Voices of American homemakers oral history project audio recordings, 1977-1983

Overview of the Collection

National Extension Homemakers Council
Voices of American homemakers oral history project audio recordings
1977-1983 (inclusive)
172 audiocassettes
Collection Number
The voices of American homemakers oral history project audio recordings (1977-1983) consist of interviews with 196 women throughout the United States about homemaking in the first half of the twentieth century. The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a major grant to the National Extension Homemakers Council for a three-year nationwide project to collect, process, and disseminate representative oral histories from rural homemakers throughout the country.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT

Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Materials must be used on-site; no use of original material, access copies will be made available for viewing. Five business days advanced notice required. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law, condition of the material, or by donor.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

In 1983, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a major grant to the National Extension Homemakers Council (NEHC) for a three-year nationwide project to collect, process, and disseminate representative oral histories from rural homemakers throughout the country. The council is a national nonprofit educational organization made up of 30,000 organized groups (or clubs) in forty-four states and two territories, with a membership of approximately 500,000. It is one of the largest women's organizations in the country with a predominantly rural and small town membership. The clubs which comprise the NEHC are the audience groups of the Home Economics Division of the Cooperative Extension Service. Typically, these clubs meet monthly or semi-monthly for educational programming in the areas of home economics and community service. The project, called "Voices of American Homemakers," combined an extensive volunteer effort with careful attention directed to the professional canons of oral history practice. Professional historians guided the effort by offering substantive perspectives on women's history and technical counsel on oral history. Under the terms of the grant, one complete set of project tapes and associated materials were to be presented to one repository in each state at no cost to the institution. The primary product of the effort was a collection of 203 oral histories. In the final edited and transcribed version there are 196 interviews by women from thirty-six states. Typically they describe homemaking, child rearing, and family management in the small towns or rural areas where they live. A seminar was held during the National Conference of Extension Homemaker's Council in 1983. It featured authorities in the fields of oral history and women's studies who presented papers based on material extracted from the tapes. Following each of the presentations, an audience of over 200 homemakers participated in discussion of the points raised in each paper. A slide/sound program was produced in 1984, using photographs and excerpts from the taped interviews. Finally, in 1985 a book was written based on material gathered from the project. Titled Voices of American Homemakers, it proved to be well received and has been reprinted. A copy of the book has been placed in the Special Collections Western Americana Department. The final dissemination of materials was completed in 1986 when the previously selected repositories in each state received the interview transcriptions. These include a subject index, cassette tapes of the interviews, and a bound volume of the paper presented at the 1983 seminar.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Voices of American homemakers oral history project audio recordings (1977-1983) consist of interviews with 196 women born 1887-1961 about homemaking throughout the United States.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The majority of the interviews are arranged alphabetically by American state.

