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 IOWA WOMEN’S ARCHIVES

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA LIBRARIES

IOWA CITY, IOWA

 

 

TITLE:»ELIZABETH WHERRY (1893-1956)

SUBTITLE:»

»PAPERS, DATES:»1904-1960

QUANTITY:»5 linear feet

 

 

ACQUISITION:

The »papers (donor no. 29) were donated by »Marguerite Johnson in 1966 and Ruth Wherry in 2000.

ACCESS:

The »papers are open for research.

PHOTOGRAPHS:

In box »2.

PROCESSED BY:

Your name, year»Stuart Hinds, 1993; Katherine Price, 1994; Sharon M. Lake, 2008.

REVISION:

September 25, 1998, version WORD97.

 

»Biography

            Begin text here:»Elizabeth Wherry was widely recognized as an Iowa author and columnist and a member of the first Iowa Dairy Industry Commission.  In her writing, her chief subjects were rural life and farming.  She is perhaps best known for her column "Country Air," which she wrote for nearly thirty years for Wallace's Farmer, where she also worked as associate editor.  Among Wherry's many published writings are feature articles for Successful Farming magazine, and a column for the Cedar Rapids Gazette's farm page called "Soul Conservation."  Wherry was also a prolific author of children's literature, and wrote children's books for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  Other writings include a radio program for WSUI in Iowa City called "Country Neighbors" and book reviews for the Des Moines Register. 

 

Wherry was born January 29, 1893, in Tipton, Iowa, as Elizabeth Cripliver, daughter of Jacob and Ella Cripliver.  After graduating from Tipton High School in 1909, she studied education at Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) in Cedar Falls from 1909-1910 and 1913-1914.

 

            She married Don L. Wherry on March 31, 1914.  She and her husband were farmers from 1920 to 1943 near Wyoming, Iowa.  It was during this time that Elizabeth Wherry made a name for herself as a writer concerned with the role and duties of the farm woman.  In an era before water systems and sewage disposal, electricity, hot water and freezers, Wherry gave other farm women advice on how to cope with the isolation and hard work in order to live more graciously.  Hers was a message of kindness and hospitality.

 

            The Wherrys had two sons:  John, born in 1919, and Richard, born in 1925.  John Wherry contributed a column for a time in the Clinton Iowa Herald.  Don Wherry spent the last several years of his life teaching in the Iowa public school system.

 

            After her husband's death in 1948, Elizabeth Wherry moved to Iowa City, where she was the house mother for the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.  She attended the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa) from 1948 to 1950, where she studied writing and journalism and made the honor roll.  After several years, she moved to Mount Vernon, Iowa where she was house mother for Peiffer Hall at Cornell College.  In 1953 she moved to Anamosa, Iowa, where she died in 1956 of a heart attack.

 

Scope and Content Note

 

            Begin text here:»The Elizabeth Wherry papers measure 5 linear feet and date from 1904 to 1960.  The papers are arranged in five series:  Domestic life, Education, Family, Writings for adults, and Writings for children.  This collection documents the personal and professional life of a writer known for her articles on farming and women's rural issues, and for her stories and poems for children.

 

            The Wherrys kept detailed accounts relating to the management of their Wyoming, Iowa farm.  Elizabeth Wherry's personal papers, such as recipes, diaries, photographs and a scrapbook, relate to the interior management of the farm.  Her diaries span from 1932 to 1953.  The photographs include undated pictures of Wherry and her immediate family.  These papers are located in the Domestic life series (1919-1960).

 

            In the Education series (1909-1951) Wherry's college notebooks reflect her studies in children's education and sociology.  At the State University of Iowa in 1949, she took a sociology course entitled "Problems of marriage and family," in which she conducted a survey of widows.

 

            The Family series (1904-1960) contains correspondence, newspaper clippings and documents pertaining to the Cripliver and Wherry families.

 

            The Writings for adults series (1920-1956) consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, and manuscripts that relate to the essays, fiction, newspaper articles, plays, poetry, speeches, and radio programs Wherry wrote for an adult audience.  In the late twenties and thirties she compiled notes and transcripts toward a history of Iowa pioneers, based on her ancestors' personal experiences.

 

            Wherry published numerous works for children, including essays, fiction, articles for Better Homes and Gardens, poetry, and non-fiction.  The newspaper clippings, manuscripts, and papers pertaining to these works are found in the Writings for children series (1928-1942). 

 

 

Related Collections

 

Virgina Randolph papers

            Randolph was Wherry’s niece. The Randolph papers contain biographical sketches, photographs and clippings pertaining to Wherry

 

Begin text here:»Virginia Randolph papers

                                                                                                                                                                        Randolph was Wherry's niece.  The Randolph papers contain bi

Box no.   Description

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Box 1

»Domestic life

Calendars, 1947, 1948

Christmas greetings lists, 1948-1953 and undated

Craft-making, newspaper clippings, undated

Diaries

1936, 1942, 1953 (3 volumes)

My Garden Book, 1930-1939 (1 volume)

Travels, 1938 and undated (2 volumes)

Farm operations

Auction announcement, undated

"Facts supporting earnings," 1954

Farm account books

1932

1933

1934

1935

1936

1937

1938

1939

1940

1941

1942

 

Box 2

1943

1944

1948

1949

1950

1951

Legal action, 1946

Master Farm Homemaker Work Sheet, 1927

Gamma Phi Beta, 1950

Newspaper clippings, 1930-1960 and undated

Obituaries

Elizabeth Wherry, 1956

Family and friends, 1938, 1944 and undated

Organizational affiliations, 1933-1957 and undated

Packing list, 1946-1947

Photographs, Wherry and family, undated

Recipes, undated

Recipe books, undated

 

