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Mary and Elsie Rokahr, Cooperative Extension Papers

Title: Mary and Elsie Rokahr, Cooperative Extension Papers

Creator: Rokahr, Mary A, 1892-1972

Creator: Rokahr, Elsie K, 1882-1970

Dates: 1902-1968

Quantity: 13 boxes (7 linear feet)

Collection Number: RG 11-07-10

Language: English

Restrictions: None

Copyright: To inquire about usage, please contact Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. For more information see the Use Guidelines

Preferred Citation: Mary and Elsie Rokahr, Cooperative Extension Papers (RG 11-07-10). Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.

Alternative Format: None

Biography:

Mary Ann Rokahr was born in 1892 in Omaha, Nebraska. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska (NU) Teacher's College in 1914, with a focus on teaching home economics and chemistry. After receiving her degree, Rokahr joined the NU Department of Agricultural Extension as a home demonstration agent until 1918. She moved to the University of Wyoming to work as a state home demonstration agent from 1918-1929 and received her Masters of Arts in home management from Colombia University in 1926.

In 1929, Mary Rokahr was appointed the first federal extension specialist in home management at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Extension Service in Washington D.C. As a federal specialist, she managed 45 state home management specialists and worked with farmers to improve kitchen equipment in rural homes. She traveled across the country to teach courses and give talks about the importance of efficient housekeeping, improving housing conditions, and home financial planning and economics. She founded the Home Economics Conference in Washington D.C. that addressed housing conditions in Hinds County, Mississippi, and was invited to many conferences and social events at the White House from 1930-1950.

After retiring from the USDA in 1953, Mary Rokahr was appointed the head of the Home Economics Department at the University of Connecticut. In 1956, she returned to NU to head the Home Economics section of the University of Nebraska mission to Turkey (1956-1958) where she worked with Turkish educators to establish home economics college program at the University of Ankara. She received many awards for her service, including the University of Nebraska Builder's Distinguished Service award (1951), University of Nebraska Distinguished Service Award (1951), multiple USDA Service Awards (1948-1950), and was acknowledged by the Women's Foundation for her publications on farm and home economics. She died in New York in 1972.

Elsie Katherine Rokahr, Mary's older sister, was born in 1892 in Omaha, Nebraska. She graduated from the University of Nebraska Teacher's College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1910, with the qualifications to teach Latin and German. She taught at Lincoln High School for four years and chaired the University of Nebraska's foreign languages department for 45 years. She died in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1970.

Scope and Content:

The Mary and Elsie Rokahr papers include diaries and travel journals, correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia related to the work, travels, and personal lives of Mary Rokahr and her sister Elsie Rokahr. The teaching and extension materials relate primarily to home economics, women, and the University of Nebraska's teaching programs in Turkey and Yugoslavia.

Based on the arrangement of the papers, it appears that after the death of Elsie Rokahr, her papers were added to those of her surviving sister Mary. For this reason, the collection includes materials collected by both sisters. Photographic materials have been housed separately due to their format. Notes appear on the finding aid next to series or folder titles where appropriate.

Subjects:

Rokahr, Mary A, 1892-1972

Rokahr, Elsie K, 1882-1970

Home economics - 20th century

Home economics extension work

Home economics extension work -- Wyoming

International travel

Travel

Souvenirs (Keepsakes)

Women -- education

Turkey

Yugoslavia

American Public Health Association

Associated Country Women of the World

Mrs. America Pageant, Inc.

Series Description: Series 1: Journals and Diaries, 1902-1969

Includes personal diaries and travel journals that describe the travels of Mary and Elsie Rokhar in Europe, the United States, Germany, Japan, the Philippines, and many other countries around the world. See box 9 and 10 for trip itineraries and travel materials and box 11 for photographs.

Series 2: Correspondence, 1910-1968

This series consists of Mary and Elsie's correspondence relating to family matters, travels, and professional activities.