Related Materials

Transcripts of the interviews are located in the Voices of American homemakers oral history project (Ms 472) in the Manuscripts Division of Special Collections.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
1 Alaska
Lillian Eckert, Nancy Rowland
2 Alaska
Evie Foster, L. Burgoyne
3 Alaska
Gussie Mumey, Rieta Walker
4 Alabama
Bertha Andrews, Nina Langley
5 Alabama
Sallie Bell, Mildred Ennis
6 Alabama
Ouida Harwell, Opal Price
7 Alabama
Elizabeth McAdams, Miriam Watkins
8 Alabama
Sue Moman, Jean Moon
9 Alabama
Opal Price, Madge Beeton
10 Arkansas
Opal Cypert, Katherine Skelton
11 Arkansas
Vivian Jefferson, Katherine Skelton
12 Arkansas
Essie Simmons, Minerva Houser
13 Arkansas
Dorothy Tolley, Minerva Houser
14 Arkansas
Ann Webb, Minerva Houser
15 Colorado
Lois Kevan, Hazel Leininger
16 Colorado
Hazel Leininger, Misaye Uno
17 Colorado
Pearl Mehl, Hazel Leininger
18 Colorado
Misaye Uno, Hazel Leininger
19 Delaware
Dorothy Tyrawski, Jean Skibinski
20 Delaware
Dorothy Tyrawski, Jean Skibinski
21 Florida
Thelma Barnes, Louise Lindberg
22 Florida
Eunice Cameron, Louise Lindberg
23 Florida
Elsie Gould, Adelaide Moores
24 Florida
Emily Harper, Louise Lindberg
25 Florida
Pearl Laffite, Louise Lindberg
26 Florida
Katherine Taylor, Adelaide Moores
27 Georgia
Glenwood Homemakers, Mary Hartley
28 Georgia
Past Presidents, Mary Hartley
29 Hawaii
Kazuko Kurose, Charlotte Nakamura Mary Soon, Charlotte Nakamura Julia Souza, Bert Kikuchi
30 Hawaii
Betty Sakate, Gladys Brown
31 Idaho
Ruth Bright, unknown
32 Idaho
Dorothy Carlson, Ruth Bright
33 Illinois
Floy Chapman, Eleanor Ross
34 Illinois
Charlene Diel, Eleanor Ross
35 Illinois
Marjorie Whitney, Eunice Pagel
36 Illinois
Catherine Wycoff, Eleanor Ross
37 Indiana
Iva Crouse, Carol Schroeder
38 Indiana
Beulah Grinstead, Wanetta Edgerly
39 Indiana
Pearl McCall, Ruth Colbert
40 Indiana
Masa Scheerer, Mona Harley
41 Indiana
Neva Schlatter, Julia Binkley
42 Kansas
Evelyn Alden, Athol Reusser
43 Kansas
Sophia Bigge, Athol Reusser
44 Kansas
Sophia Bigge, Athol Reusser
45 Kansas
Brenda Van Meter, Athol Reusser
46 Kentucky
Margie Brookshire, Mabel Bertram
47 Kentucky
Mary Depew, Mabel Bertram
48 Kentucky
Anna Evans, Mabel Bertram
49 Kentucky
Mary Fouts, Mabel Bertram
50 Kentucky
Ethel Jury, Mabel Bertram
51 Louisiana
Irene Clause, Irene Clause
52 Louisiana
Zilphia Edwards, Rebecca Fortenberry
53 Louisiana
Billie Jones, Doris Ashley
54 Louisiana
Virginia McIntyre, Doris Ashley
55 Louisiana
Mabel Thompson, Elaine Vidrine
56 Maryland
Eileen Moon, Jeanette Green
57 Michigan
Wilma Bre, Bethel Schmidt
58 Michigan
Gladys Fox, Frances Michalek
59 Michigan
Rubie Gillion, unknown
60 Michigan
Luelle Hamilton, Petra Swanson
61 Michigan
Edith Huffman, unknown
62 Michigan
Emma Jones, Joan Luerr
63 Michigan
Cecilia Lamb, Rhea Thayer
64 Michigan
Estella Myers, Joan Luerr
65 Michigan
Arvilla Parshall, unknown
66 Minnesota
Persistent Pals, Mary Meyer
67 Mississippi
Ruth Irwin, Mrs. E.R. McKnight
68 Mississippi
Orrie Little, Marian Carmichael
69 Mississippi
Jane Morgan, Marian Carmichael
70 Mississippi
Betty Newman, Mrs. E.R. McKnight
71 Mississippi
Mrs. B.N. Simrall, Mrs. E.R. McKnight
72 Missouri
Edith Fennel, Donna Howard
73 Missouri
Nellie Frost, Betty Reynolds
74 Missouri
Edith Gladden, Janet Vaughn
75 Missouri
Verna Lefman, Betty Reynolds
76 Missouri
Lillie Stuery, Betty Reynolds
77 Montana
Marie Carlile, Arlene Stoner Lora Foster
78 Montana
Lillie Badgeley, Arlene Stoner Myra Daniel, Arlene Stoner
79 Montana
Luella Hardie, Arlene Stoner
80 Montana
Pearl Herndon, Gayle Muggli
81 Montana
Elsie Rieger, Arlene Stoner
82 Montana
Daisy Taylor, Arlene Stoner
83 Nebraska
Anna Coburn, Selma Stevens
84 Nebraska
Eva Gill, Norma Schneemeyer
85 Nebraska
Nellie Yost, Sandra Hansen
86 Nebraska
Nellie Yost, Sandra Hansen
87 New Hampshire
Carolyn Dame, Goldie Roscoe
88 New Hampshire
Priscilla Lloyd, Goldie Roscoe
89 New Hampshire
Helen Merrill, Goldie Roscoe
90 New Hampshire
Lora Tosey, Goldie Roscoe
91 New Hampshire
