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



PAPERS, ca.1840-2001
1 linear foot


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:
Wilda Jean Schobert Papers, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.


Collection Overview

The papers (donor no. 227) were donated by Jean Schobert in 2000 and 2001.
The papers are open for research.
Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.
In Box 3.
Processed by:

Britt Nelson, 2005. [SchobertJean.doc]



Wilda Jean Ricketts Schobert was born on April 20, 1920 to R.H. “Mike” Ricketts and Ruth Keran Ricketts in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Shortly after her birth, the family moved back to Ricketts Farm in Percival, Iowa, where Jean Ricketts attended third through eighth grades at Ricketts School on the family farm. Ricketts went to Sydney High School for one week in 1934 before moving to Webster City to attend St. Bernard’s Academy, a Catholic school, from which she graduated in 1937. Ricketts attended college at Iowa State University for a year, and then moved back to Fremont County to be closer to home; she continued taking classes at a nearby community college.

While visiting a friend in Toledo, Ohio, Ricketts met Frank Schobert; they married and lived in Ohio for several years. The couple had one son, Dick; they later divorced. Throughout her career Jean Schobert worked mostly in accounting, but during World War II she was a telephone operator. Besides Iowa, she lived in Missouri, California, and Nebraska, where she enjoyed buying and fixing up old houses. After her mother’s death in 1976, Schobert moved back to Ricketts Farm to live with her son, who is the fifth generation of the family to farm there. In 2002, Wilda Jean Ricketts Schobert passed away.

Scope and Content Note

The Wilda Jean Schobert papers date from ca.1840 to 2001 and measure 1 linear foot. The papers are arranged in three series: Biographical, Family History, and Photographs.

The Biographical series consists of Jean Schobert’s papers including a detailed autobiographical sketch and several newspaper clippings about her houses and the Omaha tornado she experienced in 1975. The education folders include a report card from 1927 and a undated booklet Ricketts made for a science class on flowers.

The Family History series is a considerable collection of papers from some of Schobert’s family members. The bulk of the collections are the papers of Schobert’s mother, Ruth Keran Ricketts. Most of the papers are transcribed correspondence between family members dating from the late 1800s through the 1930s. Keran Ricketts was a school teacher and her collection contains documents from several of the one room school houses that she taught in throughout her lifetime. The papers of Ruth Keran Rickett’s mother, Amy Halferty Keran, are also integrated into this series. Amy was married to Francis “Leroy” Keran. This collection holds some correspondence dating back before the turn of the twentieth century and also a Halferty family genealogy. Also included is this series are some of Grace Ricketts Hensley’s items, Jean’s father’s sister who moved to Webster City in 1972 where Jean was living at the time and Jean cared for her until her death in 1976. Grace Halferty was also a teacher and lived much of her adult life in California.

The Photographs series contains numerous photographs of Jean Schobert’s family dating back to the 1840s, most of which are well-labeled with the names of the people in the pictures, the date of the photo, and sometimes with additional useful information. The series includes many photos from the early twentieth century. Jean Schobert’s album consists largely of photos and news clippings about her Victorian era house in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Schobert’s photos range from her high school graduation to her wedding, with a few photos from later in life. The Ruth Keran Ricketts folder has the largest number of photos, including several photos of her and her siblings as children, her wedding, and other family gatherings throughout her lifetime. The Amy Halferty Keran folder consists of a handful of photos of her descendants from mid-19 th and early-20 th centuries. The Grace Ricketts folder contains photos of Mike Ricketts’ (Jean Schobert’s father) family. It includes pictures of Grace Ricketts as a young girl and as a teacher.

Related Collections

Elvira Gaston Platt
Platt was an ancestor of Jean Schobert.

Friendly Neighbors Club ( Percival, Iowa)
Percival Needle Crafters
Jean Schobert was a member of both of these clubs.

The Nebraska State Historical Society has a few items pertaining to Grace Ricketts, who taught school in Nebraska.

Box List

Box 1                        



Autobiographical sketch, 2000 and undated
Baby book, 1920


Rural grammar schools, 1927, 1933 and undated
St. Bernard’s Academy, 1933-37, 1987


Newspaper clippings, 1937-2000
Miscellaneous, 1963-1998




Ruth Keran Ricketts [mother]


Account of 1952 flood
Biographical sketch, undated
Birthday book, undated
Certificates and newspaper clippings, 1895-1975
Correspondence, 1898-1945


Anderson School, 1918-1919
Hamburg High School , 1917
Viele School, 1905-1906


Journals, 1941, 1943
Ledgers, ca. 1900
Marriage announcement and certificate, 1919


Keran Family


Letters, 1881-1936 (folder 1)

Box 2                        

Letters, 1881-1936 (folders 2-3)
History, undated


Amy Halferty Keran [maternal grandmother]


Correspondence, 1903-1935 and undated
Halferty genealogy, undated
Marriage certificate, 1895
Wills and obituaries, 1939-1979


Grace Ricketts Hensley [paternal aunt]


Biographical and obituary, 1956-1976
Church, 1938-1976
Peru State Teachers College of Nebraska, 1935-1946




Jean Schobert’s photo album, 1972-1980
Jean Schobert, 1926-1987 and undated
Ruth Keran Ricketts, 1902-1982 and undated
Amy Halferty Keran ca. 1840-1917 and undated
Grace Ricketts Hensley, 1908-1956 and undated


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Page created August 2005.