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Off and Holsteen Family papers

Identifier: IWA0306

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Scope and Contents

The Off and Holsteen Family papers date from 1864 to 1970 and measure 2.5 linear feet. The papers are arranged in three series: Family, Tri-Delta Sorority and Photographs. The Family series provides a glimpse into two generations of the Off and Holsteen families depicting their lives through journals, date books and account books and presenting views into university life at the State University of Iowa.

The Family series is arranged alphabetically rather than chronologically. It includes the report cards of Dewitt and Mary Ruby Frampton from Boone County grade school through high school, 1895-1906. Mary Ruby Frampton's papers also include athletic booklets from the State University of Iowa that include rules for women's basketball in 1908, field hockey for men and women in 1903 and class demonstrations in physical training for women, 1912.

Frederick "Fritz" Holsteen's papers include account books he maintained from 1933-1936 while attending the State University of Iowa. His papers also include copies of the University of Iowa News Bulletin, both his B.A. and law school diplomas, his admission to the Iowa State Bar and a receipt for financial assistance he received from Mrs. Charles Mohland. Holsteen's correspondence includes letters he wrote to his parents and grandparents while attending the university. There is also a 1958 letter to then attorney Holsteen beseeching him to encourage his clients to donate their papers to the Iowa Historical Documents section of the State University of Iowa Library.

Harry E. Martin's papers consist of financial documents including federal income tax returns for 1920-1924 and 1936-1937 and some correspondence with the internal revenue service. There is also an itemized receipt for his mother's funeral expenses. Irene Martin's papers consist of account books, a date book and a journal that span the years 1921-1969. The entries to the date book and journal are not always written in sequence, nor are they all dated, however the account books are a meticulous record of the family's expenditures from 1921-1936. Harry E. Martin died unexpectedly from a stroke in 1938 at age 48. Irene Martin's journal and date book are a record of a widow making ends meet. They include a record of the boarders she took in, household repairs and expenses, and various illnesses, celebrations and events.

Charles E. Mohland's papers consist of a 1925 letter regarding the 1877 graduating class of the State University of Iowa College of Law and a roster of said class. Clarence R. Off's papers include a science notebook full of notes and diagrams, along with a life insurance policy he took out in 1912 while attending college. Harriet K. Off's papers include a single letter written by "Fritz" Holsteen two years before their marriage. Also included in her papers is a date book for a club that she and her brother, Robert, belonged to. Harriet K. Off's papers include several notebooks she made for school and church, including a home economics notebook containing recipes and examples of various stitches. There is also a scrapbook that Harriet K. Off put together from 1933-1937 depicting her life at the State University of Iowa and her involvement in the Tri- Delta Sorority.

Also contained in the Family series are several documents whose exact ownership cannot be determined. These are located in a sub-series titled General. There are several deeds and abstracts spanning nearly a hundred years from 1864 to 1953. There is an account book for the General Investment Company titled Edgewater Beach Volume III, which records the development and ownership of this property from 1939-1956. There is a journal and account book that mentions Irene Martin several times, particularly in conjunction with attending movies. The author also provides a critique of several of the movies attended. Also contained in the General sub-series is a catalog from the 1925 sixtieth anniversary of the State University of Iowa College of Law and the 1957 Rosebowl program, in which Iowa played.

The Tri-Delta Sorority series is divided into two sub-series: Collegiate and Burlington Alumnae Chapter, although much of the correspondence in the Burlington Alumnae Chapter sub-series pertains to the collegiate end of the sorority. The Collegiate sub-series contains brochures, by-laws, ceremonies, directories, a pledge exam, a songbook and copies of two newsletters: Star Points, 1968-1969 and Trident, 1966-1969. There is also a Trident scrapbook that spans the years 1908 thru 1936. The Burlington Alumnae Chapter consists of annual reports, by-laws, chapter calendars, chapter manuals, and rosters. The 1956 Charter for the group is also in the collection, along with presidents' notebooks spanning the years 1956 thru 1970. These notebooks contain notes and newspaper clippings regarding the chapter's activities. The Burlington Alumnae Chapter sub-series also contains correspondence. Of particular interest is a 1968 plea from a Tennessee Tri-Delta Sorority asking how to meet both the new university guidelines regarding non-discrimination and national Tri-Delta regulations. This letter is followed by several attempts to defend the sorority's membership guidelines and a call to place the topic on the agenda of the national convention.

The Photographs series includes several family photographs; among them a portrait of Katherine Off taken in 1902, two photographs of Harriet Off Holsteen and her mother Ruby Frampton Off taken in front of the Kappa Delta House in 1942 and 1945, and several of Harriet Off during her college days and active membership in the Tri-Delta Sorority. A photograph of the 1937 graduating class of the College of Law lists the last name Off as one of the members. There is also an undated photograph taken in front of the sorority and a 1960 photograph taken of members of the Burlington Alumnae Chapter.


  • Creation: 1864-1970


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

Clarence R. Off grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated in law from the State University of Iowa (now known as the University of Iowa) in Iowa City. He was the county attorney in Iowa County for many years. He married Mary Ruby Frampton of Boone, Iowa; who always went by the name Ruby. Ruby Frampton had attended the State University of Iowa where she was an avid athlete.

Clarence and Ruby Off raised their daughter, Harriet K. Frampton in North English, Iowa. She attended the State University of Iowa, where she was active in the Tri-Delta Sorority. Harriet earned a B.A. and then attended law school for a year, but did not finish. After graduating from the State University of Iowa, Harriet worked for a short time as secretary to Ivar Opstad, the superintendent of schools in Iowa City. She served as secretary in 1939 when the new high school, Iowa City High, was being built.

During college, Harriet Off met Frederick "Fritz" Mohland Holsteen. The couple was married in 1940 at the First Congregational Church in Iowa City. They had a daughter who became Mary Holsteen Palmberg. Married life for Harriet Off Holsteen included active membership in the Burlington Alumnae Chapter of the Tri-Delta Sorority.

Fritz Holsteen was born in Burlington, Iowa to Frederick S. and Leonore Holsteen. Frederick S. Holsteen was a practicing attorney, having graduated in law from the State University of Iowa in 1937. After serving in the cavalry in World War II, Fritz Holsteen went into law practice with his father in Burlington. Following his father's death, Fritz Holsteen continued practicing law until his death in 1977, serving as Burlington city attorney during part of that time.


2.50 Linear Feet

Photographs in boxes 3 and 5. boxes

Language of Materials



Two generations of an eastern Iowa family, many generations of which attended the University of Iowa.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 734) were donated by Mary Palmberg in 2000.

Lisa Mott, 2004.
Language of description
Script of description
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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)