers - 1958-1997
  • Savings account passbooks - 1962-1990
  • Taxes and social security benefits - 1956-2003
  • "Laughs and Chuckles" booklet and clippings - 1964-1999
  • "Just a Notes" folder and clippings - 1988-1996
  • Prayers and faith material - 1979-1987
  • Health - 1994-1995
  • Sketches - 1984
  • Box 7:
  • Miscellaneous - 1966-1995
  • Box 11: Cheryl Britton's 90th birthday scrapbook - 2000
  • Series 2: TRAVEL
  • Box 3:
  • Travel diary notebooks - 1950-1952
  • Box 4:
  • Bound travel diaries - 1969-1980
  • Loose diaries and notes - 1949-1990
  • Travel documents - 1969-1986
  • Travel documents and notes - 1968-1991
  • Trip to Ixtapan, Mexico with Diane White - 1974-1975
  • Series 3: CORRESPONDENCE
  • Box 4:
  • Family correspondence - 1930-1969
  • Letters from Ruby White to Herschel White, in-laws - 1909-1911
  • From Cheryl Britton to Nancy and Al Loeffler - 1973-1990
  • From Nancy Loeffler to Cheryl Britton - 1987-1992
  • Wallace T. and Enid "Connie" Miller, Christmas Cards - 1979-1986
  • Enid "Connie" Miller - 1984-1986
  • Wallace T. "Wally" Miller, Jr. and family - 1961-1998
  • Family correspondence - 1930-1969
  • Box 5:
  • Robert James "Jim" Miller and family - 1961-1995
  • V. Richard "Dick" Miller and family - 1987
  • Barbara Miller and family - 1971-1997
  • Beverly Miller Stevens and family - 1985-1997
  • Britton family, postcards to Mary Mason - 1907-1939
  • Britton family, Miller and Opal Burch - 1972-1992
  • Britton family, Chuck and Viv Britton - 1974-1997
  • Britton family, Erle and Neva Britton - 1979-2001
  • Britton family, Ina Bell Kraft - 1969-1983
  • Britton family, Ralph and Stella Britton Bowman - 1944-1990
  • Britton family, Richard and Shirley Bowman family - 1950-1993
  • Britton family, Don and Mary Ellen Bowman family - 1973-1993
  • Britton family, William L. "Bill" Britton, Sr. family - 1964-1986
  • Box 6:
  • Britton family, William L. "Bill" Britton, Sr. family - 1987-1991
  • Britton family, Matt and Leslie Britton family - 1961-1974
  • Britton family, William L. "Buck" and Carolyn Britton family - 1953-1969
  • Britton family, William L. "Buck" and Carolyn Britton family - 1970-1992
  • Britton family, William L. "Buck" and Carolyn Britton family, undated
  • Britton family, Vivian and Wendell Brown - 1977-1993
  • Britton family, miscellaneous - 1950-1991
  • Postcards to Cheryl Britton - 1963-1998
  • Postcards from Cheryl Britton - 1950-1986
  • Miscellaneous postcards - 1974-1986
  • Box 7:
  • Christmas letters to Cheryl - 1999-2000
  • "Special Memories, Lost Friends" - 1959-1995
  • Miscellaneous correspondence - 1932-2002
  • Miscellaneous correspondence, undated
  • Miscellaneous correspondence from Cheryl - 1976-1988
  • Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 8:
  • Cheryl White Britton - 1911-1990
  • Des Moines' Abraham Lincoln High School class of 1928 - 1928-1992
  • Tinted photograph of Cheryl and Jerry Britton - 1935
  • Claude Conklin, US Navy Air Corps World War II - 1945
  • Cheryl and Nancy Britton on Mother's Day - 1957
  • Goad family - 1890-1910
  • White family - 1913-1991
  • Britton family - 1910-1950
  • Britton family - 1890-1986
  • Al and Nancy Loeffler and family - 1970-2000
  • Family, miscellaneous - 1910-1992
  • Box 9:
  • Travel - 1951-2000
  • Travel - 1978-1987
  • Travel, Expo '86 - 1986
  • Nursing - 1928-1991
  • Friends and activities - 1965-1994
  • Home, nature and gardening - 1962-1998
  • Negatives, travel - 1980-1983
  • Negatives, miscellaneous, undated
  • Box 10:
  • Katz Drug Co. albums - 1951-1954
  • Other developer albums - 1952-1953
  • Small photo albums - 1952-1987
  • Small photo albums - 1941-1988
  • UltraPrint photo album, undated
  • Sierra Sunrise apartment, removed from loose album pages - 1992-1996
  • Box 12:
  • Floral album - 1948-1991
  • Photo album - 1947-1976
  • Hawaii trip album - 1972
  • Box 13:
  • Fleur de lis album - 1946-1977
  • Blue album - 1977-1984
  • Europe tour trip photo album - 1980
  • Box 14:
  • Britton family album - 1957-1974
  • Series 5: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 14:
  • Ruby Goad, high school diploma - 1907
  • Ruby Goad, teaching certificate - 1909
  • Ruby Goad, Second grade teaching certificate - 1907
  • Chester Britton, high school diploma - 1924
  • Chester Britton, eighth grade diploma - 1920
  • Chester Britton, "Order of De Molay" - 1922
  • Cheryl Britton, Nurse's Certificate - 1931
  • Cheryl Britton, Iowa Methodist Hospital nursing diploma - 1931
  • Cheryl Britton, High School Diploma - 1928
  • Herschel White, D.M.P. pin, undated
  • Des Moines Coppers Capers pins - 1947-1948
  • Des Moines Police Star Club (ladies' auxiliary) pin, undated
  • International Council of Nurses Quadrennial Congress pins - 1981
  • Abraham Lincoln High School graduation pin - 1928
  • Iowa Methodist Hospital nursing pin - 1931
  • Saddleback Community Hospital pins, undated
  • Box 15:
  • Nurse's cap, undated
  • Cheryl's first haircut - 1927
  • "Mama's Tatting", undated
  • Wedding handkerchief - 1860
  • Baby booties, undated
  • Saddleback Community Hospital uniform elements, undated
  • Rossmoor Leisure World pin, undated