Iowa Women's Archives
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa



MEMOIR, 1970


Iowa Women's Archives
100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Phone: 319-335-5068
Fax: 319-335-5900
E-mail the Iowa Women's Archives

Please cite materials from this collection as follows:
Blanche Basye Gilmore Papers, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.


Collection Overview

The papers (donor no.930) were donated by Jean Hagen in 2004.
The papers are open for research.
Copyright has not been transferred to The University of Iowa.
Processed by:

Margaret Richardson and Lisa Mott, 2005. [GilmoreBlanche.doc]



Blanche Basye was born November 15, 1873 in Rockport, Indiana to Elizabeth Mary Sampson Basye and John Basye. There were three Basye children: Taylor, Edith and Blanche. After graduating high school in Rockport, Basye attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where she met Eugene Allen Gilmore. Following Eugene Gilmore’s graduation from Harvard Law School, the couple were married on December 27, 1899 in a double ceremony with Edith Basye and her groom. The Gilmores initially moved to Boston. Then Eugene Gilmore took a teaching position at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. The Gilmores had three children: Eugene Allen, Jr. (born 1902), Elizabeth (born 1905) and John (born 1910).

In 1921, Eugene Gilmore, Sr. was asked to fill the position of Vice Governor of the Philippines and the family relocated. He served as acting-Governor General in 1927 and 1928, and again in 1929. Also in 1929, the University of Iowa invited him to become head of the law school in Iowa City, Iowa. In 1930, Eugene Gilmore, Sr. was appointed acting-President of the University of Iowa. Retiring in 1939, as mandated by Iowa law, the senior Gilmore served as Dean of the Law School at the University of Pittsburgh from 1939 until 1942. Following his retirement, the Gilmores returned to Iowa City.

Blanch Basye Gilmore died on January 13, 1970. She was preceded in death by her husband.

Scope and Content Note

The Blanch Basye Gilmore papers date from 1970 and consist of the memoir, Recollections. The memoir is filled with the adventures of Gilmore’s life, including the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, having a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, being in Germany when war was declared in 1914, serving as “First Lady” in the Philippines, meeting the Prince of Wales and artist Grant Wood, having tea with President Coolidge, and traveling extensively in Europe and Asia. Throughout the memoir, Gilmore is first and foremost a wife, mother and grandmother. She describes births, graduations, marriages and grandchildren, along with commenting on the difficulties of finding good domestic help.

  Recollections, 1970
Synopsis of memoir by Margaret Richardson, 2005

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Page created August 2004.