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Rowan-Coppock Family Papers

Identifier: IWA1350

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Scope and Contents

The Rowan-Coppock family papers date from 1903 to 2019 and measure 3.8 linear feet in nine boxes. The papers are arranged in 5 series: Biographical information, Correspondence, Music, Photographs, and Publications. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence between Carrie Rowan and Homer Coppock.

The Biographical information series (1903-1910) includes records of Rowan’s education from Washington Academy and Monmouth College and Coppock’s time at Iowa Wesleyan University. This series also includes written work by Rowan. Materials include Rowan’s transcripts and Coppock’s yearbook.

The Photographs series (1903-1925) contains photographs of Rowan and Coppock and their extended families, as well as their children and their homes. The series concludes with a class photo from Rowan's years at Washington Academy.

The Correspondence series (1905-1925) includes over one thousand letters between Carrie Rowan and Homer Coppock. The letters follow them through their courtship, time in college, and married life. They contain details of day-to-day life at the time. There is also correspondence between Rowan and her friends and family, as well as letters from Coppock to his and Rowan’s children through 1925.

The Publication series (2015-2019) comprises several self-published books of Rowan and Coppock’s letters. The books contain transcribed excerpts from the original letters found in the correspondence series. These were written by Rowan and Coppock’s granddaughter, Margaret Reich.

The Music series (1903-1915) contains sheet music of songs that Rowan and her friends mention throughout their letters. Most of the songs were popular at the time they were mentioned. They are in the published letters.


  • Creation: 1890-2019


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor. 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

Carrie Rowan was born July 4, 1889, and grew up on her family's farm in Ainsworth, Iowa. She attended Washington Academy, a college preparatory school, in Washington, Iowa, where she met Homer Coppock. Coppock was born April 15, 1885, and grew up about ten miles away from Rowan. While the two likely knew each other earlier, they became closer in 1905 and began exchanging letters. Rowan graduated from Washington Academy in 1905 and enrolled at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois in 1908. During this time, Coppock was living and working in Southey, Saskatchewan, before returning to the United States to finish his schooling at the academy associated with Iowa Wesleyan University, where he later enrolled in college. Rowan studied Latin and was very committed to her coursework. Coppock also studied classics but with less investment than Rowan. In the summer of 1910, both Rowan and Coppock were back in Washington, and they quickly married. Neither returned to college. Soon after, they moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Coppock worked at a silo manufacturing company. They had three children in Nebraska. In 1914, Coppock’s job took them to Lansing, Michigan, where the couple had two more children. In December of 1918, during the flu pandemic, Carrie Rowan Coppock caught the flu, quickly developed pneumonia, and died just days later. She was twenty-nine. Coppock and his in-laws planned for all five children to stay at the farm in Ainsworth. Homer Coppock continued working in Lansing and regularly wrote letters to his in-laws and children. In 1925, Coppock remarried, and an unofficial custody agreement was arranged. The boys (Homer Jr., Phillip, and Russell) lived with their father and stepmother during the school year and stayed with their grandparents in the summer. The girls, Annetta and Lola, lived with their grandparents during the school year and their father during the summer. After her death, the letters written between Rowan and Coppock gained importance to the family as a way for their children to remember their mother.


3.8 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Over one thousand letters written between Carrie Rowan and Homer Coppock through their courtship and marriage.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1698) were donated by Margaret Reich in 2023.

Beatrice Kearns, 2023
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)