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Lonita Gustad Corothers Papers

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Collection Summary

Identifier

MA 48

Title

Lonita Gustad Corothers Papers

Creator

Lonita Gustad Corothers

Dates

1942-2010

Extent

6.0 linear feet (6 records center boxes)

Language

English

Repository

South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.

Access note

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Preferred Citation

Name of item . Lonita Gustad Corothers Papers. MA 48. South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.

Abstract

Lonita Gustad Corothers was a student in the Division of Pharmacy at South Dakota State College starting in September of 1946 and graduating in the spring of 1950. Her graduating class was comprised of eight women and 56 men. Her minor was in chemistry. She began keeping a diary in 1945 when she was 17 years old and realized that she was "living in momentous times." The collection is composed of her diaries from 1946 through 2010, excerpts from and a timeline index of the diaries, correspondence with Tom Corothers written primarily during their courtship, a grief notebook written after her husband died, and her original writings and poetry.

Biographical Note

Lonita Joyce Gustad was born on May 19, 1928 in Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, South Dakota. She lived on a farm near Volin, South Dakota with her parents and a younger sister, Roberta, nicknamed Bobby. Lonita was 17 years old in 1945 when she began keeping a diary. World War II was ending and the second atomic bomb was detonated in Nagasaki, Japan when she realized that she was living in momentous times, but that in time the details would be forgotten.

She graduated from Yankton High School in May of 1946 and began her college education at South Dakota State College in September of the same year, graduating with a degree in pharmacy on June 5, 1950. Her pharmacy class of 1950 was comprised of eight women and 56 men. Her minor was in chemistry, a field that was also predominantly male at the time. Following graduation, she worked at Woodward Pharmacy in Aberdeen, South Dakota for a year. She then moved to Sioux City, Iowa where she worked and lived until the time that she donated her papers to South Dakota State University.

She met Thomas Edward Corothers during her time at college, whom she married on June 24, 1951. The couple had one child, a son named John born on August 3, 1952 who was killed in a motorcycle accident in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 25, 1972. Her husband died on March 1, 1998 at the age of 71.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into seven series:

Series 1. Timelines

Series 2. Diaries

Series 3. Correspondence

Series 4. Poetry

Series 5. Original Writings

Series 6. Diary Excerpts

Sub-series 1. 1949 Diary

Sub-series 2. 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage

Sub-series 3.1955-1973 Marriage and Family

Series 7. General.

Within each series, items are arranged chronologically, with the exception of Series 6 which is arranged alphabetically.

Contents Note

Composed of Lonita Gustad Corothers' diaries from 1946 through 2010, excerpts from and a timeline index of the diaries, correspondence with Tom Corothers written primarily during their courtship, a grief notebook written after her husband died, and her original writings and poetry. Of note are the daily descriptions of her experiences as a student at South Dakota State College from 1946 to 1950.

Series 1. Timelines.

Composed of notebooks containing timeline indexes with brief accounts of diary entries from 1945 through 2010. The index was compiled by Lonita Gustad Corothers to easily finding specific dates and accounts. Starred entries indicate more important life events.

Series 2. Diaries.

Composed of diaries from August of 1945 through June 2010. Of note are the early diaries which mention events of World War II and the author's years as a pharmacy student at South Dakota State College from 1946 to 1950.

Series 3. Correspondence.

Comprised of letters exchanged between Tom Corothers and Lonita Gustad dated from 1949-1964 during their courtship and early marriage. The bulk of the letters were exchanged before their marriage, from 1949 to 1951.

Series 4. Poetry.

Comprised of poetry written and arranged by Lonita Corothers. The manuscript was compiled in 2003 out of poems written throughout her adult life. The manuscript was received in five 3-ring binders: 1: Nature, Faith; 2: Love, Anger, Humor; 3: Death, Grief; 4: Philosophy; 5: Age, Miscellaneous.

Series 5. Original Writings.

