MsC 599

  Manuscript Register


Collection Dates: 1925 -- 1994
12.5 linear ft.

This document describes a collection of materials held by the
Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1420
Phone: 319-335-5921
Fax: 319-335-5900

Posted to Internet: January 1998
Addenda: 1980, 1983, 1985 (1 and 2), 1989 (1 and 2), 1991, 1993
, 2009, July 2009

Acquisition Note: This collection was given to the University of Iowa by Jeannette Eyerly over the years 1970 to 1993.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Photographs: Boxes 3 and 5

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright:  Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on "Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials"

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Table of Contents

Biographical note

Scope and contents

Box 1 Drop-Out -- The World of Ellen March

Box 2 The World of Ellen March -- See Dave Run

Box 3 Letter and Certificate of Appreciation -- The Seeing Summer

Box 4 Correspondence

Box 5 Correspondence -- Something About the Author

Box 6 Something About the Author -- Writing Young Adult Novels

Biographical Note

Jeannette Hyde Eyerly was born in Topeka, Kansas in 1908. Her family moved to Des Moines, Iowa when she was still a youngster. There she attended Drake University, although she transferred to the University of Iowa in her senior year and graduated in 1930. In 1932, she married Frank Eyerly, a newspaperman for the Des Moines Register and Tribune. Although she had her first publication at the age of eight, her first novel was not published until 1962. She had, however, published short stories and articles for many years, writing under her own name and a number of pseudonyms. Her first novel, More Than a Summer Love, was written after her daughters had made some rather uncomplimentary remarks about contemporary books aimed at teenagers. Thus began Jeannette Eyerly's career writing for young adults. In her nearly twenty novels, she dealt with such serious topics as drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, and abortion. Her books have been translated into many languages. Ms. Eyerly died on August 18, 2008, at the age of 100.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Jeannette Eyerly consist of six boxes (approximately 12.5 linear feet) of manuscript material dating from 1925 to 1994. Given to the University of Iowa by Jeannette Eyerly over a period of years (1970-1993), each subsequent year's addition has been appended to the earlier gifts. The collection of papers is made up of research, correspondence, notes, early drafts, page proofs, galleys, publicity, and reviews for many of her novels. Included are Drop-Out, Gretchen's Hill, More Than a Summer Love, See Dave Run, The Seeing Summer, and The Leonardo Touch. There is also biographical material, correspondence from school children, and other writings by Eyerly. Correspondence from other writers include letters from: Paul Corey, John T. Frederick, Lee Hadley, Annabelle Irwin, MacKinlay Kantor, Julie Jensen McDonald, Mary Kay Phelan, and others.

Related Materials

The manuscript for Disaster Dog is held by the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota.

Frank Eyerly's papers are at Iowa State University

Box 1


Interview questionnaire and survey of drop-outs in the Des Moines high schools

Outline notes and miscellaneous rewritten pages (with corrections)

First draft

Typescript (with corrections)

Galley proofs

The Girl Inside

Original manuscript - first draft (with revisions) (2 folders)

Printer's copy (with corrections)

Galley proofs (with corrections)

A Girl Like Me

Early draft (with revisions) (2 folders)

Xerox copy of editor's typescript (with editor's comments)

Gretchen's Hill

First draft (with revisions and criticisms) - last chapter missing

Various corrections and revisions made prior to the second draft

More Than A Summer Love

Early draft (with notes and revisions) - first title: Casey, To You (2 folders)

Editor's typescript (with revisions)

Galley proofs (with corrections)

The World of Ellen March

First draft (with revisions)

Revisions made prior to the second draft

Box 2

 The World of Ellen March (cont.)

Printer's page proofs

Galley proofs

Bonnie Jo, Go Home. Xerox of version sent to publisher

Business correspondence, 1944 -- 1961 (5 folders)

Correspondence with young adults, 1973 -- 1974

Family Diary, drafts, carbons, tear sheets, syndicate releases, promotional articles and leaflets, miscellaneous undated correspondence (2 folders)

Miscellaneous writings

"Don't Let Your Eyes Have It" and " Your Children's Eye Hazards" (carbons)

Dearest Kate (early parts of the book) and "Bundle from Heaven" (drafts)

Valeria Griffith: " How to be a Parent" (originals of two columns)

Fragments, outlines, etc.

The Phaedra Complex. Draft with corrections

Promotional material on Eyerly

The Senator, Emily and Me. Draft of version sent to publishers, later published as Radigan Cares)

1980 Addition

He's My Baby Now. Typescript - carbon

The Leonardo Touch

Typescript - carbon - with corrections (2 copies of chapter 3)

Publisher's typescript - with revisions

Page proofs

Untitled manuscript. Typescript carbon

1983 Addition

See Dave Run

Early draft (with corrections)

Printer's page proofs (with corrections)

Typescript carbon

Box 3

Letter and certificate of appreciation from Governor Ray for service on the Commission for the Blind.

