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Elizabeth Fagan Lynch memoir

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IWA0465

Scope and Contents

The reminiscence "A Trunk and Its Chips" was self-published by Elizabeth Lynch in 1991 and includes 166 pages. The prose is lively and informal, but always informative. It begins with a brief account of the journeys of her grandparents from Ireland to Iowa in the nineteenth century and brief biographies of her brothers and sisters. The remainder of the reminiscence consists primarily of details from her memories of her childhood on the farm, descriptions of the weekly and monthly rhythms of work, play, illness, and church activities. A collage of photographs illustrates these memories.


  • Creation: 1991


Conditions Governing Access

"A Trunk and Its Chips" is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor.

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

Elizabeth Fagan Lynch was born March 15, 1908, the youngest of twelve children of Matthew and Elizabeth Fagan. She grew up on a farm in Dubuque County and attended rural school before enrolling at the Immaculate Conception Academy boarding school in Dubuque for four years of high school. After graduation, she taught rural school and earned a B.A. degree from the University of Dubuque. She taught from 1927 until her marriage to Ralph Lynch in 1940.

Elizabeth and Ralph Lynch had two children, Jeremiah and Mary Ann, born in 1944 and 1946 respectively. Mary Ann died soon after birth. In 1949, a teacher shortage changed the ruling against married teachers. Elizabeth Lynch resumed teaching when her son entered the rural school where she taught. Over the next years, she farmed, taught, and earned an endorsement from the State University of Iowa to teach Special Education in 1965. She taught Special Education for twelve years before retiring in 1977.

After Ralph Lynch died in 1964, Elizabeth and Jeremiah Lynch continued to farm with the help of her brother-in-law Al Lynch for the next thirteen years. When her son married in 1977, Elizabeth Lynch moved to an apartment in Dubuque, staying involved with friends and church activities. Additional biographical information is found in the reminiscence.


0.25 linear inches

Language of Materials



Teacher and farmer of Irish descent from Dubuque County, Iowa whose memoir is called, A Trunk and its Chips.


One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Method of Acquisition

"A Trunk and Its Chips" was donated by Elizabeth Lynch (donor no. 684) in 2000.

Doris Malkmus, 2001.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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)