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Nancy Rash papers

Identifier: IWA0881

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Scope and Contents

The Nancy Rash papers measure 10 linear inches and date from 1860 to 2012. The papers are arranged in the following series: Biographical, Correspondence, Rash Family, and Photographs.

The Biographical (1977-2012) series consists of two folders which include news clippings from a school board dispute in 1977 and a guide to the collection provided by the donor, Nancy Rash, which assigns numbers to some of the photographs and other articles in the collection and gives detailed descriptions of the stories and people depicted therein.

The Correspondence (1973-2002) series contains letters to Nancy Rash and her husband Kevin from friends and family in the 1970s.

The Rash Family (1913-2010) contains materials from members of Rash’s family including her mother, Patricia Rash, grandmother, Theresa Spurlin Fistler, and great-aunt, Florence Spurlin Pellican. The series contains recipes, bank statements, War documents belonging to Florence’s husband Ed, two folders of correspondence from a suitor named Liono in 1913, and more family photographs. This series also includes information about the family’s century farm, and a family history written by Nancy Rash.

The Photographs (1860-2002) series contains photographs of the family and farm life dating from the mid-1800s through the 1990s.


  • Creation: 1860-2012


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

Florence Spurlin was born June 5, 1892 in Union, Iowa to Angie Lockwood and Samuel R. Spurlin. She was the sister of Theresa Marie Spurlin, and Aunt of Patricia Rash. She attended Iowa State University for a short period of time until her father asked her to leave. She married Edward Pellican in 1942 in Omaha, Nebraska. She was active in many social organizations including Ak-Sar-Ben, a philanthropic society. She died on March 18, 11989.

Theresa Spurlin, the sister of Florence Spurlin, was born in 1898, and grew up in Union, Iowa. She was the Mother of Patricia Rash and Grandmother of Nancy and Peggy Rash. She was married to Ethymer Cox and later Lee Fistler, father of Patricia Rash. She served as a homemaker and was known for her lacework and baking. She died October 14, 1999 in Eldora, Iowa.

Patricia Rash was born September 11, 1927 in Whitten, Iowa. The daughter of Theresa Spurlin Fistler and Lee Fistler, she graduated from Whitten High School and attended radio school in Omaha, Nebraska, where she later worked at the Federal Reserve Bank. Patricia Fistler married Joseph William Rash in Omaha, Nebraska in 1946 when he was on leave from service in the U.S Army. In 1951, the couple moved to the Spurlin family farm where they farmed for a living. Pat and Joe Rash had four children, Nancy Jo, Bennett Lynn, Peggy Louise, and Jerry Rash. Rash’s interests as a homemaker encompassed Iowa history, genealogy, gardening, and baking. She served as the leader of her daughter’s 4-H chapter, the Union Peppy Pals, and belonged to the Iowa State Extension Council, the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 2006, Pat and Joe Rash were inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame. Patricia Rash died in 2010.

Nancy Jo Rash was born in 1952 in Marshalltown, Iowa to Patricia and Joseph Rash. She attended Iowa State University and received her degree in Home Economics Education. Following her graduation Nancy taught Nutrition at Iowa State University, and worked for Kansas State University Extension as a Home economist, and later at Iowa State as a 4-H Youth Development Specialist and County Extension Director. Nancy Rash’s interest in photography and Iowa history led her to submit her photograph titled “South Union Threshing Company” to Kirkwood Community College’s “Faces of Immigrant Iowa” photography contest in 2002 for which she won first prize.


12.50 linear inches

Language of Materials



Multi-generation history, correspondence, and photographs of a farming family in Union, Iowa.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1266) were donated by Nancy Rash in 2012.

Megan Blaue, 2012; Christina Jensen, 2015; Anna Tunnicliff, 2017
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)