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Violet Greiner papers

Identifier: IWA0389

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Scope and Contents

The Violet Greiner papers date from 1960 to 1999 and measure 3 linear inches.  The papers are arranged in three series: Writings, Speeches, and Greiner Family.

The Writings series consists primarily of copies of Greiner's columns in the Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative News and a few of her articles from other publications.  Correspondence between Greiner and her readers and publishers and honorary awards for her writings complete this series.

The Speeches series contains the notes and scripts regarding Greiner's many "Apron Talks" given to a variety of organizations across Iowa from the 1960s to the 1990s.  This series includes printed programs as well as correspondence regarding arrangements for the talks.

The Greiner Family series contains biographical information and other materials concerning Greiner family history.  It also includes photographs and other publicity from Violet and Lyman Greiner's 1963 trip to India as part of a farmer exchange program.


  • Creation: 1960-1999


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

Violet Greiner was born to the family of a Congregational minister in Olin, Iowa, in 1916. The family moved to Florida and New York state during her school years, but after her graduation settled in Blairsburg, Iowa, where she worked as a bookkeeper at the Cooperative Elevator. She attended Grinnell College for one year and then transferred to Iowa State College, now Iowa State University in Ames. After an additional year of study, she taught rural school before marrying Lyman Greiner, a 1928 graduate of Iowa State College. For the next fourteen years, the Greiners lived in various Iowa towns where Lyman Greiner worked for cooperative oil companies.

In 1942, the Greiners began farming the Greiner family farm south of Blairsburg. They had a large dairy herd and also raised hogs and chickens. With only one small tractor, most of the fieldwork was still performed with horses, while wind and gas-powered generators supplied the electricity. They raised three sons: Charles, Thomas, and Lyle, the last two born on the farm.

Violet Greiner was an active community volunteer and a member of the United Church of Christ and the Rebekah Lodge of the International Order of Odd Fellows. Violet Greiner also began a long career as a free-lance author, writing a monthly column called "Kitchen Komments" for the Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative News from 1960 to the 1980s. In addition, she had articles published in Wallace's Farmer, the Des Moines Sunday Picture Magazine, and numerous other publications. In 1970, she was the principal author of a town history, A Century at the Crossroads, Blairsburg, Iowa, 1869-1970.

In 1963, the Greiners spent two months in India as "exchange farmers." After their trip, Lyman and Violet Greiner gave numerous talks in Iowa about the people, customs, and culture of India. She continued her public speaking career, eventually presenting over eighty "Apron Talks" to various organizations, blending spiritual themes with a down-to-earth philosophy. In 1972, she became a Master Farm Homemaker and was active with that organization. Lyman and Violet Greiner retired to Story City after living forty-four years on their Blairsburg farm. Violet Greiner died in 1991.


3.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Farmwoman, columnist, and volunteer from Blairsburg, Iowa who wrote a monthly column for the Rural Electric Cooperative News.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 557) were donated by Lyman Greiner in 1998.

Related Materials

Rural Electric Cooperative News

Doris Malkmus, 2001.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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)