»RECORDS, DATES:»1920-1994

(bulk 1967-1979)

QUANTITY:»1.5 linear feet



The records of the Iowa Federation of Business and Professional

Women’s Clubs have been transferred to the State Historical

Society of Iowa, Iowa City (February, 1996).




Begin text here:»The Iowa Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs was founded in 1919 by a small group of business women from Waterloo, Fort Dodge, Cedar Falls, Des Moines and Seymour.  The Iowa Federation was created as a branch of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, a nationwide club designed for women with careers in business and related professions.  The goals of the Iowa Federation were to inspire cooperation among business women, promote business women's interests, and extend women's opportunities for professional training and education.


By 1922 the Iowa Federation's officers had established a budget based on membership dues and contributions, had planned agendas for meetings and conventions, and organized local chapters on city and county levels.  The dues allowed for state meetings and speeches, a magazine called The Bulletin (now the Iowa Business Woman), and publicity.


From the beginning the Iowa Federation's themes of personal growth and betterment were reflected in a concern for maximum hour and minimum wage laws for women, equal opportunities for women's education, and equal pay for equal merit.  From the 1920s, when the Iowa Federation urged shoe manufacturers to make attractive shoes with lower heels, to the 1970s when the focus was on passing the Equal Rights Amendment and developing a Career Advancement Scholarship program, the Iowa Federation has assisted the National Federation in calling attention to the needs of career women. 


The local chapters that were formed in various Iowa cities held regular meetings, sponsored dinners and pageants, and sent out newsletters.  Among other activities, they called attention to the advancement of business and professional women in the local media, and sponsored speeches from Iowa educators and professionals concerning opportunities for women.


Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:»The Iowa Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs records measure 1.5 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1994, the majority from 1967 to 1979.  The records are arranged in five series:  Constitution and bylaws, Correspondence, Iowa Business Woman, Local chapters, and Meetings.


            The Constitution and bylaws series (1920-1975) contains Iowa Federation publications that outline the history, objectives and policies of the organization.


            The Correspondence series (1968-1976) contains outgoing letters sent to club members and local chapters from the presidents and other acting officers.  The Iowa Federation received incoming correspondence from its parent organization, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, located in Washington, D.C.  In 1972 during the campaign to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the House of Representatives, the National Federation prepared testimonies and correspondence to aid the campaign.


            Issues of the Iowa Federation's magazine comprise the Iowa Business Woman series (1968-1994). 


            The local chapters of the Iowa Federation were located in various Iowa cities and printed individual histories, yearbooks, and newsletters, which are in the Local chapters series (1951-1979).


            The Meetings series (1967-1977) consists of the programs, proceedings, and reports of the state annual meetings, which are listed by year.  The programs of the seasonally held state board meetings, as well as speech material, are also found in this series.



Related Collections


Begin text here:»Iowa Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Shenandoah


Iowa City Business and Professional Women's Club


Box no.   Description

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Box 1

»Constitution and bylaws

Federation guide, 1967-1968

Histories, 1920-1975

Manual and bylaws, 1973-1974




1968-1969, Thelma Heitsman

1969-197O, Ethel M. Cairns

197O-1971, Marvell Harmel

1971-1972, Betty J. Wagner

1972-1973, Helen Adams

1973-1974, Betty Whitney

1974-1975, Helen Pickup

1978-1979, LaVon G. Runkle


197O-1971, Betty J. Wagner

1971-1972, Helen Adams

1972-1973, Betty Whitney

1973-1974, Helen Pickup

First Vice-Presidents

1968-1969, Ethel M. Cairns

1969-197O, Marvell Harmel

1971-1972, Betty Whitney

1972-1973, Helen Pickup

1973-1974, Helen Harris

Second Vice-Presidents

1971-1972, Helen Pickup

1972-1973, Helen Harris

1973-1974, Ruth Reynolds

Foundation committee, 1975-1976 (Helen Adams)


Box 2

Membership chairmen




Program committee




Nominating committee, 1971-1973

National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs

Equal Rights Amendment, 1971-1973

General, 1971-1972


Iowa Business Woman, 1968-1994


Local chapters

Cedar Rapids:  The Last Word, 1972-1973

Charles City:  history, 1951-1976


History, 1962

Yearbooks, 1965-1976

Council Bluffs

Annual reports, 1973-1979

The Mirror, 1973-1979


Box 3

Yearbooks, 1973-1979


Newsletters, 1975-1977

Yearbook, 1975-1976

Des Moines:  winter board meetings, 1978-1979

Fairfield:  correspondence, 1974

Grundy Center:  miscellaneous, 1973-1974

Humbolt:  yearbook, 1977-1978

Iowa Great Lakes:  history, 1959-1976

Knoxville:  miscellaneous, 1972-1975

Marshalltown:  The Chatterbox, 1972-1973

Mason:  yearbooks, 1976-1978

Monticello:  history, 1932-1976

Mt. Pleasant

Minutes, 1972-1973

Program, 1971

Newton:  history, 1931-1976

Oskaloosa:  The B.P.W. Echo, 1971-1973

Rockwell:  history, 1924-1976

Spirit Lake:  yearbook, 1975-1976

West Union

Correspondence, 1972-1977

Yearbooks, 1972-1974



State (annual)





Box 4






Board:  programs, 1971-1976

Speeches, 1974