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Beverly Everett papers

Identifier: IWA0148

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Scope and Contents

The Beverly George Everett papers date from 1856 to 2001 and measure 12 linear feet, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1941-2000. The original accession was made in 1994, with a subsequent accession in 2001. These papers give insight into Iowa farm life and various organizations dealing with farmers. They also show the workings of many local and national women's organizations, particularly the AAUW.


The papers are arranged in six series: Personal, Newspaper clippings and journal articles, Organizations, Speeches, Photographs, and Miscellaneous audiocassettes.

The Personal series (1941-1994) contains correspondence and background information about Everett and her family. The correspondence includes letters written from Everett to her parents while she was a student at Iowa State. The more recent correspondence is mainly letters to and from friends and her children. The family history audiocassette is a recording of Everett where she recollects about her parents and the generations before them. Included here is information about her involvement in 4-H and the Rural Music History Celebration. The Iowa State College sub-series includes three scrapbooks that contain various photographs of Everett and her friends.

The Newspaper clippings and journal articles series (1960-1991 and undated) consists of articles written by Everett for farm and women's journals and for local newspapers.

The Organizations series (1953-1994 and undated) gives various information on the organizations where Everett volunteered. This includes minutes, notes on meetings, and conventions and conference material. Most of the series is about the AAUW. Several audiocassettes of conferences and workshops can also be found here. Of special interest is the history of the United Methodist Church Commission on the Status and Role of Women written by Everett. There are also two scrapbooks that contain newspaper clippings of Everett's work in the Farm Bureau and 4-H during the 1950s and 1960s.

The Speeches series (1960-1993 and undated) consists of drafts of speeches given by Everett to a wide variety of groups and organizations. Also included are newspaper clippings and journal articles about the events and the programs from the events themselves. There are audiocassettes of several of the speeches.

The Photographs series (1935-1986 and undated) contains photographs of family and friends. Photographs of the Rural Music History Celebration and the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year are also included.


The papers are arranged in three series: Personal, Organizations, and Speeches.

The Personal series contains journals, newsclippings, family history and correspondence. Among the correspondence are Round Robin letters between fourteen couples who all graduated from Iowa State College around the time of Beverly Everett and her husband. All were active in the YMCA and YWCA. Their letters circulated amongst each other date from 1955 to 2001.

The Organizations series consists of various materials concerning organizations that Everett belonged to, including correspondence, minutes, convention materials, and publications. Most material concerns the AAUW, the IFUW, and the United Nations. Of particular interest is a journal of travel notes that Everett kept during a trip to Graz, Austria for IFUW's 26 th Triennial Conference in 1998.

The Speeches series consists of drafts of speeches given by Everett to various groups and organizations, as well as programs from various events where she spoke.


  • Creation: 1856-2001


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Beverly George Everett, farmer, substitute teacher, speaker, writer, and professional volunteer, was born on January 28, 1926 in Janesville, Iowa to Floyd and Florence George. Her parents were dairy farmers and musicians so Everett and her brother, Neal, grew up surrounded by Iowa farmland and music. After graduating from Janesville High School, she attended Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) where she obtained a bachelors degree in institutional management in 1947. It was at Iowa State that she met her husband Lawrence Everett, who returned to college after serving in the army for three years during World War II. He graduated in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in farm operations.

After college they moved to New Sharon, Iowa where they set up farming a 300-acre spread. Five children were born there: Leslie, who became an agronomist; George, a medical doctor; Rebecca (Sinkler), a teacher; Gordon, a pastor; and Floyd, a farmer and National Guard Captain. All five completed programs at Iowa State University. Everett 's education did not stop at Iowa State. She took various post graduate courses from the University of Iowa and the University of California, Berkeley. She also obtained teacher certification through William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa. In 1984 she was awarded an honorary doctorate through Iowa Wesleyan College.

