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Lois Wescott papers

Identifier: IWA0437

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Scope and Contents

The Lois Wescott papers date from the 1860s to 2001 and measure 10 linear inches. They are arranged in five series: Biographical, Family, Canyon Pointe Chronicle, Slides, and Photographs.

The Biographical series includes Wescott's baby book, which mentions the family's bout with influenza in 1918; Wescott's seventh grade report on transportation; a book on flowers Wescott used while teaching school; and a reference spelling book Wescott used while editing the journal for the School of the Mines in Colorado. The "General" folder contains notes written by Wescott's daughter, Thyria Kathleen Wilson, which describe Wescott's life and provide details on some of the items in the collection; an article about the Atlantic Refining Company published in 1947 in The Atlantic Magazine, which includes a photo and short profile of Wescott; a banner given to Wescott upon her retirement from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Agency in 1980; and Wescott's 1928 American Red Cross swimming badges.

The Family series includes correspondence between members of the Wescott family including Lois Wescott, her sister Gwendolyn, her mother Geneva, her brother Eugene, and her maternal grandmother Ada Mae Wescott. In addition, the series includes family histories and memoirs written by Lois Wescott and her sister Gwendolyn.

The Canyon Pointe Chronicle series contains thirteen years of Canyon Pointe Chronicle newsletter, which Lois Wescott edited following her retirement. The Slides and Photographs series document Wescott's work and travel in California, Colorado, Venezuela, and Japan. Nineteenth-century photographs of Wescott's family in Hampton complete the collection.


  • Creation: 1860-2001


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

Lois Regina Wescott, geologist and genealogist, was born in 1916 to Roy and Geneva Moolick Wescott in Hampton, Iowa. Wescott had two older siblings, Gwendolyn and Verne, and a younger brother Eugene born when she was fifteen. Within a year of Eugene's birth, Wescott's father died. Lois Wescott completed high school and taught at a school near Hampton for several years before enrolling at the University of Iowa. Wescott, who spent so much time examining rocks that her friends nicknamed her "Rocky," pursued a degree in geology. She was the only woman to receive a degree in geology in 1941.

Following graduation, Wescott received a full scholarship to the University of Denver for graduate study. When her advisor, Dr. Margaret Boos, left the university to assist with the war effort, Wescott determined that it would be too difficult to complete her master's degree. She secured a job with Atlantic Refining Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and worked for oil companies in Caracas, Venezuela, and New Orleans before her daughter, Thyria Kathleen Wilson, was born in 1952.

Following her daughter's birth, Wescott could no longer find employment in the United States, so she worked in Japan as a geologic editor from 1952 to 1954. She returned to the United States and edited a journal for the School of the Mines in Golden, Colorado, from 1955 to 1956. She obtained a position as an atmospheric science technician at the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Agency in 1957 and remained there until she retired in 1980.

Once retired, Wescott moved to Canyon Pointe senior housing in Boulder, Colorado, where she edited the Canyon Pointe Chronicle monthly newsletter. She also became involved in genealogy and wrote a number of family histories.


10.00 linear inches

Language of Materials



Geology graduate of the University of Iowa who traveled to Japan and Venezuela to work for oil companies.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 786) were donated by Thyria Kathleen Wilson in 2001 and 2003 and subsequent years.

Heather Stecklein, 2002.
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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)