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Mary Sears McHenry papers

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IWA0423

Scope and Contents

The Mary Sears McHenry papers consist of a typescript of an 1865 diary and account book and measures one linear inch. The diary and account book cover a trip from Denison, Iowa to Rockford, Illinois where Mary met her husband, then on leave from the Union Army. The account book includes expenditures and accounts received for 1865.


  • Creation: 1865-1998


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are 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

Mary Sears was born in Massachusetts, December 30, 1834, and moved to northern Illinois with her family. She graduated from Rockford Female Seminary before marrying William A. McHenry in 1864. After their marriage, he returned to his regiment fighting in the Civil War and she joined his brother in a journey to Denison, Iowa, where the brothers had contracts to operate the new telegraph company. In Denison, Mary Sears McHenry became the deputy county treasurer and recorder.

When her husband was discharged, she met him in Rockford and together they returned to Denison. The McHenrys became prominent in banking, livestock breeding, and community affairs. In 1890, Mary McHenry served as president of the Women's Relief Corps, then the largest fraternal association in America; she was also active in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She died July 26, 1912 at their lake home in Okoboji, Iowa.


1.00 linear inch

Language of Materials



Diary and account book of the bride of a Civil War officer.


One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 615) were donated by Opal Baker in 1999. The original typescript is held by the Denison Historical Society.

Doris Malkmus, 1999.
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)