Beverly Everett's organizational work began at an early age in the 4-H. Several of her projects included planting a victory garden, redecorating her bedroom (featured in an article in Successful Farming, September 1941), and creating a record book that took second place in a National 4-H contest. She later became a 4-H club leader. In 1965, Everett was named a Master Farm Homemaker. During the 1950s and 1960s, much of Everett's volunteer work centered around 4-H and the Farm Bureau. Through her writings and speeches she became known for emphasizing the importance of women's roles in agriculture. In one of her speeches she stated, "A great proportion of farmer co-operatives are forgetting to use the talents of women" (May 22, 1963, Speeches, Newspaper clippings and journal articles, 1960-1967). Also during this time she wrote a column entitled "The Distaff Partner" where she talked about various farm issues.

Beginning in the late 1960s, Everett became involved extensively in the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She started out as president of the Oskaloosa branch but soon moved up through the ranks to serve as President of the Iowa Division in 1976. As a key note speaker for AAUW, Everett traveled extensively throughout the United States giving talks and planning workshops for various AAUW branches and state divisions. Her speeches show a great interest in improving the status of women not only in the United States but throughout the world. In 1978, she became the AAUW representative to the United States National Commission for UNESCO. Through the National Commission she served as vice chair for the Status of Women Committee.

Appointed by President Gerald Ford in 1976 and reappointed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, she also served as a commissioner to the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year. She was chosen mainly as a representative of the rural women of the United States. She was the federal officer for five of the state meetings held before the National Women's Conference in Houston, Texas, in 1977. The Commission's goal for the conference was to have a "national gathering of women to talk about and act upon issues of concern to women." Topics covered included battered women, the Equal Rights Amendment, and women's education. It was the first such meeting since the Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848.

Being an active member in the United Methodist Church, she served on such committees as the Camp Fiscal Task Force, the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, and the Iowa Area Conference Center Task Force. Through her own church, she served as chair of the Mission Committee which helped raise money for various missionaries throughout the world. Everett traveled to various foreign countries through the efforts of the Overseas Development Council, the Church World Service, the AAUW, and the International Federation of University Women. Her trips included stops in Ecuador, Asia, and Austria. In each of these places, Everett was very interested in the status and role of women in the society, both social and economical. It was through her son Leslie, who worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture as a maize breeder, that she was able to visit Cameroon, Africa. Here she got first hand experience in the different cultures present there and how these different societies treated women.

In 1983, Everett was nominated to the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame. In the late 1990s, she was actively involved in nominating others, such as Ann Pellegreno and Denise O'Brien, for this same recognition.


12.00 Linear Feet

67 audiocassettes [AC125-AC191], 1 videocassette [VC52], Photographs  in boxes 20, 23, and 30 boxes

Language of Materials



Family farmer, volunteer, and community activist who served on U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and the International Women's Year Commission.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 216) were donated by Beverly Everett in 1994 and Lawrence Everett in 2001.

Related Materials

Judy Klemesrud Papers (IWA): This collection contains several articles written by Klemesrud on the National Women's Conference in 1977 ( box 2, Newspaper clippings, 1977).

Neil Bjurstrom Rural Music Collection (Iowa State University): This collection contains photographs, newspaper clippings, and committee reports on the Rural Music History Celebration organized by Beverly Everett and chaired by Neil Bjurstrom in 1986 (at Iowa State University).

North Madison Happy Pals 4-H Club (IWA): These scrapbooks contain photographs, newspaper clippings, and organizational records dated from the period when Beverly Everett was club leader, 1952 to 1972 (boxes 1 and 2, Scrapbooks).

Mildred Fox (Everett) papers (IWA): Fox was Beverly Everett's mother-in-law.

Ida "Belle" Bandfield Holden papers(IWA):  Holden was Beverly Everett's maternal grandmother.

Iowa Women's Archives Collection: Contains Beverly Everett's speech for the second anniversary of the archives.

Verda L. Williams papers (IWA): Everett is featured in "The Gift of Song," a video recorded on June 30, 1987 [VC:138].

Kirsten Clark, 1994 and Elizabeth Engel, 2005.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)