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Cheryl Britton papers

Identifier: IWA0873

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Scope and Contents

The Cheryl Britton papers are arranged in five series: Biographical, Travel, Correspondence, Photographs, and Artifacts.

The Biographical series (1903-2003) documents the lives of Cheryl Britton and her family, both the Whites and the Brittons. Included are documents from both her marriage to, and divorce from Chester Britton, information about her nursing career, formal diaries and notes jotted on calendars, the guest book from Britton's first condo, and family trees for both White and Britton families.

The Travel series (1949-1991) contains travel documents such as boarding passes and itineraries and travel journals and notes kept by Britton, including a few sketches. Much of this material dates from Britton's life after retirement from nursing, which allowed her to travel more frequently.

The Correspondence series (1907-2002) makes up the bulk of the collection. Most of the correspondence is either to or from Cheryl Britton, but it also contains communications between various members of the White and Britton families, including Edwardian era postcards sent to Chester Britton's maternal grandmother, Mary Mason. The series is organized according to the family member who wrote the items. Britton's cousin, Claude Conklin, wrote to her while serving in the United States Navy Air Corps during World War II, and her nephew William "Buck" Britton Jr. was a career Navy officer and wrote to Britton from the Naval Academy and his various postings around the United States and the globe.

The Photographs series (1890-2000) contains photographs from both the White and Britton families dating back to the 1890s, including both formal portraits and snapshots. The series also contains numerous photos from several decades of Britton's travels.

The Artifacts series (1860-1981) contains a number of certificates and diplomas awarded to members of the White and Britton families, organization-membership pins, Britton's nursing cap, and a hand-embroidered handkerchief handed down within the Britton family since 1860.


  • Creation: 1890-2003


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

Cheryl Gene White (pronounced with a hard "ch" as in church), eldest of Ruby Goad and Hershel White's four children, was born near Ferris, Illinois in 1910 before moving to Dedham, Iowa as a baby. Following Ruby White's death during the influenza pandemic of 1919, the family moved to Des Moines where the children were primarily raised by their grandmother Emma "Mother" White. Cheryl White graduated from Des Moines' Abraham Lincoln High School in 1928 and enrolled at the Iowa Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, completing her R.N. degree in 1931.

White married Chester "Chet" Francis Britton (1904 - 1968) in 1931. The couple had three children: a son who died in infancy, Jerry, and Nancy. Cheryl and Chet Britton divorced in 1959, but she remained close with the Britton family for the rest of her life.

In 1959, Britton and her daughter Nancy moved to southern California. After working several years as a private duty nurse, she joined the staff of Leisure World in Laguna Hills, where she spent the rest of her career. After retirement, Britton enjoyed gardening and travelling on group tours. She moved to Chico, California in 1992, near Nancy and her husband Al Loeffler, where she remained for the rest of her life. Cheryl Britton died in 2003.

Britton was an acquaintance of journalist Dora Jane Hamblin; they met while participating in the Camp Fire Girls at Camp Hantesa in Boone, Iowa.


4.00 Linear Feet

Photographs box 8, 9, 10, 12-18. boxes

Language of Materials



Career nurse and avid traveler who grew up in Dedham, Iowa and Des Moines.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 899) were donated by Nancy Loeffler in 2004.

Margaret Halterman
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)