»(bulk 1907-1995)

QUANTITY:»1.25 linear feet




The »papers were donated by »Vina Thorpe (donor no. 355) and Deborah Conger (donor no. 358) in 1996.


The »papers are open for research.


One videocassette shelved in videocassette collection (V88).


»Copyright has been transferred to the University of Iowa.


»In boxes 1 to 4.


Your name, year»Kristen Rassbach, 1996.




            Begin text here:»Vina Roberts was born on March 25, 1906, in Centerville, Iowa, to Clyde L. and Dora Belle Roberts.  Roberts married Ray Thorpe in 1933.  She worked at Western Union for twenty years before quitting to join her husband in the newspaper business in 1947.  Together they ran Thorpe Publications in Des Moines, Iowa, which published and distributed nine weekly newspapers in central Iowa, among them the Grimes Citizen and the Waukee Citizen.  Even after her husband died in 1961, Thorpe continued to write for and edit the weekly newspapers her husband had established.


Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:The» Vina Thorpe papers date from »1893 to 1995 and measure »1.25 linear feet.  The »papers »are arranged in »four series: Personal, Professional, Travel columns, and Photographs. »


            The Personal series (1893, 1900, 1907-1995) contains many of Thorpe's writings about herself, her family's history, and other interests including the Questers, a group devoted to promoting the study and appreciation of antiques and their historical backgrounds.  There is also biographical information on her husband Ray Thorpe, and some correspondence.  Vina Thorpe's journals (1979-1995) concern her daily activities, thoughts, and concerns.


            The Professional series (1953-1975 and undated) contains information on Thorpe Publications and many of the "Linotype Chatter" columns she wrote for the Thorpe newspapers.


            The Travel columns series (1948-1967) contains the travelogue columns Thorpe wrote while on vacation plus photographs which she took on her trips.


            The Photographs series (1893-1986 and undated)  contains many photographs of Thorpe and her family, several of which pre-date her birth.  Other photographs are of her travels and of the people employed by Thorpe Publications.


Related Collections

Begin text here:»Wilma Belden Collins papers

Collins was a newspaper corespondent for Thorpe Publications Weekly from 1946 to 1947.


Box no.   Description

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Box 1


Biographical writings

"Imported French Organdy," undated

"It's a Virus," undated

"Reminiscing," 1989

"The Life and Times of Vina P. Thorpe," 1986

"Vignettes of Childhood," undated

Family history writings

"A History of the Mikels Clan," 1973

"Christmas a Long Time Ago," 1993

"Dora Belle's 'An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving,'" undated

"Genealogy of Lyman Mikels," 1993

"The Valentine," undated

"Recollections of Dora Belle Mikels Roberts as told to her daughter Vina Roberts Thorpe," undated

"Great Grandfather Clyde Leslie Roberts," 1962

"Childhood Memories: My Most Unforgettable Character," 1989

"The Murphy Farm," undated

"Where my Grandmother Went to School," 1959




Twenty-fifth anniversary, 1958

Newspaper clippings, 1941, 1955

Ray E. Thorpe, 1961, 1964, 1981, 1983 and undated


Questers, 1962, 1986, 1994

Remembrances, 1992, 1993 and undated

Articles, 1978, 1979 and undated

Memorials, 1983, 1986 and undated

Miscellaneous, 1975-1994 and undated

Correspondence, 1960-1994 (scattered)

Videotaped reminiscences, 1996 (also includes Evelyn Reames discussing the Reames Noodle Co. and with Iowa Women's Archives curator Karen Mason) [shelved with videocassette collection: V88]



Thorpe Publications, 1953-1975 and undated

Linotype Chatter, 1950-1969 and undated

Scrapbook [Linotype Chatter], 1950-1965 and undated [oversize: shelved in box 3]

Colorado, 1948

Smokey Mountains, 1950

Park Rapids, MN, 1953

Mississippi River, 1954

Wisconsin, 1954

Lake Michigan, 1955


Box 2

Yellowstone, 1956

New Mexico, 1957

Texas, 1957

Michigan, 1958

Florida, 1959

Scrapbook [oversize: shelved in box 4]

Mexico, 1959

Hawaii, 1962

New England, 1963

Europe, 1967



Family, 1912 and undated

Family and friends, 1893, 1900, 1920, 1924, 1941 and undated

Mexico trip, 1959

Ray Thorpe, 1913, 1958, 1959 and undated

Twenty-fifth anniversary, 1958

Thorpe Publications, 1953-1975 and undated

Vina Roberts Thorpe, 1907, 1908, 1916, 1919, 1924, 1986 and undated

Vina and Ray Thorpe, 1933, 1960 and undated


Vacation, 1933, 1951

"The Bloomer Girls," undated


Box 3



Scrapbook [Linotype Chatter], 1950-1965

Box 4

Travel columns

Florida, 1959 (Scrapbook)