Series 3: Teaching and Extension Service Material, 1910-1965

This series includes correspondence, reference material, notes, conference programs, USDA Agriculture radio talks, home economics course materials, Mrs. America Pageant judging books, UN Turkish and Yugoslavian programs, and other materials relating to Mary Rokahr's service as a home economics extension agent and her involvement in the University of Connecticut and UN Departments of Home Economics.

Series 4: Travel and Memorabilia, 1910-1967

This series includes photographs, programs and tickets, itineraries, and guidebooks relating to the foreign travels of both sisters. There are also collected materials, such as newspaper clippings that relate to the activities of Mary, Elsie, and their father Herbert Rokahr, White House invitations (1930-1950), Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman inauguration tickets, concert and opera programs, playbills, and greeting cards.

Series 5: School Records, 1902-1954

The records consist of college term papers, diplomas, commencement programs, and a 1914 Lincoln High School yearbook.

Series 6: Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1910-1914

Includes family photographs, portraits, travel photos, and other photographs collected by the two sisters. The University of Nebraska scrapbook of Mary Rokahr relates to her years as a student from 1910-1914 (see oversize box 13).

Container List: Series 1: Journals and DiariesBox 1. Folder 1. Elsie Rokahr diaries and journals, 1904-1906 1912, 1926 Box 1. Folder 2. Elsie Rokahr diaries and journals, 1931-1935 Box 1. Folder 3. Elsie Rokahr diaries and journals, Around the World trip, 1950, 1956 Box 1. Folder 4. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1902, 1905-1910 Box 1. Folder 5. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1914-1916 Box 1. Folder 6. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1917 Box 2. Folder 1. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1925-1929 Box 2. Folder 2. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1930-1939 Box 2. Folder 3. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, Around the World trip, 1950, 1958 Box 2. Folder 4. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1959-1960 Box 2. Folder 5. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1961-1962 Box 2. Folder 6. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1963-1965 Box 3. Folder 1. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1966-1967 Box 3. Folder 2. Mary Rokahr diaries and journals, 1968-1969 Series 2: CorrespondenceBox 3. Folder 3. Correspondence, 1910-1913 Box 3. Folder 4. Correspondence, 1914-1922 Box 3. Folder 5. Correspondence, 1923-1926 Box 3. Folder 6. Correspondence, 1927-1929 Box 3. Folder 7. Correspondence, 1930-1932 Box 3. Folder 8. Correspondence, 1933-1935 Box 3. Folder 9. Correspondence, 1936 Box 3. Folder 10. Correspondence, 1937 Box 3. Folder 11. Correspondence, foreign countries, 1937-1968 Box 3. Folder 12. Correspondence, 1938 Box 3. Folder 13. Correspondence, 1939-1940 Box 3. Folder 14. Correspondence, 1941 Box 3. Folder 15. Correspondence, 1942-1944 Box 3. Folder 16. Correspondence, 1945 Box 4. Folder 1. Correspondence, 1946-1947 Box 4. Folder 2. Correspondence, 1948 Box 4. Folder 3. Correspondence, 1949 Box 4. Folder 4. Correspondence, Around the World, 1950 Box 4. Folder 5. Correspondence, 1950-1952 Box 4. Folder 6. Correspondence, 1953 Box 4. Folder 7. Correspondence, 1954-1955 Box 4. Folder 