Commission for the Blind. Taping and correspondence.

Miscellaneous. Including a press release, runaway article, and See Dave Run cover

The ALAN Review, Winter 1981, Vol. 8 no.2 (contains Eyerly talk)


1960 -- 1966

1972 -- 1973





April 1985 Addition

Angel Baker, Thief

Correspondence -- 1984

Rough draft -- typescript with holograph corrections

Final draft -- typescript with holograph corrections

Galley proofs

Diagnosis. Poem -- rough drafts, typescript with holograph corrections

If I Loved You Wednesday. Edited manuscript, typescript with holograph corrections

The Seeing Summer. First draft and research, typescript with holograph corrections (2 copies of ch. 4)


December 1976 -- November 1978


1980 (with 2 photographs)



1983 -- Callanan school visit

1984 -- Francis Howell school visit

 November 1985 Addition

Correspondence, 1977 -- 1985. Including letters from Robert D. Ray and John C. Culver

Correspondence from children, 1985

The Seeing Summer, 1985. A short dramatization of certain scenes from The Seeing Summer presented by the Perkins Elementary School in Des Moines, IA., along with letters from the children participating in the production

 1989 Addition

 Box 4


1944 -- 1945. Including letters from Paul Corey and John T. Frederick

1946 -- 1947. Including a letter from A.B. Guthrie, Jr.

1948 -- 1956

1974, 1983 -- 1985

1986. Including a letter from Fletcher Knebel


"I Blame Divorce" Radio play, 1948

"The Perennial Roomer," Ladies Home Journal, vol. 64, # 8(August 1947) pp. 52 -- 53, 180 -- 183

Report cards (J. Eyerly's), 1925 -- 1926

1989 Addition (2)

Angel Baker, Thief. Notes, dust jacket, etc.

Biographical material, 1969 -- 1994

Book reviews, 1971 -- 1987

Children's Reading Round Table, 1981 -- 1985

Clippings, 1963 -- 1988, undated


1962 -- 1970. Including letters from Joe Garagiola, Neal Smith and Jack Miller


1972 -- 1977

1978 -- 1979. Including a letter from Julie Jensen Mcdonald

1980. Including a letter from Ann Landers

1981. Including letters from Mary Kay Phelan


1983. Including letters from Lee Hadley and Ann Irwin

January -- July 1984

August -- December 1984. Including letters from Bill Keane and Mary Kay Phelan

1985. Including a letter from Julie Jensen McDonald

1986 -- 1988

Box 5

Correspondence (cont.)

Undated. Including letters from Julie Jensen McDonald and Mary Kay Phelan

Family Diary

He's My Baby, Now

Book reviews and clippings regarding the television adaptation, 1977 -- 1980

Material regarding the proposal to ban the book, 1977 -- 1980

"How Newspapers Can Woo Women Readers" Speech

If I Loved You Wednesday. Penultimate typescript draft, with corrections and revisions

Iowa Commission for the Blind, 1980

Kegger. Typescript of a novel written by a 9th grade communications class at Webster City Junior High School, 1986

"The Lay of a Lay Librarian." Undated essay by Jeannette Eyerly

Mental health care, community development, etc. (charities in which Eyerly participates)

Miscellaneous pages from various unidentified manuscripts

Newspaper articles, editorials written by Jeannette Eyerly, 1984 -- 1996

"Notes from the Underground." Holograph draft of a story about a hospital stay



See Dave Run. Illustration and a page of a printer's proof

The Seeing Summer

Early typescript with revisions and corrections

Miscellaneous page revisions

Typescript with corrections and revisions

Editor's typescript with revisions and corrections

Printer's typescript with corrections

Book reviews

Appendix A of a playlet adapted by Beth Couch

Seth and Me and Rebel Makes Three

Typescript of a rough draft with revisions, corrections, and miscellaneous pages

Early typescript draft with corrections and revisions

Reviews and dust jacket

Someone to Love Me

Research material, 1980 -- 1986

Incomplete typescript of a rough draft with corrections and revisions

Early typescript draft with corrections and revisions

Incomplete final typescript with a page of revisions

Typescript pages with revisions and corrections

Typescript carbon

Typescript carbon

West Virginia Library Association, Oct. 1980. 65th annual conference


July 1991 Addendum

"All For One" Short story by Jeannette Eyerly for the Toronto Star Weekly, Nov. 27, 1954

The Seeing Summer. Appendix A: A playlet adapted by Beth Couch, draft

Someone to Love Me

Blue line proof with corrections

Final page proof

Page proofs with numbered lines and corrections

Page proofs with corrections

Page proofs with corrections

Printers notes.

Typescript draft with corrections

Something About the Author. Autobiography Series. Joyce Nakamura ed. Detroit: Gale Research, 1990. Jeannette Hyde Eyerly, p. 87 -- 102

Box 6

Something About the Author (cont.)

