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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Felton-Sinclair Family Letters

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1941-1943
Creator: Felton-Sinclair Family
Extent: .50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0887
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: 161 letters written from Albia, Moravia, and Blakesburg, Iowa to Mr. and Mrs. L. C. Felton of Rawlings, Wyoming. Includes letters mostly from the Sinclair and Felton families, and deals with life on an Iowa farm during the early years of the United States' involvement in World War II.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: Gift of Carl Halberg.

Preferred Citation: Felton-Sinclair Family Letters, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

In 1941, 1942, and 1943 Lloyd (Buzzy) Felton and his wife Frances [Sinclair?] Felton were living in Rawlings, Wyoming, where Buzzy worked for the railroad. They had left family in Albia, Blakesburg, and Moravia, Iowa. The Feltons and especially the Sinclairs were diligent in keeping Buzzy and Frances up to date as to what went on at home, writing letters several times each month. This provides researchers with a snapshot of what it was like living on an Iowa farm during the first days of America's involvement in World War II. The letter writers almost always were the women in the family, so occurrences are filtered thought the feminine point of view, but they discuss the business that the men were conducting as well as the women's tasks and social engagements. One learns that they were still farming, at least part of the time, with horses (Dick and Dolly) and lighting their houses with lamps, heating with wood and coal, churning butter, putting up large amounts of food. Electricity was available, however, and they discuss obtaining electric irons, washing machines, and sewing machines. The families are very involved in each other's lives, with sisters, sisters-in-law, mothers, cousins staying overnight or for days at one another's house to help with feeding threshers, putting up wallpaper, doing laundry.

One of the chief letter writers was Vera Sinclair, a school teacher, so one can learn something about the conduct of school during this period, including some reference to provisions for the hot lunch program. The war is not intrusive in the letters, but it does make its presence felt with tire and gas rationing. The sale of war bonds is discussed, as well as who in the town is going away to join the army. The fact that if too many young farmers join up the food supply will be threatened is mentioned several times, so it is obvious that these women knew the importance of their work to the war effort.

The main correspondents are Mrs. James (Minnie?) Sinclair; Regina (sometimes Regena) Sinclair (Mrs. Dewayne Sinclair); Mildred Davis (Mrs. Ottis Davis); Vera Sinclair; and Mrs. H.A. Felton. Other correspondents include Helen Felton, Pfc. David B(eryl) Chidester, Mrs. Robert Sinclair, Dewayne Sinclair, Pvt. Sylvester Hayworth, Bob and Helen (Felton?), Sara Chidester, and some signed only with first names, i.e. Lola and Wanda. There are some Christmas cards from a variety of people not represented elsewhere in the letters. When the letter is signed Mother, it is usually from Mrs. James Sinclair; when it is signed Mother and Dad it is usually from Mrs. H.A. Felton. A postmark of Moravia means it is from the Felton family; those postmarked Albia or Blakesburg are usually from the Sinclair family.

161 letters to Frances (sometimes written Francis) and Lloyd C. (Buzzy) Felton from 1941-1943.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: LETTERS TO MR. AND MRS. L.C. FELTON