8. Correspondence, 1956-1968 Box 4. Folder 9. Correspondence, Africa trip, 1964 Box 4. Folder 10. Elsie Rokahr, correspondence, 1903-1939 Series 3: Teaching and Extension Service MaterialBox 4. Folder 11. American Public Health Association, 1946-1956 Box 4. Folder 12. Articles by Mary Rokahr, 1929-1953 Box 4. Folder 13. Associated Country Women of the World, 1935 (see also Box 11, Folder 1) Box 4. Folder 14. Conference programs, 1917-1956 Box 5. Folder 1. Education and role of women, 1959-1963 Box 5. Folder 2. Family Economics, 1928-1958 Box 5. Folder 3. Family Economics course, 1910-1929 Box 5. Folder 4. Family Finance course, 1963 Box 5. Folder 5. Family Food Marketing movie script Box 5. Folder 6. Farmers' Institutes, 1914 Box 5. Folder 7. Foreign students, 1954-1960 Box 5. Folder 8. Home demonstration agent narrative reports, Wyoming, 1919-1922 Box 5. Folder 9. Home demonstration agent narrative reports, Wyoming, 1922-1924 Box 5. Folder 10. Home Demonstration lecture notes, 1931 Box 5. Folder 11. Home Management, 1952-1955 Box 5. Folder 12. Home Management courses, Nebraska, Connecticut, 1953-1963 Box 5. Folder 13. Honors courses, 1961-1965 Box 6. Folder 1. International Cooperation Administration-Home Economics (ICA-HE) extension supervision, 1960 (see also Box 11, Folder 2) Box 6. Folder 2. Mrs. America Pageant judging book, 1955 Box 6. Folder 3. Mrs. America Pageant program, 1956 Box 6. Folder 4. Peace Corps, University of Nebraska, 1963 Box 6. Folder 5. Radio talks, 1930-1944 Box 6. Folder 6. Scottsbluff Home Demonstration Work, 1918 Box 6. Folder 7. Seventh International Management Congress, 1938 Box 6. Folder 8. Speeches and articles, includes "Status of Women in Changing World" by Mary Rokahr, 1933-1961 Box 6. Folder 9. Talk notes, 1955-1966 Box 6. Folder 10. Status of Women, American Association of University Women, 1961 Box 6. Folder 11. Talks, conference addresses, 1926-1953 Box 6. Folder 12. Talk notes, 1955-1966 Box 7. Folder 1. Three Year Plan, Home Economics Extension Service, 1947-1950 Box 7. Folder 2. Turkish Program, 1950s (see also Box 12, Folder 6) Box 7. Folder 3. Turkish Program, 1956-1957 Box 7. Folder 4. Turkish Program, 1958-1960 Box 7. Folder 5. Turkish Program, lecture notes, 1957 Box 7. Folder 6. USDA Extension Service talks, papers, circulars, reports, 1918-1953 Box 7. Folder 7. USDA Service Awards, 1948-1950 (see also Box 12, Folder 7) Box 7. Folder 8. University of Nebraska Distinguished Service Award, 1951 Box 7. Folder 9. Washington Society for Advancement of Management, 1953 Box 7. Folder 10. Western Washington State College, 1962-1963 Box 8. Folder 1. Western Washington State College yearbook, 1962-1963 Box 8. Folder 2. Wyoming Extension Service, 1919-1945 (see also Box 12, Folder 8) Box 8. Folder 3. Book, "Wyoming History of Extension Work," 1914-1964 Box 8. Folder 4. Wyoming Home Economics and Agriculture Extension programs and bulletins, 1939-1958 Box 8. Folder 5. Yugoslavia Program, 1959 Series 4: Travel and MemorabiliaBox 8. Folder 6. Concert and opera programs, 1925-1967 Box 8. Folder 7. Educational tour, 1960 Box 8. Folder 8. Foreign travel Box 8. Folder 9. Greeting cards Box 8. Folder 10. Memorabilia Box 9. Folder 1. Newspaper, magazine clippings, 1910-1920s Box 9. Folder 2. Newspaper, magazine clippings, 1930s Box 9. Folder 3. Newspaper, magazine clippings, 1940s Box 9. Folder 4. Newspaper, magazine clippings, 1950-1970s Box 9. Folder 5. Newspaper, magazine clippings, undated Box 9. Folder 6. Playbills, 1925-1939 Box 9. Folder 7. Playbills, 1940-1954 Box 9. Folder 8. Receipts, 1964, Sept.