Elizabeth Baird Bennett-Harriet Brainard Correspondence, 1896-1897

Collection Overview

Title: Elizabeth Baird Bennett-Harriet Brainard Correspondence, 1896-1897

Record Series: MsC-56

Record Group:


Creator: Bennett, Elizabeth Baird and Harriet Brainard

Date: 1896-1897

Extent: 1 box (0.21 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: Materials entirely in English.

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Historical Note

Little is known about Libby Bennett, except that she was studying to be a teacher, married Harley (or Harlan) DeWitt, and had two children, one of whom, a daughter, died very young.  Her birth and death dates are unknown, although from the context of the letters she must have been born in 1877 or 1878.

Hattie Brainard (1878-1965) married Milo Garrison (1876-1945), and they had five children, Millard, Lenore, Harriet, Sterling, and William. She was a teacher at Hazel Green School, near Amber, Iowa, and later at East Ridge School.  As was the custom of the day, she was forced to resign when she got married. Her husband was hospitalized with an undisclosed illness for ten years before his death in 1945. Both Hattie and Milo are buried in the cemetery in Wyoming, Iowa.

According to Hattie’s daughter, Harriet Wilbour, Hattie spoke fondly of Libby throughout her life, although it is uncertain how long the two corresponded after their marriages.

Scope and Content

This box contains nine letters written by Elizabeth (Libby) Baird Bennett to Harriet (Hattie) Brainard between January 16, 1896, and May 30, 1897.

Both girls were born in Wyoming, Iowa. They were students at Iowa State Normal School, although Hattie apparently only stayed for one term, and had returned home by the time these letters were written to her. The letters offer a glimpse of life at the Normal School in the late nineteenth century.



Folder 1: The letters

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Library Associate Dave Hoing, March 2017. Updated October 2017 (dh). Linear feet count updated on August 7, 2017.