Florence and Robert Kerr '1912 Papers

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Reference code

US US-IaGG MS 01.181

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Florence and Robert Kerr '1912 Papers


  • 1914 - 1957 (Creation)


One box

Name of creator

Biographical history

Robert Y. Kerr, a native of Newton, Iowa, served on the editorial staff of The American Lumberman and as Executive Secretary of Grinnell College.

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born in Tennessee in 1890, Florence Stewart Kerr and family moved to Iowa when she was an infant.  She grew up in Marshalltown and attended Grinnell College from 1908-1912 where she formed a lifelong friendship with Harry Hopkins.  Florence married Robert Y. Kerr in 1915; she taught English at the College from 1921-26 and 1931-32.

In 1930 she was named a member of the Iowa Unemployment Relief Council; in 1935 Hopkins recommended her as one of five regional directors of the Division of Women's and Professional Projects within the Works Progress Administration (alternately called the Work Projects Administration).  She was promoted to Assistant Administrator of the WPA and Director of the Women's and Professional Projects in 1938 and worked in Washington, D.C. until the WPA ended in 1943.

She became director of the war public services of the Federal Works Agency and later served as an executive with Northwest Airlines.  She retired in the mid 1950s and lived in D.C. until her death in 1975.

Robert Y. Kerr, a native of Newton, Iowa, served on the editorial staff of The American Lumberman and as Executive Secretary of Grinnell College.

Content and structure elements

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Folders are in alphabetical order
Letters are in chronological order

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Open for use

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Conditions governing reproduction

For permission to quote for publication from writings of the Kerrs in this collection, contact Thomas Hunter, 57 Avon Street South #28, St. Paul, MN 55105

Languages of the material

  • English

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Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

The letters and newspaper clippings were acquired by the Grinnell College Libraries Special Collections and Archives after a descendant of the tenants on Robert Kerr's farm in Newton, IA (the Wormleys) donated the letters Robert Kerr sent to Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Wormley

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Linda K. Wormley

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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other Kerr papers

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