Eleanor Whittemore, Goldie Roscoe
92 New Hampshire
H. Barnstead, Goldie Roscoe
93 New Mexico
Marie Cauhape, Beatrice Stagl
94 New Mexico
Marie Cauhape, Beatrice Stagl
95 New Mexico
Nona Berry, Mary Popejoy
96 New Mexico
Ima Fairly, Beatrice Stagl
97 New Mexico
Jessie Halsell, Beatrice Stagl
98 New Mexico
Jessie Halsell, Beatrice Stagl
99 New Mexico
Jessie Halsell, Beatrice Stagl
100 New Mexico
Jessie Halsell, Beatrice Stagl
101 New Mexico
Ruth James, Mary Popejoy
102 New Mexico
Florence McDonald, Beatrice Stagl
103 New Mexico
Florence McDonald, Beatrice Stagl
104 New Mexico
Jalie Martin, Mary Popejoy
105 New Mexico
Frances Matthews, Mary Popejoy
106 New Mexico
Mary lMoore, Mary Popejoy
107 North Carolina
Theo Hammond, Virginia Harris
108 North Carolina
Nancy Madre, Virginia Harris
109 North Carolina
Letha McCall, Virginia Harris
110 North Carolina
Henrietta Phillips, Virginia Harris
111 North Carolina
Lucy Wilson, Virginia Harris
112 North Dakota
Margaret Lien, Arlene Sagness
113 North Dakota
Cora Lykken, Maryadele Knudson
114 North Dakota
Mary Mootz, Maryadele Knudsen
115 North Dakota
Minnie Ness, Arlene Sagness
116 North Dakota
Karen Retzlaff, Maryadele Knudsen
117 Ohio
Sarah Atkins, Eva Barger Jeanette Stratton, Eva Barger Nellie Stratton, Eva Barger
118 Ohio
Lura Hess, Eva Barger
119 Ohio
Mary Jonas, Eva Barger
120 Ohio
Mary Shultz, Eva Barger Winifred Thrush, Eva Barger
121 Ohio
Betty Wenig, Eva Barger
122 Oklahoma
Sarah Bell, Hester Sickles
123 Oklahoma
Elba Johnston, Hester Sickles
124 Oklahoma
Mary Skelley, Hester Sickles
125 Oklahoma
Zelma Wood, Hester Sickles
126 Oregon
Marie Brown, Dorothy Klock
127 Oregon
Dorris Graves, Dorthy Klock
128 Oregon
Dorothy Personnette, Dorothy Klock
129 Oregon
Alice Wand, Dorothy Klock
130 Oregon
Saundra Zook, Dorothy Klock
131 South Carolina
Pat Gates, Bee Cochran
132 South Carolina
Nona Jennings, Bee Cochran
133 South Carolina
Hazel Johnson, Bee Cochran
134 South Carolina
Etta Sellers, Bee Cochran
135 South Carolina
Etta Sellers, Bee Cochran
136 South Dakota
Marge and Carla Kleinjan, Linda Svec
137 South Dakota
Christine Gaffin, Arlene Erickson
138 South Dakota
Byrdie Johnson, Evelyn Beug
139 South Dakota
Minnie Murphey, Laura Grubl
140 South Dakota
Florence Phillips, Arlene Erickson
141 South Dakota
Marjorie Pontius, Linda Svec
142 South Dakota
Irska Stroschein, Linda Svec
143 South Dakota
Ina Tate, Linda Svec
144 South Dakota
Cleo Tyler, unknown
145 South Dakota
F. Jenson, unknown
146 Tennessee
Aileen Cole, Marian Mariner
147 Tennessee
Hautie Nelson, Alpha Worrell
148 Tennessee
Tressa Waters, Marian Mariner
149 Tennessee
Julia White, Marian Mariner
150 Virginia
Mrs. Irby Arnette, Mildred Reeves
151 Virginia
Janet Cassell, Mildred Reeves
152 Virginia
Mrs. Ray Cassell, Mildred Reeves
153 Virginia
Corria Ratliff, Mildred Reeves
154 Washington
Violet Cottrell, Esther Pogorele
155 Washington
Violet Cottrell, Esther Pogorele
156 Washington
Edna Dagnen, Esther Pogorele
157 Washington
Edna Dagnen, Esther Pogorele
158 Washington
Elsa Skiles, Esther Pogorele
159 West Virginia
Diana Barton, Margaret Lewis
160 West Virginia
Deanna Cook, Margaret McKenzie
161 West Virginia
Pearl Faulkner, Margaret McKenzie
162 West Virginia
Margaret Hill, Margaret McKenzie
163 West Virginia
Gertrtude Humphries, Margaret McKenzie
164 West Virginia
Beatrice McCann, Margaret McKenzie
165 West Virginia
Ansel Peterson, Margaret Lewis
166 West Virginia
Phyllis Sullivan, Margaret McKenzie
167 Wisconsin
Lillian Blonien, Georgia Hoberg
168 Wisconsin
Celia Lausted, Georgia Hoberg
169 Wisconsin
Josephine Nixon, Georgia Hoberg
170 Wyoming
Mary Raymond, Dianna Cosner
171 Wyoming
Jennie Williams, Katherine Martini
172 Wyoming
Jennie Williams, Katherine Martini

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Family--United States
  • Home economics--United States
  • Housewives--United States--Interviews
  • Rural conditions

Geographical Names

  • United States--Rural conditions

Form or Genre Terms

  • sound recordings