Skip to content
print page header

The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Esther Everett papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1911-2008
Creator: Everett, Esther (1910-2008)
Extent: 9.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0880
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Home economics professor raised on a farm in Lacey, Iowa.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in box 9, 18-20. Audiovisual in box 1, 18-19.

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.143) were donated by Esther Everett in 1993 and Becky Sinkler in 2009.

Preferred Citation: Esther Everett papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa, 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

Home economics professor Esther Everett was born in 1910 to Lawrence and Mildred Fox Everett of Lacey, Iowa. Raised on her family farm, she graduated from Lacey Consolidated School in 1928. As a teenager she was active in 4-H clubs, and represented Iowa at the second national 4-H camp in Washington D.C. in 1928. Everett attended Iowa State College where she was a member of the Alpha Epsilon chapter of the Sigma Kappa sorority. Following graduation, she taught at Guernsey High School, before becoming a Home Demonstration Agent, and a 4-H Specialist in Home Management. Everett earned her master's degree in Home Economics from Michigan State College (later Michigan State University), where she taught for three decades. She retired at the age of 64, returning to Iowa to care for her mother on the family farm. Everett was active in many clubs and traveled widely, visiting much of northern Europe as well as Japan and Hong Kong. Following retirement she developed an interest in crafting primitive pioneer corn husk dolls and chairs, which she demonstrated often at Living History Farms, Hooverfest, and at the Iowa State Fair. Everett died at the age of 97 in 2008.

The Esther Everett papers date from 1911 to 2008 and measure 9 linear feet.  The papers are arranged in the following series:  Biographical, Family, Education, Correspondence, Personal, Career, Organizations and activism, Cornhusk doll and chair demonstrations, Photographs, Publications, Scrapbooks, and Artifacts.

The Biographical series (1911-2002) contains a wide range of materials detailing Everett's early life including a chronology, resume, and scrapbook. The 'Illness' folder contains a letter recounting an emergency room visit and Everett's handwritten memoir "Memories of Lacey, Iowa" describing her childhood.

The Family series (1968-2001) contains newspaper clippings about her relatives, including her brother Fred Everett's experience in World War II and her sister-in-law Beverly Everett's detailed African and Asian travel diaries.

The Education series (1926-1971) focuses on Everett's undergraduate and graduate work, and includes class notes and papers, and her master's thesis, "A Critique of Family and Personal Account Keeping."

The Correspondence series (1926-2007) comprises letters from Everett's relations and friends.  Included are numerous letters from her aunt Edith, and her former students, including Yuriko Fukuohima, who went on to teach home economics in Japan.

The Personal series (1934-2008) contains a variety of documents, including Everett's financial records and calendars. The 'Donation of farm' folder includes photographs and documents about the donation of her 273-acre farm to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, which became the 'Ever-Tru' wildlife area.

The Career series (1931-2004) reflects Everett's many decades teaching home economics with documents on both the minutia of teaching, such as gradebooks and syllabi, as well as the field at large, including academic articles and conference reports. The folder 'Sources on human sexuality' includes a number of academic articles that offer insight into the state of sexuality as a field of study in 1969.

The Organizations and activism series (1955-2003) gives insight into the political ideology of Everett, who was described in her obituary as a 'staunch member of the Democratic Party'. Included is a 1961 fundraising letter signed by Eleanor Roosevelt, and a letter from the Kennedy White House.

The Demonstrating making cornhusk dolls and chairs series (1938-2006) contains documents and newspaper clippings relating to Everett's many presentations, as well as photographs of Everett at work, often in period costume.

The Photographs series (1933-2003) documents Everett's life from her days as a recent college graduate, her time studying and teaching at Michigan State University, and her retirement in Iowa.  Included are many photographs of MSU's home management house where Everett lived and taught.

The Publications series (1926-1998) includes guides to the history of home economics instruction at Iowa State University and Michigan State University.

The Scrapbooks series (1928-1929) highlights Everett's time in 4-H, and includes newspaper clippings and photographs, which feature Everett's youth and family, along with photographs of the many of the prize-winning garments Everett created while in the club. The 1929 scrapbook covers in detail her trip to Washington D.C.