Early typescript draft with corrections and revision edited by daughter Susan

Typescript draft with corrections and revisions edited by daughter Jane

Typescript draft. 2 copies

Off print

December 1993 Addendum

Arnold, Virginia A. and Carl B. Smith. Winning Moments. New York: Macmillan Publishing , 1990. Including partial text of novel The Seeing Summer, p. 412 -- 422

Autobiography written by Jeannette Hyde Eyerly. Published in Something About the Author, 1989

Christopher Awards. 1969 -- 1970. Press releases


Letters sent between Jeannette Eyerly, Lee Hadley and Annabelle Irwin, 1984 -- 1988.

1948 -- 1986. Including letters from Cloris Leachman and MacKinlay Kantor.



1989 -- 1992. Including a letter from Paul Corey.


Family Diary by Jeannette Eyerly and Valeria Winkler Griffith [ca. 1958] Written under pseudonym Jeannette Griffith

Gift receipts from the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota, 1970 -- 1971, 1988 -- 1989

Miscellaneous items

1957 -- 1987

1988 -- 1989

Polk County Mental Health Center Board, Inc. Annual meeting report, 1988

Remodeling Invoices, 1940 -- 41

Reviews and advertisements of books authored and co-authored by Jeanette Eyerly, 1968 -- 1988 and undated

Royalties and commissions vouchers dated 1969 -- 1970


"The Anomaly of Adolescent Literature" written and given by Jeanette Eyerly, Nov. 20, 1979

"Luncheon Talk to Midwest Federation of Library Associations." Written and given by Jeanette Eyerly, Nov. 4, 1983

Where the Heart Is. Unpublished manuscript, 1945

Chapters I -- V.

Chapters VI -- XIV

Chapters XV -- XXV

Writing Young Adult Novels: How to Write Stories that Today's Teens Want to Read by Hadley Irwin and Jeanette Eyerly, 1988. (Alternate titles during the writing process were The Write Way: A Novel Approach to Young Adult Literature and How to Write the Young Adult Novel)

Typescript with corrections and revisions

Typescript with corrections and revisions

 Typescript with corrections and revisions

Permissions for inclusions, 1986 -- 1987

April 2009 Addendum


Box 7

July 2009 Addendum

Note: This addendum was received after the death of Mrs. Eyerly, and the notes below were provided by her daughter, Jane Eyerly Kozuszek


----. "2 Writers Heard by Librarians. "Des Moines Tribune, November 9, 1964. Workshop sponsored by Iowa State Traveling Library.

----. [Article about Eyerly]. READ The Magazine for Reading and English, January 21, 1972

----. "Author has winning formula." Fairfield (Iowa) Ledger, May 19, 1980

----. "Author of books for teens to make visit. " Fairfield (Iowa) Ledger, May 7, 1980

----. "The Care is Easier than the Feeding." Washington (D.C.) Post, April 19, 1963. Eyerly and four other editors' wives took part in a panel discussion at a meeting of the American Association of Newspaper Editors.

----. "Curious author attracted youth with reality." Impressions, Spring 1999. This newsletter is published by Wesley Retirement Services. In late 1991 Eyerly and Frank moved to an apartment at 3524 Grand Ave., about half-way between 678-26th street (where Eyerly had spent her childhood) and 231-42nd street (the home Frank & Eyerly built in about 1940).

----. "D.M. school panel refuses to ban book."Des Moines Tribune, March 14, 1980, page 1

----. [Interview with Eyerly]. Catalyst (Official publication of the Iowa Library Association), May 1988

----. "Iowa Locale in New Novel." Des Moines Register or Tribune (undated). Story and background of upcoming book, More Than a Summer Love, published in 1962. (Final issue of Des Moines Tribune, an afternoon paper, was September 15, 1982)

----. "Iowa writer works in her kitchen."Ames (Iowa) Tribune, December 30, 1976

----. "Mom Writes Realism for Teens." St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 17, 1970

----. [Tear sheets with an interview with Eyerly]. Iowa: A Place To Read (celebrating Iowa authors), 1990. Note reference on page 14 in the interview to Eyerly's last novel (unpublished), The Education of Adams Henry. It was about a somewhat unusual older woman who took a very difficult-to-place teenage boy into her home.

----. "Women Like Same News Fare as Men, Editors Told."  Post-Intelligencer (Seattle), August 13, 1959. With photo. Eyerly and Mrs. Norman Chandler, the wife of another managing editor, addressed a national meeting of the Associated Press Managers Editors Association.

----. "Women want same as men in papers." Editor & Publisher, August 15, 1959.

