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Ernella Van Horn papers

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: IWA0724

Scope and Contents

The Ernella Van Horn papers date from 1993 to 2001 and measure 0.25 linear inches. The papers also consist of Ernella Van Horn's personal account of four generations of women in her family playing basketball, along with their other athletic, academic, professional, and personal endeavors. The papers also include a newspaper article acknowledging and celebrating the historical significance of their participation in basketball. This article also explains various rules of the six-on-six game (as described by Van Horn). Finally, the papers consist of a newspaper article and a baseball card that feature Betty Francis, a schoolmate of Van Horn's who went on to play professional baseball in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL).


  • Creation: 1993-2001


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

Ernella Van Horn was born on April 22, 1932 to Ernst Leo Balster and Stella Werden Balster. She was the second of four generations of women in her family to play basketball in Iowa. Her mother, Stella Werden Balster, was born on October 29, 1893 near Jonesville, Iowa. Stella Balster played one of the first versions of six-on-six basketball, in which the court was divided into three sections. Her youngest daughter, Ernella Balster, grew up playing the two-court version of six-on-six basketball for Monmouth Senior High School (currently known as Midland of Wyoming) from 1945-1949. Upon her high school graduation, Ernella Balster attended the American Institute of Commerce in Davenport, Iowa. There, she continued her basketball career, and met her future husband, Ray Leland Van Horn; they were married on November 19, 1950. They had three children, Kathryn, Cheryl, and Russell Van Horn.


0.25 linear inches

Language of Materials



The second of four generations of women in her family to play basketball in Iowa.


One folder, shelved in SCVF.

Method of Acquisition

The papers(donor no. 812) were donated by Ernella Van Horn in 2001.

Related Materials

Betty Francis papers, Iowa Women's Archives

Nicole Kotrba, 2002.
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)