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Martha Jean Nicholson Browneller papers

Identifier: IWA0804

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Scope and Contents

The Jean Browneller papers date from 1936 to 2011 and measure 12.1 linear inches. Her diaries date from 1935 to 2010 and make up the bulk of the collection. Most of the entries record day-to-day activities with occasional references to world events. Photographs of Jean Browneller as a baby and as an older woman are also found in the biographical series along with school report cards, commencement pamphlets, and memorabilia.


  • Creation: 1920-2010


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

Martha Jean Nicholson was born on September 16, 1920, the daughter of Irma and Homer Nicholson. The Nicholsons raised their four children on a farm four miles outside of Oskaloosa, in Mahaska County, Iowa, during the Great Depression. Nicholson's mother supplemented the farming income by working in a cannery. After graduating from Oskaloosa High School, Jean Nicholson obtained a job as a telephone operator with the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. Nicholson married her childhood friend Max Browneller on September 18, 1940. The couple farmed and would often hire help to tend their farm. Jean Browneller was a leader in the 4-H group called the Monroe Busy Bees, worked as an Avon representative, and was active in local clubs and organizations. She was instrumental in forming a sewing club that would later develop the Iowa "Make it yourself with wool" contest and helped her husband form the Mahaska Sheep Breeders Association in Oskaloosa.


12.10 linear inches

Language of Materials



Mahaska County, Iowa, farm woman who was active in 4-H and rural organizations. She recorded her daily activities in her diaries between 1935 and 1973.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1256) were donated by Jean Browneller in 2011.

Related Materials

Photographs in Box 4.

Froilan Orozco
Language of description
Script of description

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)