  • Series 1: LETTERS TO MR. AND MRS. L.C. FELTON
  • Box 1:
  • J.G. Bruegman (?). Divide, Wyoming, July 20 - 1941
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair (sister). Albia, Iowa, January 10 - 1942
    letter
  • Feb-42
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, February 1 - 1942
    letter
  • Mom & Dad, February - 1942
    letter
  • Jun-42
  • Frances. Albia, Iowa, June 23 - 1942
    letter
  • Lola S. Grantsdale, Montana, June 28 - 1942
    letter
  • Jul-42
  • Evelyn. Blakesburg, Iowa, July 2 - 1942
    postcard
  • 3-Jul - 1942
    letter
  • Bob & Helen. Cheyenne, Wyoming, July 4 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & family. Albia, Iowa, July 6 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother & Dad. July 8 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & family. Albia, Iowa, July 9 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Albia, Iowa, July 9 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, July 9 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. Moravia, Iowa, July 9 - 1942
    letter
  • Bob & Helen. Cheyenne, Wyoming, July 9 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. July 9 - 1942
    letter
  • Helen. July 15 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair & All. Albia, Iowa, July 16 - 1942
    postcard
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, July 17 - 1942
    postcard
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, July 23 - 1942
    letter
  • Minnie. July 23 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother & Dad. July 24 - 1942
    letter
  • Aug-42
  • Dewayne, Regina, Marilyn, Merle. Albia, Iowa, August 1 - 1942
    letter
  • Moravia, Iowa, August 2 - 1942
    letter
  • Helen. Moravia, Iowa, August 5 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother & Dad. Moravia, Iowa, August 5 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, August 6 - 1942
    postcard
  • Vera Sinclair. Hawthorne, California, August 10 - 1942
    postcard
  • Dwayne [Sinclair], Regina, Marilyn, Merle, & Papa. August 10 - 1942
    letter
  • Aunt Della. Winnett, Montana, August 11 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Manhattan Beach, California, August 12 - 1942
    postcard
  • Mother & Papa. Albia, Iowa, August 13 - 1942
    letter
  • Harry. Wyoming, August 14 - 1942
    letter
  • Sister Della & Family. Winnett, Montana, August 16 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred. Blakesburg, Iowa, August 17 - 1942
    letter
  • Albia, Iowa, August 18 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. Moravia, Iowa, August 18 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Vernal, Utah, August 21 - 1942
    postcard
  • Mildred Davis. Albia, Iowa, August 22 - 1942
    postcard
  • Dwayne, Regina. Albia, Iowa, August 23 - 1942
    letter
  • Marilyn, Merle, & Papa. Albia, Iowa, August 23 - 1942
    letter
  • Dwayne, Regina, Marilyn & Merle. Albia, Iowa, August 27 - 1942
    letter
  • Sara Chidester. Tacoma, Washington, August 30 - 1942
    letter
  • Dewayne & All. Albia, Iowa, August 31 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & Washington. Albia, Iowa, August 31 - 1942
    letter
  • Grandma. Albia, Iowa, August 31 - 1942
    letter
  • Dewayne & All. Albia, Iowa, August 31 - 1942
    postcard
  • Sep-42
  • Letter written on back of public auction ad, September - 1942
  • Ottis Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, September 1 - 1942
    postcard
  • Mother & Dad. Moravia, Iowa, September 2 - 1942
    letter
  • Dewayne, Regina, Marilyn & Merle. Albia, Iowa, September 6 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. September 7 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred Davis (sister). Albia, Iowa, September 10 - 1942
    postcard
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, September 12 - 1942
    postcard
  • Dewayne. Albia, Iowa, September 13 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & All. Albia, Iowa, September 13 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. September 17 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & All. Albia, Iowa, September 17 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, September 20 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & All. Albia, Iowa, September 20 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, September 21 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & family. Albia, Iowa, September 21 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Albia, Iowa, September 21 - 1942
    letter, newspaper articles
  • Mother & Dad [Felton]. Moravia, Iowa, September 22 - 1942
    letter
  • Albia, Iowa, September 24 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & All. Albia, Iowa, September 24 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. Albia, Iowa, September 27 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & All. Albia, Iowa, September 27 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, September 27 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & family. Albia, Iowa, September 28 - 1942
    letter
  • Evelyn. Albia, Iowa, September 28 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, September 28 - 1942
    letter
  • Oct-42
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, October 2 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Albia, Iowa, October 3 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, October 3 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, October 4 - 1942
    postcard
  • Mildred Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, October 5 - 1942
    postcard
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, October 5 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother & Dad. October 7 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. Moravia, Iowa, October 8 - 1942
    letter
  • Charles. Blakesburg, Iowa, October 11 - 1942
    children's letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, October 11 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. Albia, Iowa, October 11 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother Davis. Albia, Iowa, October 12 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, October 12 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, October 13 - 1942
    letter
  • 3 children's letters, October 11, 19 - 1942
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, October 14 - 1942
    postcard
  • Albia, Iowa, October 15 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. Albia, Iowa, October 16 - 1942
    postcard
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, October 19 - 1942
    letter
  • Lola & All. Grantsdale, Montana, October 19 - 1942
    letter
  • Evelyn. Blakesburg, Iowa, October 19 - 1942
    children's letter
  • Richard. Blakesburg, Iowa, October 19 - 1942
    children's letter