----. "Workshop for D.M.'s mini-Shakespeares."Des Moines Tribune, July 9, 1977, page 1

----. Undated copy of newspaper photo (probably 1964, when The World of Ellen March was published) of Eyerly at a book store autographing copies of her books, together with her close writing friend, Valeria Winkler Griffith, author of many children's books. Des Moines Register or Tribune.  Also: Photograph of Eyerly and VWK (undated) taken in front of the DM Art Center, and funeral card for Valeria, whose death in 1985 was a tremendous loss to Eyerly. VWK and Eyerly were co-authors (under the name of Jeannette Griffith) of Dearest Kate (1961) and of Family Diary, a syndicated newspaper column.


----. 1936 - from Forrest Spaulding, Librarian, Public Library of Des Moines, giving a raise to Eyerly. Eyerly graduated from the University of Iowa in 1930 with a major in English. The only job she could find in Des Moines was as secretary to a man who ran a movie theater. He quickly learned he didn't need to dictate letters to her but instead could simply tell her what he wanted to say, and she composed and typed the letters. Her next position was at the public library, in a sort of public relations slot. She had a radio program once a week, among other duties. After marrying Frank Eyerly in December 1932, she worked mornings only so she could be at home during his waking hours. He worked nights for the Des Moines Register.

----. 1964 (estimated) - from Sam B. Sloan, retired English professor, University of Iowa. As a student Frank Eyerly had taken his classes; Jeannette had wanted to but was unable to work one of his classes into her schedule. Decades later Eyerly sent Sloan a copy of her latest book, The World of Ellen March (1964). In return she received this hand-written letter. See her note on last page.

----. 1965 - from young reader in Michigan

----. 1966 - from young reader in Texas

----. 1966 - from Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson

----. 1967 - from young reader in Brooklyn, N.Y.

----. 1971 - from Iowa's Division of Rehabilitation thanking Eyerly for her personal contacts with a blind client.

----. 1971 - from Harcourt Brace regarding the reprinting an adaptation of chapter 14 from Drop Out for book entitled New Worlds of Literature.

----. 1972 - [Daughter's note: this is "a day in the life of...." information excerpted from a letter that Eyerly wrote to daughter Jane in 1972:]
"....I am going to Granger, Iowa, to talk to a Catholic high school. Janice... [young woman friend who did final typing of manuscripts] is going with me... Later in the week I am going to dictate to Janice about 10 letters to girls I've heard from in the last ten days. Today I got a check for $283.00 for the German rights to The World of Ellen March. It is nice to have such an old book paying that nice unexpected dividend."

----. 1975 - from office of literary agent Marilyn Marlow at Curtis Brown Ltd., giving sale figures for Eyerly's paperback book sales.

----. 1987 - from Harper & Row Junior Books Group, together with a Kirkus review.

----. 1994 - from Mary Kay Phelan, an Iowa author and friend of Eyerly.

----. 1997 or later - from Jon Van, reporter on the Register from 1968 to 1973. He kept in touch with the Eyerlys after he took a job on the Chicago Tribune. He later became the Tribune's science and technology editor. Since this letter is addressed only to Jeannette, it must have been written after Frank's death in March 1997.

----. 2001 - Two letters relating to the Braille edition of The Seeing Summer.
The Braille edition was produced in 2001 (from the 1981 book). This novel about a 10-year-old blind girl and her sighted neighbor of the same age was inspired by Eyerly's friendship with a young woman math teacher who was blind and Eyerly's membership on the Iowa Commission for the Blind in approximately 1978-1980.

----. 2003 - from David Rubin, neighbor of Eyerly's grandson Chris and his wife. After knowing Chris for some time, David discovered that Chris's grandmother was the author of books he (David) had read in his boyhood. This prompted him to write to Eyerly, who responded.

----. 2006 - from high school counselor in Louisiana.


----. 1953 photo of Frank & Eyerly at APME meeting, taken from bound copy of proceedings. The speech reprinted on that page is likely not by Frank; photos were scattered through the book, not on the same page as the speeches.

----. 1963 Invitation to a White House reception. This was most likely held in conjunction with a meeting of either the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME) or the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE). Eyerly attended many (or most) of these out-of-town meetings with Frank.

----. Article in Des Moines Register (October 10, 1971) on talk about art collecting, given by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Eyerly, Louise Noun of Des Moines, and Bruce Pitt at the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

----. Tribute by Eyerly upon the death of her long-time friend Mary Mattern, widow of Karl Mattern, a painter and long-time Drake art professor, 1983.

----. Two pages from Des Moines Community Playhouse programs or newsletters (undated), both from a column called "Stages Ago." One refers to a play in 1953 in which the Eyerly dog, Boots, made a brief appearance. The other (about 1992) recalls a play in which Eyerly had the female lead before her marriage in 1932 and also mentions her first date with Frank Eyerly. The Community Playhouse was formerly located at 520-35th Street and was called the Kendall Playhouse.

----. "Cheers" - list compiled in 1988 of distinguished guests who through the years had visited the Eyerly home at 231-42nd Street, Des Moines.

