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Frances Myattway papers

Identifier: IWA0875

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Scope and Contents

The Frances Myattway papers date from 1914 to 1918 and measure 0.25 linear inches. The Biographical series is composed of three flyers and a scrapbook documenting Myattway's youth in Tabor, Iowa. Nearly all of its 311 photographs are captioned by Myattway, who is featured in many of the photographs along with three friends who together made up the self-titled 'Lucky Four.' Myattway's brother Arthur is featured throughout along with her mother and 'Uncle Bert.' The scrapbook provides insight into the World War I period, including photographs of men in uniform and of the 'Third Liberty Loan Drive' parade.

The scrapbook provides insight into Myattway's travels, including an interracial girls' summer camp she attended in 1916, as well as a trip to Army Camp Holabird in Maryland. Myattway's school life features prominently, with photographs of student theatrical productions, high school graduation, her time at the Iowa State Normal School. A photo of her future husband, Lloyd Van Dorn, on a rowboat is captioned "Why so dreamy?" The scrapbook ends with photos of a trip to Washington, D.C.


  • Creation: 1914-1918


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

Frances Emmalee Myattway was born in 1899 in Patonsburg, Missouri, to Emmalee Bosisto Myattway (1861-1931) and Rev. Arthur Kyahno Myattway (1857-1909). Her father was born in Rangoon, Burma to parents who had been converted by a missionary Rev. J. B. Vinton. Arthur Myattway emigrated to Canada at the age of 19 to attend the seminary at Hamilton College. He settled in Tabor, Iowa, where he served as pastor for the local Baptist church and gave public lectures on his homeland and its customs prior to his death from tuberculosis in 1909.

Following her husband's death, Emmalee Mattway managed a boarding house where her two children and brother also lived. Frances Myattway attended Tabor High School and later the Iowa State Normal School in Cedar Falls, where she trained to become a teacher. In 1923 she married Lloyd Stanley Van Dorn (1898-1986) a credit manager with Cal Spray Chemical Corporation and World War I veteran. In 1926 they moved to Los Angeles and had two children, Talwa Jane Van Dorn, born in 1926, and Douglas Van Dorn, born in 1933. The Van Dorn family moved to Contra Costa County in Northern California, where Frances Myattway Van Dorn died in 1964.


0.25 linear inches

Language of Materials



Early twentieth-century scrapbook of a young woman in western Iowa.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 168) were transferred from the University of Iowa Special Collections Department in 2008.

Christina Jensen
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)