BETTY JEAN CLARK (1920-2005)
1.8 linear feet and audiovisual material
ACQUISITION: The papers (donor no. 225) were donated by Betty Jean Clark in 1994.
ACCESS: The papers are open for research.
AUDIOVISUAL: Three audiocassettes shelved in audiocassette collection (AC216-AC218).
COPYRIGHT: Copyright has been transferred to the
PROCESSED BY: Melissa Burger, 1994.
Betty Jean (BeJe)
Clark was born on April 18, 1920 to the Reverend Raymond and Mary Walker in
With her strong religious background Clark spent much of her early career working with the Methodist Church as the Director of Student Programs at the Wesley Foundation in Ames, Iowa from 1948 to 1951, and as the Director of Christian Education and financial secretary at the United Methodist Church in Mason City, Iowa, from 1963 to 1975.
Clark is also a published writer, beginning in 1935 in the Hays Daily News, and continuing with the column "Beje's Barrel," in the Ames Daily Tribune from 1947 to 1948 and the Old Trails Echo (in Centerville, Indiana) in 1953. She also compiled the book Nearer to Thee, a compilation of scriptures for daily meditation, with her sister Harriet Ann Daffron in 1956 and again in 1971. In addition, Beje edited Christian periodicals such as the Periodical Key for the Busy Methodist, which she began as an index of all Methodist publication and is now produced by the Methodist Publishing House and called the Periodical Index.
The Betty Jean Clark papers date from 1935
to 1994 and measure 1.8 linear feet. The papers are arranged in four series: Biographical
Information, Writing, Presentations and Legislature. The collection documents a
woman's role in the legislature and the importance of the church in
The Biographical information
(1989?-1994) series contains essays written about Clark, one of which includes
a concise, detailed list of her family, education, activities, awards and
employment history. She is also highlighted in a compilation of
"non-traditional careers" entitled Dare to Be Different. In addition
there are newspaper articles about
The Writing (1935-1991) series
consists of publications, essays and church newsletters written and edited by
The Presentations (1948-1993)
series is divided into two categories, Radio and Speeches. The Radio subseries includes scripts from
broadcasts which discussed a range of topics from politics and democracy to
love. The Speeches included were given both publicly, such as at a Lions
Club meeting or high school graduation, and in the House of Representatives
concerning debates on bills such as the lottery and abortion. On a lighter
note, poems and cartoons which were passed around the office are also included.
Much of this section includes handwritten accounts by
The Iowa Legislature series (1976-1994) consists of a number of subseries, mostly involving newspapers (with campaign ads and other articles), but also includes awards and recognition, inmate correspondence, and details from her retirement. Articles on the "natural death" bill (1978, similar to the 1983 "right to die" bill), a state-run lottery, the Door Opener Program for women, and self-generated press which detail the weekly issues in the house, are some of the items found here. In addition, articles and letters about the Teen-Tern program along with photographs of some of the participants are included.
Box no. Description
Retirement, accident, 1990-1994
BeJe Roast, 1990
Scrapbook, 1935-1947, 1961-1974, 1981
"The Call," 1950-1951
"The Pulse" and information bulletins, 1953
Nearer to Thee, 1956, 1991
"Northern Iowa Conference News," 1957-1959
"The Periodical Key," 1959-1960
"The Periodical Key" recognition, 1959-1960
"United Methodist Women," 1974-1976
"Hawkeye United Methodist," 1974-1976 [shelved in map case:
Bound Journals, 1947-1961, 1989
"Matin" transcripts, 1948-1950
Transcripts, 1968-1970 and undated
Audiocassette, 1979 [shelved in audiocassette collection: AC216]
Transcripts, 1985-1989 (also includes reel-to-reel)
"Citizen Power" transcripts, 1993
1980-1982 [includes AC217 shelved in audiocassette collection]
1988-1993 and undated
Iowa House of Representatives
Poetry, 1976-1977 and undated
Prayers, 1978-1988 and undated
Legislation, 1978-1989 and undated
Governors Prayer Breakfast, 1979-1984 [includes AC218
shelved in audiocassette collection]
Bishop's Legislative Dinner, 1979-1989
Legislative Memorial Service, 1983-1989
The Door Opener, 1980
Criminal Justice Bibliography
Don White, 1976-1985
"Odds and Ends"
Awards and recognition, 1976-1994