The Artifacts series (undated) contains Everett's numerous 4-H ribbons and medals.
The Beverly Everett papers
The Mildred Fox Everett papers
The Charlotte Faxon diary
The Esther Sietmann Warner Dendel papers

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
Series 2: FAMILY
Series 3: EDUCATION
Series 4: CORRESPONDENCE
Series 5: PERSONAL
Series 6: CAREER
Series 7: ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVISM
Series 8: CORNHUSK DOLLS AND CHAIRS DEMONSTRATIONS
Series 9: PHOTOGRAPHS
Series 10: PUBLICATIONS
Series 11: SCRAPBOOKS
Series 12: ARTIFACTS

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Booklets, undated
  • Christmas letter and one about brother Fred - 1943-1944
  • Chronological events in Esther’s life - 1911-2002
  • Illness
  • "Memories of Lacy, Iowa", undated
  • Résumé c. - 1949
  • School records - 1917-1928
  • Scrapbook of high school graduation - 1928
  • Story of her doll collection
  • Various banquets - 1935-1938
  • Series 2: FAMILY
  • Box 1:
  • Aunt Edna’s account of childhood accident
  • Brother, Fred Everett, World War II
  • Death of mother - 1974
    includes audio tape
  • Everett genealogy
  • Box 2:
  • Sister-in-law, Beverly Everett - 1984-1995
  • Sister-in-law, obituary and awards - 1983-2001
  • Sister-in-law, newspaper clippings - 1968-undated
  • Trip with Father diary
  • Series 3: EDUCATION
  • Box 2:
  • Class notes - 1942
  • Class paper, “Dissenters views toward the family and women”
  • Class paper, “Effects of World War II on the American standard of living” - 1942
  • Class papers, folder 1
  • Class papers, folder 1
  • Notes from fabrics class, undated
  • Cornell University summer course
  • Credentials, Iowa State College - 1946
  • Box 3:
  • Indiana university workshop - 1968
  • Iowa State College identification cards - 1933
  • Iowa State University term papers c. - 1938
  • ISU course “Abnormal Psychology" - 1930
  • ISU course “Applied Art” - 1928
  • ISU course “Foods and Nutrition” - 1926
  • ISU textile and clothing lab (folder 1) c. - 1931
  • ISU textile and clothing lab (folder 2) c. - 1931
  • ISU vocational education - 1932
  • ISU commencement - 1933
  • ISU college of home economics history - 1971
  • ISU personal data - 1958-1961
  • Box 4:
  • ISU album of meal planning, clippings - 1932
  • Michigan State University (MSU) Family economics - 1952
  • MSU publications - 1944-1969
  • University of California summer school - 1940, 1963
  • MSU Thesis for master’s degree - 1945
  • MSU copy of thesis - 1945
  • MSU thesis research notes on 4 by 6 cards
    stored elsewhere
  • Woodworking and auto mechanics - 1974-1978
  • Box 5:
  • Bibliography note cards, MA thesis
  • Note cards from books, undated
  • Series 4: CORRESPONDENCE
  • Box 6:
  • Bennett, Lois J. - 1963-1978
  • Collison, Margaret - 1997-2005
  • Dendel, Esther - 1987-1992
  • Dendel, Esther - 1993-2002
  • Dendel, Esther, undated
  • Everett, Edith [aunt] - 1926-1939
  • Everett, Edith [aunt] - 1944-1949
  • Box 7:
  • Everett, Edith [aunt] - 1950-1980
  • Farr, Anna Everett [aunt] - 1954-1960
  • Gross, Emma H. - 1960-1969
  • Foreign friends, Chinese - 1946-1951
  • Foreign friends - 1976-1990
  • Foreign guests and friends - 1965-1992
  • Former students - 1990-2002
  • General Correspondence - 1943-1947
  • General Correspondence - 1952-1959
  • General Correspondence - 1970-1976
  • Box 8:
  • General Correspondence - 1981-1989
  • General Correspondence - 1990-1999
  • Box 9:
  • General Correspondence - 2000-2005
  • General Correspondence - 2007
  • Undated
  • Series 5: PERSONAL
  • Box 9:
  • Account book - 1934-1935
  • Blake, Susan L. “The Liberian Narratives of Esther Warner and Graham Greene”
  • Death of Esther S. Dendel - 2002
  • Fabric calendars and cards made by Esther
  • Farm diary and records - 1930’s
  • Box 10:
  • Items about Esther Dendel - 1986
  • Lacy Methodist church - 1952
  • Loan documents - 1936
  • Miscellaneous - 1936-1987
  • New theory on Darwinism, newspaper clippings - 1951
  • Plans for lawn and garden, undated
  • Relay for life, cancer survivors - 2003
  • Rural school house survey - 1993
  • Travel documents - 1943-2004
  • Box 11:
  • Calendars and diaries - 1965-1995
  • Box 12:
  • Calendars and diaries - 1995-1999
  • Box 13:
  • Calendars and diaries - 2003-2008
  • Address books, undated
  • Series 6: CAREER
  • Box 14:
  • Apartment management house, MSU - 1966-1969
