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Dorothy Sprout Place memoir

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IWA0384

Scope and Contents

The Dorothy Place collection consists of one item, a fifty-nine page reminiscence entitled "The War Years, 1938-1945: The Story of How World War II Shaped My Life." Written in 1993 from diaries kept after her graduation from high school and until she and Harlan settled on his family farm after the war, the reminiscence provides a personal narrative of a farm woman's experiences of courtship, work, travel, marriage, and young motherhood during World War II. It gives an insider's account of the daily life of a young wife living near military bases during the war and of the enduring friendships that developed between the families of servicemen.


  • Creation: 1993


Conditions Governing Access

The memoir is 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

Dorothy Sprout was born on July 8, 1921, to LeRoy and Edith Sprout near Emmetsburg in northwestern Iowa. She grew up on farms and graduated from Emmetsburg High School in 1938. While in high school, she took a teacher certification course and taught rural school. When World War II began and her classmate and future husband, Harlan Place, left for officer training,she visited him at the Air Force bases where he was stationed. They were married July 19, 1944 in Emmetsburg.

After their marriage, Dorothy Sprout Place moved near the bases where Harlan was stationed, returning to Emmetsburg, where the first of her five children was born. After the war, the parents of Harlan Place retired to Emmetsburg and Harlan and Dorothy Place moved on to the Place family farm which they farmed for thirty-five years. Dorothy and Harlan Place were busy in the family farming enterprise. Dorothy Place was active in the Freedom Township Women's Club, which her mother-in-law helped to organize. She and Harlan Place retired to Emmetsburg.


0.25 linear inches

Language of Materials



Reflections on life as a farmwoman and young mother during World War II.


One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Method of Acquisition

The memoir (donor no. 547) was donated by Dorothy Place in 1998.

Related Materials

Edith Sprout memoir (IWA): Edith Sprout was the mother of Dorothy Sprout Place.

Freedom Township Women's Club (Palo Alto County, Iowa) records (IWA): Dorothy Place was a member of this club from 1945 to 1998.

Doris Malkmus, 1999.
Language of description
Script of description
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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)