Box 3

Scrapbook, ca. 1918-1925

World Wars I and II memorabilia, 1919-1943

Wyoming, Iowa memorabilia, 1930

 

Education

College

Iowa State Teachers College, notebooks, 1909-1914

State University of Iowa

Class notebooks, 1949-1951

"Problems of marriage and family"

Correspondence, incoming, 1949

Notes, 1949

Research articles,  1949

Surveys, 1949

Student records, 1948-1951

High School, 1909

 

Family

Correspondence

Incoming, 1926-1956 and undated

Outgoing, 1949-1955

Cripliver

Eliza Cripliver, 1941

Estate papers

Bertha Cripliver, 1940

Ella Cripliver, 1941

Forrest Cripliver, 1940, 1942

 

Box 4

Newspaper clippings, 1933-1951 and undated

Wherry

Don Wherry

Correspondence from, 1918 and undated

Fiction manuscript, undated

Marriage, undated

Medical records, 1912, 1948

Professional and organizational affiliations 1904-1944

Teaching career, 1944 and undated

John Wherry

1919-1947 and undated

My Garden Book, 1930

Richard Wherry, 1925-1960 and undated

 

Writings for adults

Background research

Newspaper clippings, 1948 and undated

Notes

Loose, undated

Notebooks, undated

Correspondence

Fan mail, incoming, 1931-1956 and undated

 

Box 5

Publishers

Incoming, 1920-1956 and undated

Outgoing, 1931, 1953

Magazine contests, incoming

"Gadgets," 1955

"Job I Enjoy Most," 1955

Radio programming, incoming, 1930

Essays

Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1935 and undated

"Vegetables Then and Now," notes, undated

"Weather," notes, undated

Fiction, manuscripts, undated

History of Iowa pioneers

Correspondence, incoming, 1929 and undated

Narratives

Ella Cripliver, 1934 and undated

Miscellaneous, undated

Notes, undated

Transcripts, undated

Newspaper articles

Cedar Rapids Gazette, "Soul Conservation"

Clipping, 1943

Scrapbook, 1941-1949 [oversize: in box 11]

Wallace's Farmer

"Country Air"

Clippings [shelved in oversize Box 19]

1929-1940

1941-1946

1947-1953

1954-1956 and undated

Illustrations, undated

 

 

 

Box 6

Manuscripts, 1934-1942 and undated

Scrapbooks

1928, 1950-1956 [oversize: in box 12]

1929-1932

1934-1936 [oversize: in box 13]

1937-1942 [oversize: in box 14]

1943-1949 [oversize: in box 15]

"Homemaking Today," newspaper clippings, 1950-1956 and undated

Miscellaneous articles

Newspaper clippings, 1936-1956

Scrapbooks

1928-1936 [oversize:  in box 16]

1936-1938 [oversize:  in box 17]

Plays

The Other Wise Man, manuscript, undated

The Prairie Town

Manuscripts, undated

"Pageantry for a Prairie Town," undated

Programs, undated

Synopses, undated

Poetry

Newspaper clipping, undated

Manuscripts, undated

Public speaking

Newspaper clippings, 1930 and undated

Correspondence, incoming, 1938-1946 and undated

Programs, 1930-1945

Transcripts, undated

Publicity, newspaper clippings, 1928-1930 and undated

 

Box 7

Radio programs

Country Landscape

Correspondence, incoming, 1941

Manuscripts of episodes

1-7, 1940

8-15, 1941

16-28, 1941

1-7, 1941-1942

8-14, 1942

 

Box 8

15-22, 1942

Fragments, undated

Miscellaneous manuscripts, 1943, 1948 and undated

Transcripts, 1930, 1942 and undated

 

Writings for children

Craft-making, manuscripts, undated

Essays, manuscripts, undated

Fiction, manuscripts, undated

"Joe Chick Stories"

"Hollyhock Lane"

Miscellaneous

Magazines

The Farmer's Wife

"Boys and Girls", newspaper clippings, 1938 and undated

"Children's Page"

Newspaper clippings, 1932-1935 and undated

Manuscripts

1931

1932

1933

Proof sheet, undated

Scrapbook, 1930-1942 [oversize: in box 18]

Box 9

"For Boys and Girls," clippings, undated [oversize: in box 18]

"The Interesting Family," scrapbook, undated [oversize:  in box 18]

Better Homes and Gardens

Newspaper clippings, 1929-1930

Home Gardener's Pronouncing Dictionary, 1930

Leaflets, undated

Memorabilia, undated

Non-fiction

My Rainy Day Notebook, 1930

My Garden Book, 1929

Poetry

Manuscripts

My Garden Book, 1928-1935 and undated

When Little Boys Take Thought, 1927-1928 and undated (3 folders)

 

Box 10

We Live on a Farm, 1935

Music for poems, undated

Notebooks, 1935-1936 and undated

Rough drafts, 1934-1936 and undated

 

Box 11

Oversize:

Writings for adults

Newspaper articles

Cedar Rapids Gazette, "Soul Conservation"

Scrapbook, 1941-1949

 

Box 12

Wallace's Farmer

"Country Air"

Scrapbooks

1928, 1950-1956

 

Box 13

1934-1936

 

Box 14

1937-1942

 

Box 15

1943-1949

 

Box 16

Miscellaneous articles

Scrapbooks

1928-1936

 

Box 17

1936-1938

 

 

Box 18

Oversize:

Writings for children

Magazines

The Farmer's Wife

"Children's Page"

Scrapbook, 1930-1942

"The Interesting Family," scrapbook, undated

“For Boys and Girls,” clippings, undated

 

Box 19

            Writing for adults

Newspaper articles

Wallace’s Farmer

“Country Air” clippings, 1920-1956 and undated