  • Children in different Cultural Situations reading list
  • College of human ecology centennial, MSU - 1996
  • Conference on values and decision making - 1955
  • Correspondence - 1945-1972
  • Correspondence about new jobs - 1946-1965
  • County farm bureau
  • Box 15:
  • Family decision making research - 1961
  • Effective living courses - 1950
  • Emerson, Marion H. (teacher at MSU) - 1960
  • Family living education values - 1966
  • Former students correspondence - 1953-1967
  • Handbook for master’s degree at MSU - 1968
  • Home account books, MSU - 1936-1937
  • Home demonstration agent - 1939
  • Home management - 1947-1960
  • Home management, background information - 1953-1971
  • Home management class - 1971
  • “Home management residence looks ahead to the working world”
  • International conference in Scotland on home economics - 1953
  • Iowa association of family and consumer services - 2000-2004
  • Job offers - 1955
  • Miscellaneous - 1943-2004
  • Box 16:
  • Miscellaneous resources, MSU - 1931-1955
  • National council on family relations - 1952
  • Notebook record of grades - 1954-1971
  • Notes from books [shelved in Box 21]
  • Requests for letters of recommendation - 1957-1977
  • Resource papers - 1965-1969
  • Retirement dinners, MSU - 1979-1980
  • Sabbatical leave - 1950
  • St. Thomas University, New Brunswick - 1982
  • Salaries at MSU - 1943-1960
  • Source materials - 1945-1966
  • Sources on human sexuality - 1969
  • Statement for vocational guidance by E. Everett, undated
  • Student advisor - 1948-
  • Box 17:
  • Students trip to inner city Chicago - 1969
  • Summer course, “Management and decision making in the family” - 1969-1972
  • Summer school teaching - 1972
  • Survey of MSU graduates in community services - 1974
  • Syllabus for “Great Issues” - 1962-1968
  • Teaching contracts & old age assistance tax - 1933-1940
  • Teaching materials - 1961-
  • Teaching notes - 1966-1978
  • Teaching resources
  • Western Washington state college bulletin - 1965
  • Workshop, low income consumer - 1969
  • Series 7: ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVISM
  • Box 17:
  • AAUW - 1955-1986
  • American Home Economics Association, life member - 1983
  • American-Soviet peace walk - 1988, 2003
  • Book club notes - 1994-2002
  • Box 18:
  • Democrats - 1988
  • Chrystal for governor - 1990
  • Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, dedication of Everett family farm - 2001
    [V499]
  • Series 8: CORNHUSK DOLLS AND CHAIRS DEMONSTRATIONS
  • Box 18:
  • Hoover Fest in West Branch, Iowa - 1993-2005
    includes photographs
  • Living History Farms - 1988-1998
  • 1969-1977 - 1969-1977
  • 1989-1991 - 1989-1991
  • 1992-1996 - 1992-1996
  • 1998-2006 - 1998-2006
  • Photographs
  • Box 19:
  • Daniel Nelson Homestead - 1973
  • Elderhostel courses - 1977
  • 4-H - 1938-1955
  • 4-H national campers reunion - 1952-1994
    (camp reunion photo oversize in tube)
  • Friends of Mahaska County library - 1953
  • Mahaska County auditorium and art center - 1990
  • Newspaper clippings - 1980-1989
  • People to People hosting Japanese - 1975-1995
  • People to People hosting French & Danes - 1988-2000
  • People to People hosting Namibian choir - 1990
  • Various clubs and announcements - 1954-2003
  • Series 9: PHOTOGRAPHS
  • Box 19:
  • Buildings
  • Cornhusk dolls and chairs
  • Dedication of Everett farm - 2001
    [d0089]
  • Esther Everett - 1933-2003
  • Esther Warner Dendel, weaver in California - 1988
  • Foreign visitors and friends
  • Box 20:
  • Friends - 1921-1999
  • Home management house, MSU
  • Large groups
  • Parents and siblings
  • Travel - 1984-1990
  • Series 10: PUBLICATIONS
  • Box 21:
  • Beckman & Converse, “A Desk Book of Style" - 1926
  • Brick and Mortar, Architecture at Michigan State University, undated
  • Bubolz, Margaret M., “Home Economics to Human Ecology 100 Years at Michigan State University” - 1996
  • Eppright & Ferguson, “A Century of Home Economics at Iowa State University" - 1971
  • Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM, volume 9, 10, 11 - 1996-1998
  • Schlater, Jean D., “Investigating Values Underlying Family Decisions" - 1969
  • Series 11: SCRAPBOOKS
  • Box 22:
  • 4-H scrapbook (1) - 1928
  • Box 23:
  • 4-H scrapbook (2) - 1928
  • 4-H scrapbook - 1929
  • 4-H scrapbook of clothes c. - 1928
  • Series 12: ARTIFACTS
  • Box 24:
  • 4-H ribbons and medals
  • Tote Bag