IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES
IOWA CITY, IOWA
GLADYS TALCOTT RIFE (1914-2002)
1.25 linear feet
The papers (donor no. 387) were donated by Gladys Talcott Rife in 1996 and succeeding years.
The papers are open for research.
Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.
In box 3.
Four audiocassettes shelved in audiocassette collection (AC 417-AC420)
Mary Sackett in1995 and Jessica Miller in 1998.
Robert Jett in 1996, Lesleyann Christiansen in 2000, and Doris Malkmus in 2001. [RifeGladys.doc]
Gladys Talcott Rife, a farm wife, teacher, newspaper columnist, museum owner and curator, was born on September 8, 1914 to Carrie and Myron Talcott on a farm near Maynard in Fayette County. Talcott graduated from Randalia High School and received her B.A. at Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) in 1934, majoring in English, with minors in history and speech. From 1934 to 1940 Talcott taught high school English and speech and directed theater programs in schools in Van Cleve, Lone Tree, and Sumner.
In 1940, Gladys Talcott interrupted her teaching career to marry Wayne Rife. She spent the next years as a farm wife and the mother of five children. While doing this, Rife began to write a weekly newspaper column, in 1948 for the Lone Tree Reporter, and in 1951 for the Iowa City Press Citizen. The Press Citizen column ran for ten years.
In 1955, Rife resumed teaching, this time in Nichols, Iowa. Three years later Wayne and Gladys Rife moved to Mt. Vernon where Rife taught at Mt. Vernon Community High School for twenty-one years. In 1966, Rife received an M.A. in English with an emphasis on Modern American and British Literature from the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa). After receiving her M.A., Rife did some adjunct teaching at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon.
Wayne Rife died in 1975 and four years later, Gladys Rife retired from teaching to intern at the University of Iowa's Museum of Natural History as an archivist and research assistant. In 1965, Gladys and Wayne Rife had purchased the old Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad depot in Fayette County. Between 1980 and 1989, Rife supervised construction and furnishing of The Depot Museum, a private museum of which she was owner, curator, and director.
Once again, Rife resumed her education, entering the Ph.D. program in American Studies at the University of Iowa. In 1988, at the age of seventy-three, she completed her dissertation, “Iowa Rural Women Columnists, Especially of the Fifties: Cultural and Historical Import in a Comparative Context,” earning a doctorate in American Studies with a minor in Women's Studies.
Gladys Talcott Rife died after a short illness on February 11, 2002.
Scope and Content Note
The Gladys Talcott Rife papers measure 1.25 linear feet and date from 1920 to 1995. The papers are arranged in six series: Biographical; Columns; Education; Dissertation Research; Professional Activities; and Photographs.
The Biographical series contains newspaper clippings, educational records, a resume of the various experiences and accomplishments of Gladys Talcott Rife, and her personal memoir.
The Columns consist of newspaper columns written by Rife for various farm magazines,the Lone Tree Reporter, and the Iowa City Press Citizen between 1948 and 1961. Most have been photocopied onto acid-free paper.
The Education series includes student records and papers Rife wrote while a graduate student at the University of Iowa.
The Dissertation Research series mainly consists of research files on newspaper columnists Rife studied for her dissertation. Folders about individual columnists may contain newspaper columns as well as correspondence with Rife.
The Professional Activities series contains information about her activities with The Depot Museum, and correspondence and newspaper clippings involving her teaching career. This series also contains a book review and newsletter that Rife wrote.
The Photographs are of Gladys Talcott Rife and her family.
Gladys Talcott Rife’s mother
Margaret Talcott Boedecker papers
Gladys Talcott Rife’s sister
Iowa Press Women Inc. papers
The Iowa Press Inc. contains information about women columnists of Iowa.
Papers of columnists included in the Gladys Rife dissertation include:
Wilma Belden Collins
Miriam Baker Nye
Printed Works Collection
Gladys Talcott Rife’s dissertation, “Iowa Rural Women Columnists, Especially of the Fifties: Cultural and Historical Import in a Comparative Context,” May 1998
Box no. Description
Newspaper clippings, 1951 [includes negative], 1984, 1988 and undated
Personal, 1976 and undated
Iowa State Teachers College, student record, 1931
“Country Line,” Lone Tree Reporter
1948-1953 (6 folders)
Guest columns for Wallace’s Farmer and Iowa Homestead, 1950-1954
1951-1954 (8 folders)
“Random Reflections,” Iowa City Press Citizen
1959-1961 (3 folders)
Typescript newspaper columns, 1948-1951 and undated
Delta Kappa Gamma International Scholarship Form, 1984
Iowa State Teacher College, Student Record, 1931
Letter from University of Iowa Graduate College, 1983
University of Iowa Student Registration, 1984
Course notes, American studies, 1979
Course notes, University of Iowa Natural History Museum, 1982
“Museums, Let Them Be Temples,” 1979
“A Comparative Study of Selected Museums in Mexico and the Midwest,” 1981
Internship at the University of Iowa Natural History Museum, 1980
“Vernacular Architecture: The Silo in Eastern Iowa”
How to Write Columns, Undated
Iowa Press Women Inc., 1985 and undated
Newspaper clippings, 1981-1987 and undated
List of newspapers with women columnists, Undated
Banger, Linda, 1982-1986
Collins, Wilma, 1947-1985
Engstrom, Doris, 1983-1986
Faber, Inez, 1983 and undated
Fisher, Oneita, 1957-1962, 1984
Gallo, Marilyn, 1958-1973 and undated
Gitch, Elaine, 1986
Gunsolus, Victoria, 1985 and undated
Herndon, Lucia, 1983-1984
Hoidahl, Florence, 1951-1962, 1984
audiocassette collection:AC418-AC419], 1985
Ink, Elizabeth, 1964
Jones, Grace, undated
Montet, Linda, 1985
Nye, Miriam Baker, 1954-1984
O'Brien, Fran, 1960-1984 and undated
Pelton, Beulah, 1984
Robinson, Mary Louise, 1985
Ross, Mary, 1947-1952
Hometown News radio transcripts, 1972-1983
Interview by Gladys Rife, 1985 [shelved in audiocassette collection: AC 420]
Sigsbee, Esther Grace, 1956, 1967, 1984
Swartz, Emily, 1966-1987
Thompson, Dorothy, 1955
Wallace, Karen, 1984-1985
Wherry, Elizabeth, 1939
AAUW Dissertation Talk [shelved in audiocassette collection:
Correspondence, 1986-1987 and undated
Newspaper clippings, undated
Linn County Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, 1992, 1995
Book Review of Margaret DiPaul’s The Chalkdust Report, 1993
Linn County Historic Preservation Newsletter, 1994
Personal correspondence, 1977-1979 and undated
Mt. Vernon Community High School Commencement
Newspaper clippings, 1967 and undated
Teacher of the Year Nomination, 1977
Correspondence, 1953, 1988
Photographs, 1934, 1965-1967 and undated