The Iowan Century (2006)


These fifteen interviews of Mayflower residents were done by five Grinnell College students as part of an 2006 alternative spring break. Interviews were compiled into the single, 55-page document, The Iowan Century: The Oral Histories of Fifteen Iowans

Individual interviews range from one to seven pages, and topics covered include school years, farm life, and World War II experiences. Also included in the document are photos of most of the participants, which have been included here, below, along with a quote from each interview. 

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People Included

Adams, Virgil

pg. 5-6

Man wearing a flannel shirt
“I was born in 1919, and my parents took me to house dances back in 1921. They’d take us upstairs and lay us on the bed while they went dancing downstairs.”

Burkle, Howard

pg. 7-10

Man wearing glasses
“Back in Ohio, I had gotten to the point where I was in sight of graduating, when the bombs hit Pearl Harbor, so the class of 1943 all left.”

Clark, Reginald

pg. 11

Man wearing glasses
“I worked as Head of Library for 33 years.”

Crooks, Hazel

pg. 12-16

Woman with a blanket behind her
“Before we, single women, weren’t counted as heads of the house, and so we had to pay more taxes. Well, I didn’t think this was fair, so I would write my Congressman telling him about it. And everyone said, ‘Hazel, you might as well quit, you’re just making a fool of yourself.’”

Doyle, Bill

pg. 17-18

Man smiling
“I had some pet sheep, and they followed me around.”

Grosenbach, Bubs

pg. 19-23

Woman wearing glasses, standing, smiling
“Most of the women did office work, but I didn’t want to do that. Instead, I became an electrician and worked on airplane parts because women didn’t do that.”

Heinselman, Velma

pg. 24-26

Woman wearing glasses, smiling
“One day, a salesman came and stepped in the septic tank ditch up to his knees. We never did find out what he was trying to sell.”

Hildebrand, Esther

pg. 27-29

Woman wearing glasses, grinning
“We started dating. We decided to run away during Christmas time, but couldn’t tell anybody because if you were married you couldn’t teach.”

Jacobs, Mabel

pg. 30-33

Woman in a white shirt
“There was a little church there that didn’t have a pastor and they thought they were going to lose their church.”

Johnson, Sally

pg. 34-36

Woman wearing glasses, smiling
“You could get in the Cadet Nurse Corps at seventeen and a half."

Jones, Laverne Clyde

pg. 37-39

Man smiling
“I would’ve taken all of the things I had to get out - and I did get out of the Navy."

Kelley, Irene

pg. 39-40

Woman wearing glasses
“Oh, I’s always somebody to stand up for the truth, don’t care who it is. I don’t believe in telling stories.”

Otto, Eloise

pg. 41-45

Woman with glasses, smiling
“We went everywhere that we could afford it. Even if we couldn’t afford it, we still went sometimes."

Perry, Homer

pg. 46-52

Man wearing glasses, smiling
“One time, when another math teacher was ill, I was pulled out of my classes and I taught all of the other students math on two different occasions.”

Puls, Don

pg. 53-55

Man with a shelf of books behind him
“At one point, he was stationed in Africa and called us in Iowa, but reversed the charges, so he didn’t have to pay and we did.”