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Ruth Ryan Jenkins papers

Identifier: IWA1185

Scope and Contents

The Ruth Ryan Jenkins papers date from 1935 to 1938 and measure 1 linear foot. The papers are arranged into one series: biographical.

The Biographical series (1935-1938) consists of one scrapbook kept by Ruth Ryan throughout her years at St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in Davenport, Iowa. This scrapbook contains various pictures of Ryan and her classmates, as well as newspaper clippings, invitations, programs, and decorations from the several social events the student body held for both the students and the general public. Four pins from the Iowa State Association of Registered Nurses meetings can also be found within the scrapbook. There is one newspaper clipping included within the scrapbook that does not relate to St. Luke’s and its students that features twin infant girls who were being sent to Germany to live with their grandfather with no one to accompany them on the journey except for their two-year-old sister.


  • 1935-1938


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

Ruth Irene Ryan was born in 1916 in Nichols, Iowa to Charles and Clara May Ryan. She attended Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa and began attending St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in Davenport, Iowa directly after high school graduation in 1935. Ryan was the chairperson in charge of planning some of the school’s social events throughout her career at St. Luke’s, from which she graduated in 1938. While training as a student nurse at St. Luke’s, Ryan met Ralph Jenkins who was a patient there. They got married in 1940 and lived in Muscatine, Iowa for the remainder of their lives. Jenkins was a nurse for several years in Muscatine and spent her free time volunteering as a 4-H leader and caring for her three children: Kathleen Jenkins Meyer, who was born in 1944, Judith Jenkins Petersen, who was born in 1945, and John Jenkins, who was born in 1954. Jenkins’ daughter, Kathleen, went on to also attend St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing from the years 1962 to 1964. Both Ruth and Ralph Jenkins passed away in 1984 in Muscatine, Iowa.


1.00 linear foot

Language of Materials



Scrapbook detailing a woman’s time in nursing school at St. Luke’s Hospital in Davenport, Iowa throughout the 1930s.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1563) were donated by Kathleen Jenkins Meyer in 2018.

Related Materials

Marie Tener Havel papers: Havel was also a nurse in the 1930s and was a nurse for the University of Iowa Hospitals from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s.
Ruth Ryan Jenkins papers
Bailey Petersen
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)