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

 

VERA SHIVVERS (1897-1990)

PAPERS, 1914-1990
2.7 linear feet

 

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:
Vera Shivvers Papers, Iowa Women's Archives, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

 


Collection Overview

 
ACQUISITION:
The Vera Shivvers papers (donor no. 682) were donated by Marietta Carr, Charlotte Shivvers, and Martha Skillman in 2000.
 
 
ACCESS:
The papers are open for research.
 
 
COPYRIGHT:
Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to The University of Iowa.
 
 
PHOTOGRAPHS:
In Boxes 4, 5, 6, and 7.
 
 
PROCESSED BY:

Stacy Ross, 2002 and Britt Nelson, 2005. [ShivversVera.doc]

 

Biography

Laura Vera Hollowell Shivvers, farm woman, wife, mother, teacher, and state senator, was born on June 16, 1897 to Emma Etta Mason Hollowell and William Aaron Hollowell on Prairie View Stock Farm near Dallas, Iowa. She attended the Dallas public schools and graduated from Indianola High School in 1916. She continued her education at Simpson College where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and editor of the school newspaper. She graduated with honors in 1920. The daughter of two rural Iowa school teachers, Vera Hollowell taught high school English in Indianola and Bedford, Iowa, for three years. On September 17, 1924 she married L.C. (John) Shivvers and moved to Fair Acres, the Shivvers family farm near Knoxville, Iowa. The couple had three daughters: Marietta, Martha, and Charlotte. Vera Shivvers was active in community life, teaching Sunday school, serving as a school board member, 4-H leader, and church pianist. In 1953, Shivvers’ contributions to her community were recognized when she was named an Iowa Master Farm Homemaker.

In 1962, John Shivvers was a Republican nominee for the Iowa Senate. Vera Shivvers actively campaigned with her husband in Marion and Monroe counties. He was elected, but died before he could serve his term. Through a special election, Vera Shivvers was elected to fill her husband’s vacancy in the Senate, making her only the third woman to serve in the Iowa Senate. During her term as a state senator, Shivvers was a leader in legislating Iowa’s first Fair Employment Practices Act.

She was not re-elected in the Democratic landslide of 1964 and renewed her high level of involvement in community service and volunteer organizations including the Simpson Alumni Council, the Republican Party, the American Association for University Women (AAUW), the Knoxville Women’s Club, and her church. She also helped to create the Marion County Historical Park, establish the Shivvers Memorial Lectureship at Iowa State University, and served on the Marion County Extension Council and Planning Commission.

In 1978, Vera Shivvers married high school classmate Wallace McKee and moved to the McKee family farm near Indianola, Iowa. After Wallace McKee’s death in 1988, Vera Shivvers moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1989, where she lived with her daughter Marietta until her death on March 10, 1990.


Scope and Content Note

The Vera Shivvers papers date from 1914 to 1990 and measure 2.7 linear feet. The papers are arranged in 6 series: Personal, Legislative, Speeches, Journals, Photographs and Scrapbooks.

The Personal series (1914-1990) contains a wide range of biographical information on Vera Shivvers including personal correspondence spanning nearly seventy-five years and various newspaper clippings regarding Vera from her numerous community activities over several decades.

The Legislative series (1963-1964) mainly holds correspondence Vera Shivvers received from constituents during her Iowa Senate term. Speeches and newspaper clippings from this time are also included. A prominent topic of the speeches and constituent mail is “liquor by the drink.”

The Speeches series (1963-1983) contains the speeches Vera Shivvers gave throughout her lifetime at various community and club gatherings.

The Journals series (1973-1990) holds the calendars and journals Vera Shivvers kept later in life concerning her daily activities.

The Photographs series (1915-1986) ranges from her high school days up until the last years of her life. A few pictures are included of Vera Shivvers at the statehouse during her Senate term as well as a photo of Vera and L. C. Shivvers at their daughter’s wedding and photos of Vera and second husband Wallace McKee at the VEISHEA parade in Ames, Iowa. Also included are photos of all of the houses Vera Shivvers lived in.

The Scrapbooks series (1917-1965) contains two scrapbooks covering Shivvers’ service in the Iowa State Senate and one scrapbook documenting John Shivvers' life.


Box List

Box 1                          
    Personal Information            
     

Biographical

           
          Personal sketch, undated            
         

Obituary, 1990

           
     

Certificates, undated

           
     

Correspondence

           
         

1914-1924

           
         

1953-1980

           
         

Business, 1952-1984

           
         

Christmas letters, 1957-1989

           
         

Legislative, 1963-1977

           
         

Letters to the Editor, 1966-1976

   
     

Indianola High School Yearbook, 1916

         
     

Newspaper clippings

           
         

1953-1990

           
         

Prose and quotes, undated

           
      Organizations            
         

Christian Rural Overseas Program, 1953

       
         

Pella Rural Women’s Day, 1972

       
         

Simpson College Alumni Association, 1924-1989

   
     

Prenuptial Agreement, 1978

           
     

Vacation brochures, 1958-1982

           
                       
    Legislative            
     

Address book, 1963

           
     

Calendar, 1963

           
                       
Box 2                    
     

Constituent Correspondence, 1963-1964

       
         

By subject

           
             

Liquor by the Drink

       
           

Sunday Closing

       
           

Taxes

       
         

Alphabetical

       
            A-D        
            E-G        
            H-I        
            J-M        
            N-R        
            S-T        
            U-Z        
     

Newspaper clippings

           
         

Special election, 1963

           
         

Re-election campaign, 1964

           
                       
Box 3                    
     

Pamphlets, 1961-1964

             
         

Political sketch, undated

           
         

Speeches, 1963

           
           

Acceptance speech

           
           

HF 4

           
           

“Liquor by the Drink”

           
           

Preamble

           
           

“So Politics is for Men”

           
         

Miscellaneous, 1963-1964

           
                             
   

Speeches

           
      Folder 1                
         

“Adventure in Learning” 1963

         
         

Livestock group, undated

         
         

Farm Bureau, 1964

         
      Folder 2                  
         

Future Teachers of America, 1969

       
         

Gambling Hearing, 1965

       
         

Zoning, 1966

       
      Folder 3                  
         

Population Control, 1970

           
         

Living History Farms, 1973

           
         

Lena Jordan, undated

           
         

Harlan and Helen Chandler

           
     

Fairview Church

           
         

“My Church” 1969

           
         

“Spiritual Havens” 1970

           
         

Presentation on church history, 1976

       
         

Fairview Guest Day, 1976

           
         

Christmas, 1976

           
     

Simpson College

           
         

Brief Reminiscence, 1980

           
         

Alumni Achievement Award Committee, 1980

   
         

Ruth Sayre Day, 1983

           
     

Notes, 1963-1983

           
                             
    Journals                  
     

Datebooks

             
          1973-1974            
          1975-1977            
          1984-1985            
          1986            
                       
Box 4                          
      Journals                  
         

February 2, 1987-August 8, 1987

     
         

November 23, 1987-May 2, 1988

     
         

September 24, 1988-February 21, 1989

     
         

February 22, 1989-December 21, 1989

     
         

December 22, 1989-March 5, 1990

     
                             
    Photographs, 1915-1986            
                             
Box 5                          
    Scrapbooks                  
     

State Senator, 1957-1963

           
                   
Box 6                
     

State Senator, 1963-1964

           
                           

 

Box 7                
     

John Shivvers, 1917-1965

           
                             

 


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