  • Mother. Albia, Iowa, October 20 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. Moravia, Iowa, October 21 - 1942
    letter
  • Bob. Cheyenne, Wyoming, October 21 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, October 22 - 1942
    postcard
  • Mildred Davis. Albia, Iowa, October 26 - 1942
    postcard
  • Mother. Albia, Iowa, October 26 - 1942
    letter
  • Nov-42
  • Dewayne Sinclair (?). Albia, Iowa, November - 1942
    letter fragment written on back of Office Price Administration response letter
  • Charles. Blakesburg, Iowa, November - 1942
    children's letter on back of December 3, 1942 child letter
  • Mildred Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, November 3 - 1942
    postcard
  • Mother. Albia, Iowa, November 3 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. Moravia, Iowa, November 4 - 1942
    postcard
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, November 9 - 1942
    letter
  • Regina & All. Albia, Iowa, November 10 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, November 10 - 1942
    postcard
  • Mother & Dad. Moravia, Iowa, November 11 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair & All. Albia, Iowa, November 13 - 1942
    postcard
  • Mother Davis. Albia, Iowa, November 23 - 1942
    postcard
  • Regina & All. Albia, Iowa, November 27 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother Davis, Albia, Iowa NE, November 28 - 1942
    postcard
  • Albia, Iowa, November 28 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred Davis, Blakesburg, Iowa, November 30 - 1942
    postcard
  • Dec-42
  • Leonard Cohee. December - 1942
    Christmas card
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa (?), December - 1942
    letter fragment
  • Helen. Moravia, Iowa, December 2 - 1942
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, December 3 - 1942
    letter
  • Charles. Blakesburg, Iowa, December 3 - 1942
    children's letter
  • Charles. Blakesburg, Iowa, December 4 - 1942
    children's letter
  • Evelyn. Blakesburg, Iowa, December 5 - 1942
    double-sided children's letter (same date)
  • Evelyn. Blakesburg, Iowa, December 5 - 1942
    children's letter
  • Richard. Blakesburg, Iowa, December 5 - 1942
    children's letter
  • Jessie. Glenbrook Park, Grass Valley, California, December 21 - 1942
    letter
  • Cedar Falls, Iowa, December 23 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother. Albia, Iowa, December 28 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, December 28 - 1942
    letter
  • Mother Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, December 29 - 1942
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, December 29 - 1942
    letter
  • Marilyn. Albia, Iowa, December 29
    letter
  • Regina. Albia, Iowa, December 29
    letter
  • Susie Chidester. Albia, Iowa, December 29
    postcard, partial letter (?)
  • Sister Della. Winnett, Montana, December 31
    letter
  • Jan-43
  • Mother. January - 1943
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. January - 1943
    2nd half of a letter
  • Postcard with letter, January 1 - 1943
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, January - 1943
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, January 1 - 1943
    letter
  • Ronda & Family. Fairfield, Montana, January 3 - 1943
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair & All. Albia, Iowa, January 3 - 1943
    postcard
  • Sylvester (?) Hayworth. US Army Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, January 8 - 1943
    letter
  • Mother Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, January 9 - 1943
    postcard
  • Mother. Albia, Iowa, January 10 - 1943
    letter
  • Viola & Family. January 13 - 1943
    postcard
  • Viola. Montana, January 15 - 1943
    postcard
  • Blakesburg, Iowa, January 15 - 1943
    first half of letter
  • Charles. Blakesburg, Iowa, January 15 - 1943
    children's letter (year is either 1942 or 1943)
  • Vera Davis, Charles Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, January 16 - 1943
    miscellaneous newspaper articles from January 1 and 15
  • Regina & Co. Albia, Iowa, January 18 - 1943
    letter
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, January 19 - 1943
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, January 20 - 1943
    letter
  • Helen Felton. Moravia, Iowa, January 20 - 1943
    letter
  • Helen Felton (sister). Moravia, Iowa, January 20 - 1943
    letter
  • Mother. January 25 - 1943
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Blakesburg, Iowa, January 27 - 1943
    postcard
  • Feb-43
  • David Chidester (cousin). Fitzsimmons Hospital, Denver, Colorado, February 3 - 1943
    letter
  • Mother. Moravia, Iowa, February 4 - 1943
    letter
  • Mildred Davis. Albia, Iowa, February 8 - 1943
    postcard
  • Vera Sinclair. Albia, Iowa, February 9 - 1943
    letter
  • Dec-43
  • Grandma. December - 1943
    letter
  • Mr. and Mrs. B (?) Murdy. December 7 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Farmer and children. December 8 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Grandma, Grandpa & Aunt Vera [Sinclair]. [Albia, Iowa] December 14 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Aunt Vera [Sinclair]. Albia, Iowa, December 14 - 1943
    letter
  • E and S [Earl and Sara?] Chidester. December 15 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Bernice Van Harin. December 16 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Mr. and Mrs. Owen Ritter. December 17 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Lucy Young. December 17 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Dewayne, Regina, & 3 Ms. December 17 - 1943
    Christmas card, letter, newspaper clipping
  • Aunt Della. December 17 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Bruce, Richard, & Mrs. Risely. December 18 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Marcella & Danny Gerst. December 18 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Aunt Della, Uncle Rob, & Robert [Sinclair?]. December 20 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Mrs. Frank Spellman. December 21 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Mother, Dad, & Helen [Felton?]. December 21 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Mr. and Mrs. Leonard J. Cohee & Family. December 22 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Harry, Hilda, & Jimmy [Felton?]. December 23 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Claude & Lilly Littrell. December 24 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • The Walter's, Vi, Bill & Kids. December 24 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Aunt Jennie & Bernard. December 29 - 1943
    Christmas card
  • Undated
  • Mabel, Dwille (?), Stanley. December - 1942, 1943
    postcard
  • The Littrells
    postcard
  • Sample envelopes

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.