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Evelyn chats with Rawley Butler in the archives of the State Historical Society of Iowa Library.

Living History in Action

By Shari Stelling
State Historical Society of Iowa Library
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Newsletter, issue 151
March 11, 2011

When Evelyn Birkby, famed local writer and radio personality from Sidney, Iowa, stopped by the library of the State Historical Society of Iowa in Des Moines with her husband and son March 9, she managed to connect with someone who had a lot in common with her.

Simpson College student Rawley Butler was doing research in the library as part of Bill Friedricks' History of Iowa class and had seen her presentation the evening before at the Iowa History Center's lecture series. Evelyn transfixed the audience, and Rawley, with her stories about life as a Simpson co-ed (class of 1938) and her long career as a radio homemaker and newspaper columnist. She has written a weekly column, without fail, for the Shenandoah newspaper for 60 years!

Evelyn has a tremendous interest in Iowa history and, she says, talking with young people. She is a perennial learner, interested in people, and chock full of enthusiasm. She and her son both used our collections for research while they were here. On this trip, Evelyn also donated three of her books to the SHSI library: Birkby Family History, Our Corrie Family Records, and Witching for William.

If the State of Iowa ever designates a "Living State Treasure," we nominate Evelyn Birkby for the top of the list!

 

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