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Esther Christensen papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
IWA0596

Dates

  • 1908-1987 (Creation)

Extents

  • 0.50 linear inches (Whole)

Agent Links

Notes

  • Abstract

    65-page memoir of Fayette County, Iowa farmwoman.

  • Arrangement

    One folder, shelved in SCVF.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    The papers are open for research.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright held by the donor has not been transferred to The University of Iowa.

  • Method of Acquisition

    The papers (donor no.36) were donated by Miriam Colvin in 2000.

  • Preferred Citation

    Esther Christensen papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Esther Christensen papers date from 1908 to 1987 and measure 0.5 linear inches. The papers consist of seven short newspaper accounts and a photocopied sixty-five page memoir, "Our Heritage," by Esther Christensen. She begins with quotes from her father's written description of his service in the Civil War. He describes battles in Missouri, Tennessee, and Mississippi, and the wounds that sent him to Keokuk, Iowa for recovery. His reminiscences of war, some painful, some funny, are included. The Christensen memoir includes descriptions of church services, boating tragedies, tornadoes, house calls and baby deliveries by the local doctor. She describes the building of a homestead, the discovery of Indian arrowheads, county fairs and perfect three layer cakes with seven minute frosting! Christensen also tells of country school, her recitations, Gypsies camping in the woods, and the loss of a brother due to a gun accident, the Spanish Influenza, the loss of a son. Her memoir concludes with her reflections on her ninety-first birthday. Family pictures are reproduced throughout the memoir.

  • Biographical / Historical

    Esther Downs was born May 9, 1895 in Auburn Township, Fayette County, in northeastern Iowa. After finishing eighth grade she 'hired out,' taking care of sick people. She also worked as a waitress and at the County Farm. On November 12, 1919 she married Morris Christensen, who had just returned from participating in World War I. They raised two sons and twin daughters. Morris Christensen died April 26, 1979 and Esther Christensen died October 5, 1987.

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