----. Paper cover (for hardback) and paperback cover for A Girl Like Me.

----. Royalty statement from Writer's Digest (book publishing) dated December 1993 for Writing Young Adult Novels (1988). This book was written with Hadley Irwin (pseudonym for Lee Hadley and Ann Irwin). The earnings were divided by three. Also: copy of the book cover.

----. Article in the Des Moines Register (1999) about Eyerly's long-time hairdresser, Charles Anolik, with quotes from her, and a paper (undated) from the National Jewish Fund stating that a tree had been planted in honor of Jeannette Eyerly in the Holy Land in celebration of Charles' long friendship with Eyerly. Eyerly met Charles (early fifties?) at his first salon at 35th and Grand Avenue. She later sponsored him when he became a U.S. citizen.

----. Check earning statement from Eyerly's agent Curtis Brown Ltd. dated April 19, 2001. Eyerly continued receiving royalties on her books until her late old age and received satisfaction from this continuation of her professional life.

----. Contract arrangement with Curtis Brown Ltd. regarding Someone to Love Me. (August 28, 2001)

----. Who's Who in America entry (date unknown)

----. Biography, obituaries, memories: Jeannette Eyerly and Frank Eyerly

--------. Biographical material prepared by Eyerly and her daughters in June 2002.

--------. Program for memorial Mass, August 23, 2008. Eyerly, a lifelong Roman Catholic, was an active member of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Student Center at Drake University.

--------."Author of youth novels Eyerly dies at age 100" Des Moines Register news story, August 20, 2008,

--------. Des Moines Register obituary, August 21, 2008

--------. "Jeannette Eyerly, 100, Writer for Teenage Girls" New York Times news story, August 30, 2008

--------. "Author led grand life, and was grand friend." Des Moines Register follow-up story by Rebecca Christian, writer and long-time friend of Eyerly, August 22, 2008 (approximate)

--------. Letter from Nick Kotz (November 7, 2008) to Eyerly's daughter Susan after Eyerly's death. Nick is a well-known journalist, author and historian. As a young man he was hired as a Register reporter by Frank Eyerly.

--------. Obituary and tribute: Frank Eyerly

--------. "He 'evoked, provoked' J-talent." Publishers' Auxiliary, August 23, 1969.

--------. Des Moines Register news story of death. Frank was born June 3, 1903 and died March 18, 1997.

Honors & Awards

Note: These honors and awards are those that were in Eyerly's files at her death; there were probably others.

----. Eyerly-Ball  Community Mental Health Services

--------. Re-dedication on June 8, 1995 of the Polk County Mental Health Center as the Eyerly-Ball Community Mental Health Services building. Eyerly and her friend, Elizabeth H. (Libby) Ball, had been deeply involved in the creation of the mental health center for many years, beginning more than two years before it actually opened. Libby died of cancer on October 20, 1988.

--------. Eyerly's "Remarks on the Re-dedication of the Polk County Mental Health Center - 1995."

--------. Long-time director William Cropp's speech at the re-dedication.

--------. Photos: Eyerly and William Cropp; Eyerly and younger daughter, Sue, at re-dedication. (See photos series)

--------. Follow-up thank you note from Eyerly to Larry Hejtmanek, director/coordinator.

--------. Story and photo in the Des Moines Register, June 8, 1995.
--------. 25th anniversary celebration, June 2, 1994: invitation and brochure

--------. Eyerly's speech at 25th anniversary celebration (no title).

--------. Des Moines Register story (July 5, 1994) about William Cropp's retirement (relevant for the changing status of mental health treatment and for a picture of race relations in Des Moines in Cropp's lifetime).

--------. Undated brochure on Eyerly-Ball Community Mental Health Services.

--------. Two-page statement, "Goals and Achievements of the Polk County Mental Health Center," dated April 1, 1970, written when Eyerly was board secretary. Her handwritten note at the top of the first page indicates she was asked to read it aloud but it's not clear if that reading took place at the anniversary celebration or at another time.

--------. Summer 1997 newsletter of the mental health center, with story about Eyerly.

--------. Funeral card for Elizabeth H. ("Libby") Ball.

----. The Iowa City Iowa Avenue Literary Walk

--------. The Iowa Avenue Literary Walk: A Guide to its Writers. (Material relating to permanent walkway honoring Iowa writers.)

--------. Letters

--------. Iowa Avenue Literary Walk and Tower Place. Dedication October 13, 2001. A publication of the Iowa City Gazette and the Community News Advertiser. October 7, 2001

----. Iowa Author Awards

--------. 3rd Annual Iowa Author Awards, sponsored by the Public Library of Des Moines Foundation (October 17, 2002)

--------. Invitation

--------. Program

--------. Acceptance speech

--------. Story in newsletter of Friends of the Franklin Avenue Library

--------. Report in Foundation Forum, publication of the Public Library of Des Moines Foundation.