Comprised of original writing by Lonita Corothers, both poetry and prose. Most, if not all, of these pieces were copied by the author and appear elsewhere in the collection. The writings were collected in envelopes and appear to have been placed in the envelopes by the author as they were copied. They do not appear to have been gathered in any order (chronological or subject) that could be ascertained. They are written on various types of scrap paper, such as discarded letters, envelopes, grocery lists, or church bulletins. The writing is rarely dated, however an approximate date would sometimes be indicated by the scrap paper.

Series 6. Diary Excerpts.

This series contains printed copies of diary entries, with comments occasionally added by the author as she transcribed the entries. The comments added later are usually inside double parentheses.

Sub-series: 1949 Diary.

Comprised of copies of diary entries for 1949, which the author felt was the best year of her life. It describes her experiences in college for the spring semester of her junior year and the fall semester of her senior year in college, as well as time spent at home during vacations.

Sub-series 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage.

Dated from 1949 through 1955, in which the author pulls excerpts from her diaries primarily pertaining to her courtship of and early years of marriage to Tom Corothers. Of note: a description of life on campus during the postwar era was added by the author at the time of transcription on the first page of the excerpts on courtship and marriage.

Sub-series 1955-1973 Marriage and Family.

Primarily full text transcriptions of diary entries dated from 1955 through 1973. Of note is the tragic death of the author's only child, John, on July 25, 1972.

Series 7. General.

Contains general materials dated from 1943 through 2010, including writing and personal reflections and correspondence with South Dakota State University President Peggy Gordon Miller primarily regarding the transfer of the author's papers. Of note is a Grief Notebook, written during the four years following the death of the author's husband.

Key Words

Corothers, John

Corothers, Lonita Gustad, 1928-

Corothers, Thomas E.

