“So often, the histories of Iowa’s rural families are reduced to names and dates on tombstones, or simple facts listed in family genealogies, if they are preserved at all. Joy Neal Kidney has given us a gift with this remarkable book that shares the joys, heartbreaks and hopes of her Iowa ancestors as they built a life in Guthrie County and beyond. It takes a tremendous amount of research, time and skill to tell these stories in a way that will resonate today. Joy has accomplished this. Using the history of her family, she humanizes a pivotal era of Iowa history, when the horse-and-buggy days of the late 1800s gave way to the early twentieth century, an era filled with technological marvels and optimism for a brighter future.
“Even if you’ve never attended a country school, lived on a farm or had an escapade at a jail (don’t miss that story!), you can relate to being a kid, enjoying the company of family and friends, losing a loved one, and experiencing simple pleasures in life, like music, fairs and holidays. While these stories will entertain you, they also honor the things that really matter in life—family, faith, service to community and country, resilience, and leaving a legacy of a life well lived.”
Darcy Dougherty Maulsby is Iowa’s Storyteller and part of family that operates a Century Farm in Calhoun County near Lake City and Yetter. She earned her journalism/communication degree and master’s degree in business administration (with a marketing emphasis) from Iowa State University. After working for several companies in the Des Moines area, including the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and AgWeb.com, she became an entrepreneur and opened her own business; she has run her own marketing/communications company, Darcy Maulsby & Company, full time since 2002. Darcy is the author of several books, including A Culinary History of Iowa; Calhoun County; Classic Restaurants of Des Moines and Their Recipes; Dallas County, Iowa; Agriculture: A History of Farming, Family and Food; and Madison County.
Darcy’s website. Her Amazon Author Page.
Darcy will give a program about her new book, The Lincoln Highway in Iowa, Monday evening October 10 at 6:30, Artisan Gallery 218 in Valley Junction, sponsored by Beaverdale Books.
I love to see how Iowa’s history, the history of families and the places they lived, is being preserved and shared through storytelling. These histories can be so easily lost.
And it’s National Family History Month, so I’ll probably encourage more of it soon!
I didn’t know that it’s National History Month–good to know!
Interesting post, Joy. I’m told my maternal great great grandfather was the first Postmaster of Soldier Iowa. Ole (I think) Strand. I’ve never been able to get to Soldier to find out more.
There was a Dr. Pennington in Dexter when Clabe and Leora’s family lived there. Even though I didn’t name her, there’s an episode that includes his wife in “Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression.”
I love what a tight Iowa writing and history community you are part of, Joy. Thanks for sharing this!
I met Darcy years ago at the same class about self-publishing. She’s a farm wife and journalist but has all these other interests, and is traditionally published for all her books! She’s also very generous.
So nice to make friends like that!!!