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Wilda Jean Schobert papers

Identifier: IWA0180

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Scope and Contents

The Wilda Jean Schobert papers date from ca.1840 to 2000 and measure 12 linear inches. The papers are arranged in three series: Biographical, Family History, and Photographs.

The Biographical series consists of Jean Schobert's papers including a detailed autobiographical sketch and several newspaper clippings about her houses and the Omaha tornado she experienced in 1975. The education folders include a report card from 1927 and a undated booklet Ricketts made for a science class on flowers.

The Family History series is a considerable collection of papers from some of Schobert's family members. The bulk of the collections are the papers of Schobert's mother, Ruth Keran Ricketts. Most of the papers are transcribed correspondence between family members dating from the late 1800s through the 1930s. Keran Ricketts was a school teacher and her collection contains documents from several of the one room school houses that she taught in throughout her lifetime. The papers of Ruth Keran Rickett's mother, Amy Halferty Keran, are also integrated into this series. Amy was married to Francis "Leroy" Keran. This collection holds some correspondence dating back before the turn of the twentieth century and also a Halferty family genealogy. Also included is this series are some of Grace Ricketts Hensley's items, Jean's father's sister who moved to Webster City in 1972 where Jean was living at the time and Jean cared for her until her death in 1976. Grace Halferty was also a teacher and lived much of her adult life in California.

The Photographs series contains numerous photographs of Jean Schobert's family dating back to the 1840s, most of which are well-labeled with the names of the people in the pictures, the date of the photo, and sometimes with additional useful information. The series includes many photos from the early twentieth century. Jean Schobert's album consists largely of photos and news clippings about her Victorian era house in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Schobert's photos range from her high school graduation to her wedding, with a few photos from later in life. The Ruth Keran Ricketts folder has the largest number of photos, including several photos of her and her siblings as children, her wedding, and other family gatherings throughout her lifetime. The Amy Halferty Keran folder consists of a handful of photos of her descendants from mid-19th and early-20th centuries. The Grace Ricketts folder contains photos of Mike Ricketts' (Jean Schobert's father) family. It includes pictures of Grace Ricketts as a young girl and as a teacher.


  • Creation: 1840-2000


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

Wilda Jean Ricketts Schobert was born on April 20, 1920 to R.H. "Mike" Ricketts and Ruth Keran Ricketts in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Shortly after her birth, the family moved back to Ricketts Farm in Percival, Iowa, where Jean Ricketts attended third through eighth grades at Ricketts School on the family farm. Ricketts went to Sydney High School for one week in 1934 before moving to Webster City to attend St. Bernard's Academy, a Catholic school, from which she graduated in 1937. Ricketts attended college at Iowa State University for a year, and then moved back to Fremont County to be closer to home; she continued taking classes at a nearby community college.

While visiting a friend in Toledo, Ohio, Ricketts met Frank Schobert; they married and lived in Ohio for several years. The couple had one son, Dick; they later divorced. Throughout her career Jean Schobert worked mostly in accounting, but during World War II she was a telephone operator. Besides Iowa, she lived in Missouri, California, and Nebraska, where she enjoyed buying and fixing up old houses. After her mother's death in 1976, Schobert moved back to Ricketts Farm to live with her son, who is the fifth generation of the family to farm there. In 2002, Wilda Jean Ricketts Schobert passed away.


12.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Percival, Iowa farm woman and club woman.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 227) were donated by Jean Schobert in 2000 and 2001.

Related Materials

Elvira Gaston Platt papers (IWA): Jean Schobert was a descendent of Platt.

Friendly Neighbors Club records (IWA): Jean Schobert was a member of this club.

Percival Needle Crafters records (IWA): Jean Schobert was a member of this club.

The Nebraska State Historical Society has a few items pertaining to Grace Ricketts, who taught school in Nebraska.

Britt Nelson, 2005.
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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)