-1964, Oct. Box 9. Folder 9. Trip to Africa, 1964 Box 9. Folder 10. Trip to Africa, itineraries, 1964 Box 9. Folder 11. Trip to Africa, wildlife guides, 1964 Box 9. Folder 12. Trip to Alaska, 1963 Box 9. Folder 13. Trip to Alaska, postcards, 1963 Box 9. Folder 14. Trip Around the World, 1950 (see also Box 12, Folder 1) Box 9. Folder 15. Trip Around the World itineraries, 1950 Box 9. Folder 16. Trip to Europe, Elsie Rokahr, 1912 (see also Box 12, Folder 3) Box 9. Folder 17. Trip to Europe, 1926 Box 10. Folder 1. Trip to Germany, 1937 (see also Box 12, Folder 4) Box 10. Folder 2. Trip to South America, 1962 Box 10. Folder 3. Trip to South Pacific and Orient, 1968 (see also Box 12, Folder 5) Box 10. Folder 4. Trip to South Pacific and Orient, itineraries, 1968 Box 10. Folder 5. White House invitations, 1930-1950 Series 5: School RecordsBox 10. Folder 6. College term papers, Elsie and Mary Rokahr, 1909-1914 Box 10. Folder 7. Diplomas and certificates, Elsie Rokahr, 1902-1954 Box 10. Folder 8. Diplomas and certificates, Mary Rokahr, 1911-1926 Box 10. Folder 9. Lincoln High School commencement and event programs, Elsie Rokahr, 1924-1947 Box 10. Folder 10. Lincoln High School commencement and event programs, Elsie Rokahr, 1914-1925 Box 10. Folder 11. Norfolk High School yearbook, Elsie Rokahr, 1914 Box 10. Folder 12. University of Nebraska diplomas, Elsie and Mary Rokahr, 1910-1914 (see also oversized OS Box 11) Series 7: Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1910-1960Box 11. Folder 1. Associated Women of the World conference, 1935 (see also Box 4, Folder 13) Box 11. Folder 2. ICA-HE extension supervision, 1960 (see also Box 11, Folder 12) Box 11. Folder 3. Glacier National Park Box 11. Folder 4. Life Magazine, Mary Rokahr portraits, 1954 Box 11. Folder 5. McDonald Family, Philippines missionaries, 1918-1924 Box 11. Folder 6. Photographs, 1910s Box 11. Folder 7. Photographs, 1920s Box 11. Folder 8. Photographs, 1930s Box 11. Folder 9. Photographs, 1940s Box 11. Folder 10. Photographs, 1950s Box 11. Folder 11. Photographs, 1960s Box 11. Folder 12-14. Photographs, undated Box 11. Folder 15. Photo postcards, undated Box 11. Folder 16. Portraits, Elsie Rokahr Box 11. Folder 17. Portraits, Mary Rokahr Box 12. Folder 1. Trip Around the World, 1950 Box 12. Folder 2. Trip to Estes Park, 1918 Box 12. Folder 3. Trip to Europe, Elsie Rokahr, 1912 (see also Box 9, Folder 16) Box 12. Folder 4. Trip to Germany, 1937 (see also Box 10, Folder 1) Box 12. Folder 5. Trip to the South Pacific and Orient, 1968 (see also Box 10, Folder 3) Box 12. Folder 6. Turkish Program, 1950s (see also Box 7, Folder 2) Box 12. Folder 7. USDA Service Award, 1953 (see also Box 7, Folder 7) Box 12. Folder 8. Wyoming, 1920s (see also Box 8, Folder 2) Box 12. Folder 9. Scrapbook, 1910s Box 12. Folder 10. Glacier National Park scrapbook, 1920s Box 13. Folder 1. University of Nebraska scrapbook, 1910-1923 (oversized)
Related Material and Resources: Additional information about the University of Nebraska Turkish Program is located in RG 44-05-01 Nebraska in Turkey Coordinator, International Programs Records, 1954-1968 (box 53) and RG 44-05-02 Nebraska in Turkey Chief Advisor, International Programs Records, 1955-1968, which contains additional information on the home economics extension program (boxes 11-12) and Mary Rokahr correspondence (boxes 29-30).



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