Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

RS 16/3/4/55
Elva J. Brown (1912-    )
4-H Scrapbooks, 1925-1942

Descriptive summary


Brown, Elva J. (1912-    )


4-H Scrapbooks




1.67 linear ft. (1 oversize box)

collection number:

RS 16/3/4/55


University Archives, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information


Open for research

publication rights:

Consult Head, Special Collections Department

preferred citation:

Elva J. Brown 4-H Scrapbooks, RS 16/3/4/55, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.


Biographical note

Elva J. Brown was born on November 1, 1912, to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Brown of Boone, Iowa. As a youth, she joined the Jackson Jolly Janes 4-H Club of Boone County. She completed several projects in baking, canning, clothing, and home furnishing. Brown was an active member of her club and over the years and served as secretary, historian, reporter, and song leader. Brown was elected President (1931-1932) of Boone County Girls' 4-H Clubs and also served as Secretary (1932-1933) of the State Girls' 4-H Clubs. She attended the state convention (1932) and National 4-H Congress in Chicago (1932).

Brown continued to be active in 4-H after she reached the maximum age to be a member of the youth program. She served as the Boone County 4-H Girls' Club music chairwoman for a number of years. She also accompanied the Boone County Rural Women's Chorus (1939) as they performed in various competitions and at events across the county and state. She later married Orrin Geymon of Boone, Iowa.


Collection description

The collection (1925-1942) consists of two 4-H scrapbooks and one 4-H record book created by Elva J. Brown. The record book contained club programs, letters of recommendation, record books for 4-H projects, a list of personal and club activities, her 4-H story, photographs, newspaper clippings, reports on her experiences at the Iowa State Fair and the 4-H Club Congress in Chicago, and souvenirs such as programs, postcards, and certificates. A number of images and clippings removed from book, possibly to be used in a younger sister's record book as it appears Elva reused some material previously used by her sister Anna.

In 1932, Elva was solicited by the Farm Bureau women of her township to be a cooperator with the county extension agent in that year's 4-H home furnishings project. As a cooperator she attended a special training school for other cooperators and leaders presented by the county home demonstration agent in the proper methods to complete the project. They were to take what they learned back to their local school district to teach those interested in the methods for refinishing furniture, chair caning, and textile block printing. The second scrapbook contains bulletins, correspondence, programs, and forms related to Brown's role as cooperator for the home furnishings project.

The third item in the collection is a large scrapbook containing 4-H souvenirs and memorabilia Brown accumulated during her time in 4-H. Materials include her name badge for the National 4-H Congress (1932) along with programs and clippings related to the trip; Iowa Farm Bureau Federation women's luncheon program (1933) and button/name badge; state girls' convention programs (1931-1942); a 4-H Club News newsletter; and news clippings.

Some related collections include the Iowa 4-H Records (RS 16/3/4), the Iowa 4-H Foundation Records (RS 16/3/7), the Jessie Field Shambaugh Collection (RS 16/3/60), and the 4-H record books and papers of James Kearns (RS 16/3/66), Verneil Branstad (RS 16/3/4/51), Marie Mann (RS 16/3/4/52), Lucille Peterson (RS 16/3/4/53), and Evelyn Peterson (RS 16/3/4/54).


Container list







Loose news clippings removed from large scrapbook

1938-1939, n.d.



Loose programs and newsletters removed from large scrapbook and cooperator's scrapbook




Record book (14- 2x4" b/w and 1- 3x5" b/w photographs)




Scrapbook: bulletins, correspondence, programs, and forms related to Brown's role as cooperator for home furnishings project




Scrapbook: memorabilia and programs related to National 4-H Club Congress, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation programs, and state girls' convention