--------. Letter from Beth Hill

----. Miscellaneous

--------. Christopher Award for "Escape from Nowhere" (Des Moines Register or Tribune - 1969)

--------. Roosevelt High School (Des Moines) Hall of Fame. (Remarks at event, 1992; news coverage.)

--------. 32nd Annual Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Ceremony, 2006: Program of the August 26, 2006, event in the State of Iowa Historical Building; Des Moines Register story, August 19, 2006. Please also see the photograph series for photos of this event.


----. Last Two Published Books
Eyerly wrote light poetry all of her life, for her own enjoyment and occasionally to commemorate a birthday or other special occasion. An Alphabet Book for Adults was published in 2000 by the Nazraeli Press. A second book of whimsical poems, Food for Thought, was published in 2003, also by Nazraeli Press. Both books were illustrated by Fritz Scholder. Eyerly typed these on her computer and often sent a new verse to her daughters by email.

--------. Des Moines Register
interview with Eyerly about the alphabet book. September 2000

--------. Copies of covers of the two hardback poetry books

----. Book Club

Eyerly's book club (always referred to as "Club") was an important part of her life. The group began in 1934 as an AAUW literature study group but several years later left the organization but continued to pursue the study of English, French, German and Russian novels. Although not one of the founding members, Eyerly joined several years later and continued as an active member until perhaps a year before her death. The book club met at 12:30 on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, September - May. Membership was limited to 12. New members joined when an old member moved away or - as happened so often beginning in the 1980s - died. Many of Eyerly's closest friends throughout her adult life were club members. Several members and their husbands, including the Eyerlys, moved in their later years to apartments in Wesley Grand, 3524 Grand Ave. They were Dwight and Margaret Brooke, John and Jeanne Hughes, and Herschel and Miriam Langdon. In her later years Eyerly helped form a book club with members of the Catholic Student Center at Drake. The club met at Eyerly's apartment at Wesley Grand. (See 99th birthday card from Jeannette from club members, addressed to their "founder.")

--------. Book club feature in the Des Moines Register (October 7, 1994) with 1951 photo of club members.

--------. Photo of the club's annual Christmas party in 1988.

--------. Three poems composed by Eyerly for club: For annual Christmas party (1977), "To Club with Love" (1996), and "Happy Birthday, Mary Lucy!" (2002). The first poem is a copy of the original typed poem found in Eyerly's files.

--------. The undated tissue sheets of German literature found in Eyerly's old file was most likely material assembled by one or more members to present to the group so they could select works for the next year.

--------. 1984-85 "Tentative Reading List" for book club.

--------. Typed letter dated March 31, 1981, to club members by a founding member, Mary Francis Boyd, when she was in a nursing home. The letter evokes the spirit of the club as well as presenting a poignant picture of a bedfast person at the mercy of a young and thoughtless caregiver. Mary Frances graduated from Drake in 1906, before many of the club members were born. She became associate professor of Romance languages at Drake and taught for more than 25 years. For many years she escorted tours to countries around the world. She died in 1983.

Photographs. Color photocopies

----. Eyerly speaking at the Annual Iowa Author Awards Dinner on October 17, 2002.

----. Eyerly greeting friends before the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Ceremony August 26, 2006.

----. Family photos of Jeannette, early 1940s, about 1958, 1984

----. Eyerly with Smith-Corona, 1989. Later Eyerly acquired a computer and began emailing as well as word processing.

Publicity. In Oversized Box 1


Located in Eyerly's files plus many that were pasted in the inside front covers of her hardback books. All of Eyerly's books were displayed on bookshelves in the living room at 213-42nd street, and Frank Eyerly would point them out to visitors. He was very proud of her writing (and signed his name in her books).


Note: Folders 4-6 of the Writings series are in Oversized Box 1

Folders 1-4

----. "Born to Plant" (essay, probably written in the 1980s). Gardening was very important to Eyerly. In the growing season she usually began the day by inspecting her backyard garden. Unpublished

----. "Can Your Bedfast Child Amuse Himself?" Ladies Home Journal, October 1948 (entire copy, front cover missing). In Oversized Box 1

----. "A Fable," The American Home, March 1946. In Oversized Box 1

---. "Fun for Your Sick-abed Child," Better Living, February 1952. In Oversized Box 1

----. "The Ghost of Nicholas Benson," Canadian Home Journal, May 1955. In Oversized Box 1

---. "How Do You Study?" The American Girl, January 1949. In Oversized Box 1

----. "Last Day," Sunshine Magazine, January 1950. In Oversized Box 1

----. "Let's Not Raise Any Privileged Characters!" Better Homes and Gardens, February 1954. In Oversized Box 1

----. "The Long Happy Life of Bubbles McGuire." (4 pages - penciled note on manuscript "Sold N.Y. Daily News-Dec.'48" but no published copy in Eyerly's file)

----. "The Perennial Roomer," Ladies Home Journal, August 1947. Draft with penciled corrections, author's note from Ladies Home Journal table of contents, and statement from Curtis Publishing Co. that accompanied a $750 check. (The story itself was donated earlier to U. of I.) The sale was a major coup for Eyerly, her daughters remember - not only a large check but a prestigious magazine. Eyerly used this money to purchase the first car the Eyerly family owned, a 1947 Chevy sedan.

