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Luella Rynerson Smith papers

Identifier: IWA0861

Scope and Contents

The Luella Rynerson Smith papers are organized in seven series: Rural Farm Organizations, Home Extension Course Leadership, Family, Booklets, Sewing, Miscellaneous, and Smith Family Embroidery Patterns. The Rural Farm Organizations series (1930-1932 and undated) contains material related to programming and leadership of various organizations, including songs, readings, recitations, and skits appropriate for community pageants. The Home Extension Course Leadership series (1929-1932 and undated) includes materials from Lulu Rynerson Smith's involvement as a leader and instructor of self-improvement and home management courses for rural women.  Nutrition and childcare are among the topics covered. The Family series (1884-1989) contains a folder of letters received by turn of the nineteenth century Iowa City resident Jessie Cannon Bywater, a relative of Luella Rynerson's, and a folder containing mid-century fabric samples from the home of one of the donor's relatives. Booklets series (1915-1937) contains a wide selection of booklets published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and various extension agencies on a variety of topics, including home décor and management, tailoring, livestock, cooking, and gardening. Sewing (undated) contains fabric and yarn samples, as well as paper pattern pieces, including some for a size "brassiere." Miscellaneous (1926 and undated) contains holiday tissue paper, miniature American flags, and other items falling outside the bounds of the series above. Smith Family Embroidery Patterns (1886-1941) includes both printed and hand-drawn paper patterns and written instructions for embroidery and crochet projects handed down in the Smith family.


  • 1884-1989


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.

Biographical / Historical

Luella "Lulu" Rynerson, great-grandmother of donor Mary Bywater Cross, was born in 1876 and lived in the Monticello, Iowa, area. She married John Campbell Smith in 1913. As a leader in rural women's organizations, she amassed a collection of resources for farm women published by the Home Extension program of Iowa State (now Iowa State University) and other agencies. Luella Smith died in 1948.


1.00 linear foot


Home extension course, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other early twentieth century rural organization publications collected by an Iowa farm wife.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1321) were donated by Mary Bywater Cross in 2012.
Margaret Halterman, 2013.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

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)