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Dallner and Petersen Family papers

Identifier: IWA0484

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Scope and Contents

The Dallner-Petersen Family papers date from 1907 to 2001 and measure 2.5 linear inches. The papers include three photocopied journals written by Pauline Petersen from 1907 to 1910. These journals document the day-to-day activities of a young woman in her twenties, living in rural Iowa. The collection also includes two memoirs written by Pauline Levendahl Dallner; one spiral notebook containing the unedited essays of Dallner, composed between 1998 and 2001; and Dallner's written depiction of the "Rochelle Salts Mystery," an account of two mysterious deaths in 1925 that implicated her father's pharmacy and resulted in a manslaughter charge.


  • Creation: 1907-2001


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, with the exception of three photocopied journals, the originals of which are owned by Dana College in Blair, Nebraska.

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

Pauline Peterson Nielson was born in 1884 in Elk Horn, Iowa, the sixth of ten children. Prior to her marriage, Peterson taught in rural schools near Harlan, Iowa. Her husband N.P.J. Nielson was a Lutheran pastor, and the couple served several different congregations, including Ferndale, California and Midtown, Wisconsin. The Nielsons retired in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Pauline Nielson lived to be 103 years of age. Pauline Levendahl Dallner was born around 1918, the eldest of two daughters and the niece of Pauline Peterson Nielson. Levendahl was raised in Harlan, Iowa. Her father operated a pharmacy, and Levendahl often worked in the store as a young girl.


2.50 linear inches

Language of Materials



Peterson's journals describe daily life in rural Iowa from 1907 to 1910; Dallner's writings focus on two mysterious deaths that occurred in 1925.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 819) were donated by Pauline Dallner in 2001 and subsequent years.

Related Materials

The Pierce-Stuart family is associated with the Dallner-Petersen family through the friendship of Mary Stuart Clark and Pauline Dallner.

Emily Broeckling, 2003; Janet Weaver, 2004.
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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)