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Oneita Griggs Fisher papers

Identifier: IWA0855

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Scope and Contents

The Oneita Griggs Fisher papers date from 1932 to 1967 and measure 2.5 linear inches. They include a file of correspondence from 1965 to 1966 related to her interests in conservation and historic preservation as well as her notes, photographs, research, and clippings for two articles, one on Lake Darling and the other about the Polishville church. Both articles were published in the Des Moines Register. Apart from a history of the Polishville Church written in 1932, all the contents of the collection date from the 1960s.

The Lake Darling files include research notes,photographs, and clippings about Lake Darling and the Lake Darling Youth Center near Brighton, Iowa in Washington County. Also included are notes and newspaper clippings about Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling, long-time cartoonist for the Des Moines Register and for whom Lake Darling was named in 1950.

The Polishville church files consist of information that Oneita Fisher gathered to help write a story about St. Mary's Church, Walnut Township, Jefferson County, an abandoned church near Brighton, Iowa that was known as the Polishville Church. Included is a history of the church written by parishioner Adeline Peck in 1932. A local priest was displeased about Fisher's article, which was published Sunday, March 26, 1967; his remarks and her response are among several letters included in the correspondence file. Especially noteworthy are two files of black and white photographs of the interior and exterior of the church taken by Oneita Fisher. A final file includes an ink drawing of the church by Iowa artist Bill Wagner.


  • Creation: 1932-1967


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been retained by the donor.

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

Oneita Griggs Fisher was born October 15, 1912, in Washington County, Iowa. Oneita Fisher was a columnist for the West Branch Times, the Washington (Iowa) Journal, and the Van Buren County Register. She also wrote for the Des Moines Register for a number of years. A book of poetry, To My First Martini, was published (in a run of 25 copies) in May 1962 at the Typographic Lab, Iowa City, Iowa, by her son, Ronald Fisher. She also wrote "Life in a Log Home," an article that appeared in Annals of Iowa in the Spring 1965 issue; it was later reprinted in book form for the Explorations in Iowa History Project, Price Laboratory School, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa. Her entry, "The Journals of George Henry Yewell," was published in Books at Iowa in 1966.

Oneita Griggs married James Richard Fisher; they had two children, Lola Kathleen and Ronald. In 1973, the Fishers purchased an historic brick home and the surrounding 13 acres in Van Buren County for $13,000. Their restoration of the Abner Martin House, built between 1856 and 1858, was featured in the Des Moines Register Picture magazine on February 7, 1982. In 1984 the home was added to the National HIstoric Register.

Oneita Fisher died April 8, 1999, in Keosauqua, Iowa.


2.50 linear inches

Language of Materials



Newspaper columnist and writer from Washington County, Iowa, who was interested in conservation and historic preservation.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 760) were donated by Kathy Fisher in 2001.

Related Materials

Lola Kathleen Fisher scrapbook. Kathy Fisher was Oneita Griggs Fisher's daughter.

The Gladys Talcott Rife papers include a folder on Oneita Fisher.

Oneita Fisher's books are held by the Department of Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries.

Joan Curbow, 2013
Language of description
Script of description

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)