----. "Play Fair with our Teen-age Drivers" (written with her good friend and writing partner Valeria W. Griffith, probably before Eyerly began writing YA books). Photograph in photograph series. Unpublished

----. "Trial by Ransom." (5 pages - penciled note "Sold Minneapolis Sunday Tribune" but no published copy in Eyerly's file)

-----. "What It Means To Be a Widow," Coronet Magazine, August 1947. Written under the name of Alice Lanner, bound copy for author.
This is one of several articles about so-called personal experiences that Eyerly wrote for Coronet and Pageant, a magazine of the same size and type. Some titles were "I'm glad I got a divorce," "I'm sorry I got a divorce," "Our daughter was eight when we found her" and "I neglected my parents." None of these articles reflected Eyerly's own life experiences; they all were written in the first person and based on interviews.

----. Twenty-nine Unpublished Short Stories
Eyerly wrote many short stories in the years before she began writing and publishing young adult books. Whether published or not, the creative but challenging work of writing and rewriting fiction paved the way for the success Eyerly had with young adult novels beginning in the early sixties. Eyerly saved the stories she had written and took them with her when she and her husband moved from their home on 42nd Street to Wesley Grand in 1991. Many stories were found in a well-worn brown zippered leather portfolio; others were in her files. Note that several stories were returned to Eyerly with a cover sheet added by Sydney A. Sanders, New York City literary agent for Eyerly. A later agent (for her books) was Marilyn E. Marlow at Curtis Brown Ltd., NYC. An earlier agent at Curtis Brown was Naomi Stone. Eyerly occasionally used a pen name. Frank Eyerly is listed as the author of one these very early stories; other "authors" listed in this group of unpublished stories are Jean Eyre and Cleone Lanner. At least one article in Coronet magazine was by Alice Lanner. Other early names were Linda Lee and Miriam Carlock.

Note: On the story "The Lilac Hedge" is Eyerly's remark to her older daughter when they were looking through a pile of old stories: "The key to my success was not giving up."

----. Two Unpublished YA Novels by Jeannette Eyerly

----. Folder 5: Manuscript of Disaster Dog, an unpublished book that Eyerly began in early 1994 about a boy who wanted to train his dog. Here are two excerpts from letters Eyerly (less than three months before her 86th birthday) wrote to her older daughter, Jane, and her husband, Larry, referring to her work on this book:

(March 21, 1994) "I was going to write 'I don't know where the time goes', but that wouldn't be the truth. I'm going to start a new book. Can you believe it? It is to be called Disaster Dog and is aimed at fifth and sixth graders, or thereabouts. I will tell you more when I come...Other than working every spare moment on the book, I've been doing the usual things...playing Scrabble with two friends....watching The Thorn Birds... .really a waste of time as compared to the book. When I come [to visit], I'll bring what I've written of DD. It is v. slow going as I am out of the habit of sustained writing. I find myself working-over all the sentences instead of getting on with the story. Instead of writing 3 pages in a day I'm lucky to write one "

(not dated but received in St. Louis on May 6, 1994) "Here, at last, are the first six chapters of DD. I hope you see a lot of improvement. Regardless, I want to know what you think. Thanks to Becky [married granddaughter in Cedar Rapids] and a story she sent me that appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, I am on the track of some local (Iowa) sources for Disaster Dog. One trainer lives in Norwalk! I am gong to be able to get a training video from her that would have been hard to come by otherwise. Margaret [Brooke] will drive to Norwalk with me one day to see the Norwalk person's Newfoundland in action. I will offer to hide. Oh! Can't life be interesting? Whether anything comes of DD or not, I've already enjoyed it. And I really do expect something to come of it. Did I tell you that Nate Lombard, Patty's 11-year-old grandson, read it with interest? I know he did, because I could peek in on him reading it. Absorbed. He also had some interesting comments. One: He didn't want the St. Bernard to have knocked Luke's mother down. He said she should just be 'scared' of dogs..."

(May 6, 1994) "...I have come to a standstill on DD since mailing you the ms. of the first six chapters. I don't know what I'm waiting for. Inspiration, I guess. I hope I get it by tomorrow. I don't want the story to lie fallow too long. Actually, I think my problem is not knowing how technical I can afford to be, i.e., how much d.d. training etc. I can put in and still keep the story moving. I will be OK only I get over this hump and approach the last third of the book...."

