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Hazelle Keir Schmuecker papers

Identifier: IWA0244

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Scope and Contents

The Schmuecker papers date from 1983 to 2007 and measure 2.5 linear inches. The papers include Autobiographical essays and family history, Correspondence and cards, Verse, and Newspaper clippings.

The four books of essays contain Schmuecker's memories and stories of six generations of the Schmuecker and Keir families. These writings concern all aspects of work, marriage, and civic involvement of the several generations, as well as memories of the Depression. Schmuecker reflects on her own work as a teacher, writer, speaker, judge at fairs, and gardener, and on her artistry in painting and pottery. She writes engagingly of the joy and difficulty of rural life during the1930s and reflects on the risks and rewards in agriculture and livestock production which she and her husband maintained until the 1970s. Her writing reveals the many ways lives are abruptly changed due to automobile accidents, war, and illness.

The correspondence and cards consists of letters she wrote to her nephew, Richard Keir and his wife, Grace Keir.

The Verse series contains three books of verse written and illustrated by Schmuecker. The Newspaper clippings series contain a profile on Schmuecker at eighty-three years of age and an announcement celebrating her eighty-fifth birthday.


  • Creation: 1983-2007


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor and her heirs.

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

Hazelle Keir, schoolteacher and artist, was born September 8, 1907 in the town of Nemaha, in Sac County, Iowa. Upon graduation from high school she taught in a rural school for one year and then attended Iowa State University from which she received a bachelor's degree in 1931. She married Ervin J. Schmuecker in 1932; together they farmed, raised Angus livestock, and reared three children. Schmuecker taught school in Blairstown, Iowa for six years and Norway, Iowa for fourteen years, retiring in 1972. In 1982 Schmuecker attended a writing class. She and several classmates continued the group, naming it "Way with Words," meeting for breakfast and then critiquing each other's writing. Schmuecker's prodigious writing grew from this experience. Hazelle Schmuecker lived to be 100 years old; she passed away on September 21, 2007.


2.50 linear inches

Language of Materials



Autobiographical essays and family history of six generations by rural schoolteacher, homemaker, and artist.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 339) were donated by Hazelle Keir Schmueckerin 1996 and by Grace and Richard Keir (donor no. 909) in 2008.

Margaret Richardson, 1996.
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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)