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Elfriede Fischer Rowe papers

Call Number: RH MS 958


Elfriede Fischer Rowe was a well-known authority on Lawrence, Kansas history and active in many community and civic endeavors. This collection includes personal mementos from when she was a student and alumna of the University of Kansas, information regarding World War II rationing and Mrs. Rowe's work with the Hercules Power Company during the war, as well as historical information about Lawrence, Kansas and personal and family papers.


  • Creation: 1899 - 1984


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Elfriede Fischer Rowe

Elfriede Fischer was born February 18, 1896 in Lawrence, Kansas to Agnes and Otto Fischer. She married Ivan D. Rowe in 1926 in Lawrence and they had one daughter, Sally Agnes Rowe Jones.

A 1917 graduate of the University of Kansas, Rowe remained active in her sorority, Chi Omega, and the KU Alumni Association. She served as president of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women and was an honorary life member of the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art.

Mrs. Rowe supported the country's efforts in World War II by working at the Hercules Powder Company, which operated the former Sunflower Ordnance Works near Desoto, Kansas. For her wartime contributions, she received a number of citations. She also worked for Westvaco Chemical and on the University of Kansas campus.

As an authority on the history of Lawrence, Kansas, Rowe contributed numerous articles to the Lawrence Journal World, and many of those articles were included in her two books on Lawrence, Wonderful Old Lawrence and More about Wonderful Old Lawrence. She also assisted with the organization of the 1954 Lawrence centennial celebrations and with plans for the observance of the country's 1976 bicentennial. She served on the board of the Lawrence Historical Society and frequently gave talks on the history of the area. As a member of Plymouth Congregational Church, she served as church historian.

Rowe's civic and community ties also included participation in the League of Women Voters, the Kansas Authors Association, the Altrusa Club, the American Association of Retired Persons, and the Lawrence Art Guild.

Elfriede Fischer Rowe died in 1992.


1.75 Linear Feet (5 document cases + 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection is organized into 4 series: University of Kansas mementos; Information about rationing during World War II and Mrs. Rowe's work at the Hercules Powder Company at the Sunflower Ordnance Works during that time; Historical information about the city of Lawrence and the state of Kansas; and miscellaneous personal and family papers.

Within each series, dated items are in chronological order. Large items, such as newspapers, are shelved separately at RH MS R194.

Physical Location

RH MS 958

Physical Location

RH MS R194

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Elfriede Fischer Rowe, 1974, 1981; Sally Rowe Jones, 1985.

Related Materials

Rowe, Elfriede Fischer. Wonderful Old Lawrence. Lawrence, Kan.: World Company, 1971. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C2073 and Uac1208 and at Watson Library at F689.L4 R68 1971.

Rowe, Elfriede Fischer. More about Wonderful Old Lawrence. Lawrence, Kan.: House of Usher, 1981. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C10884.

Personal papers of Elfriede Rowe, PP 143, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Karl H. White collection, RH MS P254, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Processing Information

Previously shelved at RH MS 322.

Guide to the Elfriede Fischer Rowe Collection
Elfriede Fischer Rowe papers
Finding aid prepared by mab, 2007; revised by cl, 2010; mwh, 2017.
Description rules
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Preferred citation
Elfriede Fischer Rowe papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 958, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States