During this period Eyerly was not only involved with her husband's care in the nursing home attached to Wesley Grand - she brought him to the apartment every day for his lunch ~ but was also busy with other activities such as socializing, going to the Franklin Library, and doing errands in her car. One evening, she wrote to a daughter, she had walked almost a mile to look at the exterior of her old house on 42nd street that had been drastically altered by its new owner.

[Manuscript for The Education of Adams Henry is not in Special Collections at the University of Iowa; it may be in the University of Minnesota Kerlan collection. In 1990, in an interview in IOWA, A Place to Read (Iowa Reading Association), Eyerly described a "work in progress" with this title, about a hard-to-place teenage boy in need of a foster home. She finished this book and her daughters read it and enjoyed it but they don't know the whereabouts of the manuscript (if it still exists).]

----. Folder 6. Newspaper essays. In Oversized Box 1

--------. "Young will read once they discover the right books. " Des Moines Register, February 13, 1985

--------. "Quitting cigarettes on a wing and a prayer." Des Moines Register, April 3, 1990. Originals, including an entire page, copies, final manuscript

--------. "Give Children Books and Time to Read Them." Des Moines Register, February 19, 1994

--------. "A gentle gardener 'down on his luck' and homeless." Des Moines Register, August 11, 1996. Full-page tear sheet. With drawing by a Register artist, done especially for the story.

The Young Jeannette. In Oversized Box 1

Jeannette Hyde was born on June 8, 1908 in Topeka, Kansas. She was the oldest of three children. Her father was a railroad man and the family lived in several different cities before they moved to Des Moines when Jeannette was eight. She attended Bird elementary school and spent her freshman year at West High School. She entered Roosevelt High School as a sophomore the year the school opened, graduating in 1926. She attended Drake University for three years, serving as editor of the yearbook her junior year and thus receiving a tuition scholarship. Her last year in college was at the University of Iowa, where she received her B.A. degree in English in 1930. Eyerly began dating Frank Eyerly while she was at Drake. Their first date was attending a play at the Kendall (later the Community Playhouse). After college, despite the Great Depression, Jeannette managed to find a job with a downtown movie theater as a secretary and publicity liaison. She lived at home and was able to save enough money to go to Europe with two girlfriends for six weeks in late 1931. Upon her return she was offered a position as the first public relations person for the Des Moines Public Library. She and Frank were married December 6, 1932. Their daughters were born in 1936 and 1939. (Note spelling of Jeannette's name with only one "n", which was the original spelling. She later added another "n".)

----. Newspaper story with history of Bird School, 21st Street and Woodlawn Ave., which Eyerly attended from age eight through eighth grade. It was within walking distance of her home at 678-26th street.

----. Eyerly's first published work was a poem, "The First Thanksgiving," in the children's column of the Des Moines Capital. "Ode to Julius Caesar" was written around 1925.

----. Junior Red Cross newsletter (May 1919) reported on a program that Eyerly and three other girls produced to raise money to help children in war-torn Europe (photo and story).

----. "The Circus in the Barn" was written when Jeannette was in eighth grade and published in the Des Moines Capital.

----. Photos and story in the Des Moines Sunday Capital (September 25, 1921) about an eighth grade production of a Revolutionary War event. Eyerly recalled this play vividly and mentioned it from time to time throughout her life.

----. Sixtieth Annual GAR Encampment book (Des Moines, September 1926) includes Eyerly's poem "Homage". She was a senior at Roosevelt H.S. Program for Central Presbyterian Church, September 19, 1926, where the GAR members were welcomed and honored. Eyerly read her poem at the evening service.

----. "A Senior's Soliloquy" in her handwriting (probably as a senior in high school).

----. "Embryonic Feature Writers Vie for Honors" - Des Moines Register photo (1927) of participants in a newspaper writing contest at Drake University.

----. Manuscript of "Chaff," which Eyerly described many years later as her "first short story," written at about age 19. She told one of daughters that it was "so soooo bad!"

----. Term paper written by "Jeannie Hyde" for an English class just before graduation from the U. of Iowa in 1930. The title was "Modern Psychological Theories in Contemporary Novels."

----. Jeannette Hyde's review of a play, "The Old Maid" by Zoe Akins, at the Shrine Temple. Also a review of a play at the Community Playhouse, "Once in a Lifetime" by George Kaufman and Moss Hart, in which Jeanette Hyde played one of the leads.

----.Short story, "Jones and the Count," in Newspaperman, May 1945.

----.Essays for the Des Moines Register or Tribune from the 1930's or 1940's:

--------."So You Want to Write?" by Linda Lee (1945)

--------. "Political Cemetery," by Miriam Carlock (1945)

--------. "My Dear, Don't Tell Me You Can't Arrange Flowers," by Linda Lee

--------. "Wifely Strategy Gets Results on A-Days," by Miriam Carlock

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