Diaries

Poetry

South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Division of Pharmacy

Container List

View container list on Open Prairie

Lonita Gustad Corothers Papers Container List. MA 48

SeriesBoxFolderDescriptionDate(s)
1. Timelines11Timeline Index 1 : 1945 August 29 to 1950 May 191945-1950
1. Timelines12Timeline Index 2 : 1950 May 20 to 1962 March 21950-1962
1. Timelines13Timeline Index 3 : 1962 February 28 to 1971 May 81962-1971
1. Timelines14Timeline Index 4 : 1971 May 10 to 1979 February 31971-1979
1. Timelines15Timeline Index 5 : 1979 January 29 to 1992 October 311979-1992
1. Timelines16Timeline Index 6 : 1992 November 1 to 2008 February 191992-2008
1. Timelines17Timeline Index 7 : 2008 February 21 to 2010 May 232008-2010
2. Diaries18Diary 1 : 1945 August 9 to November 291945
2. Diaries117Diary 10 : 1950 February 18 to September 261950
2. Diaries118Diary 11 : 1950 September 27 to 1952 August 11950-1952
2. Diaries119Diary 12 : 1952 August 2 to 1953 October 221952-1953
2. Diaries120Diary 13 : 1953 October 23 to 1957 May 281953-1957
2. Diaries21Diary 14 : 1957 May 29 to 1959 November 121957-1959
2. Diaries22Diary 15 : 1959 November 13 to 1962 July 51959-1962
2. Diaries23Diary 16 : 1962 July 6 to 1964 September 251962-1964
2. Diaries24Diary 17 : 1964 September 25 to 1967 March 181964-1967
2. Diaries25Diary 18 : 1967 March 19 to 1970 August 261967-1970
2. Diaries26Diary 19 : 1970 August 27 to 1973 January 231970-1973
2. Diaries19Diary 2 : 1945 December 1 to 1946 July 231945-1946
2. Diaries27Diary 20 : 1973 January 23 to 1974 December 71973-1974
2. Diaries28Diary 21 : 1974 December 7 to 1976 July 51974-1976
2. Diaries31Diary 22 : 1976 July 6 to 1978 April 61976-1978
2. Diaries32Diary 23 : 1978 April 8 to 1980 March 311978-1980
2. Diaries33Diary 24 : 1980 April 1 to 1982 December 241980-1982
2. Diaries34Diary 25 : 1982 December 24 to 1986 December 311982-1986
2. Diaries35Diary 26 : 1987 January 1 to 1990 July 291987-1990
2. Diaries36Diary 27 : 1990 July 30 to 1993 September 181990-1993
2. Diaries37Diary 28 : 1993 September 19 to 1995 March 101993-1995
2. Diaries38Diary 29 - 1995 March 11 to 1996 August 311995-1996
2. Diaries110Diary 3 : 1946 July 24 to December 311946
2. Diaries39Diary 30 : 1996 August 31 to 1997 December 11996-1997
2. Diaries310Diary 31 - 1997 December 1 to 1998 May 11997-1998
2. Diaries311Diary 32 : 1998 May 1 to 1999 December 311998-1999
2. Diaries41Diary 33 : 2000 January 1 to 2001 September 12000-2001
2. Diaries42Diary 34 : 2001 September 1 to 2004 February 82001-2004
2. Diaries43Diary 35 : 2004 February 8 to 2006 November 302004-2006
2. Diaries44Diary 36 : 2006 December 1 to 2008 September 12006-2008
2. Diaries45Diary 37 : 2008 September 1 to 2010 June 252008-2010
2. Diaries616Diary 38: 20102010
2. Diaries111Diary 4 : 1947 January 1 to 1948 January 41947-1948
2. Diaries112Diary 5 : 1948 January 5 to December 31948
2. Diaries113Diary 6 : 1948 December 4 to 1949 May 61948-1949
2. Diaries114Diary 7 : 1949 May 7 to June 61949
2. Diaries115Diary 8 : 1949 June 7 to October 271949
2. Diaries116Diary 9 : 1949 October 28 to 1950 February 171949-1950
3. Correspondence418Correspondence with Tom Corothers1957
3. Correspondence47Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1949 August1949
3. Correspondence46Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1949 June-July1949
3. Correspondence48Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1949 September - 1950 January1949-1950
3. Correspondence410Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1950 August1950
3. Correspondence413Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1950 December1950
3. Correspondence49Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1950 June-July1950
3. Correspondence412Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1950 November1950
3. Correspondence411Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1950 September-October1950
3. Correspondence415Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1951 February1951
3. Correspondence414Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1951 January1951
3. Correspondence416Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1951 March 1-May 141951
3. Correspondence417Correspondence with Tom Corothers : 1951 May 15-311951
4. Poetry617Lists of poems: first line of titles in order of tables (notebook) recordingsundated
4. Poetry618Lyrics by Lajaundated
4. Poetry619Meditations in Church2009
4. Poetry620Notebook I1954-2001, undated
4. Poetry621Notebook II1950-2002, undated
4. Poetry622Notebook III2003, undated
4. Poetry623Notebook IV2007, undated
4. Poetry624Notebook Vundated
4. Poetry625Poems - various formatsundated
4. Poetry419Poetry - 1. Nature | 2. Faith2003
4. Poetry420Poetry - 3. Love | 4. Anger | 5. Humor2003
4. Poetry421Poetry - 6. Death | 7. Grief2003
4. Poetry422Poetry - 8. Philosophy2003
4. Poetry423Poetry - 9. Age | 10. Miscellaneous2003
4. Poetry626Untitled typescripts (Autumn Lady is first poem)1950-2001, undated
5. Original Writings51Original Drafts of Writing (1)1949-2001 circa
5. Original Writings510Original Drafts of Writing (10)2002-2003 circa
5. Original Writings511Original Drafts of Writing (11)2004 circa
5. Original Writings512Original Drafts of Writing (12)2004-2005 circa
5. Original Writings513Original Drafts of Writing (13)2005-2009 circa
5. Original Writings514Original Drafts of Writing (14)2006-2010 circa
5. Original Writings515Original Drafts of Writing (15)undated
5. Original Writings52Original Drafts of Writing (2)1950-1977 circa
5. Original Writings53Original Drafts of Writing (3)1952-2001 circa
5. Original Writings54Original Drafts of Writing (4)1953-1989 circa
5. Original Writings55Original Drafts of Writing (5)1959-1976 circa
5. Original Writings56Original Drafts of Writing (6)1976-1982 circa
5. Original Writings57Original Drafts of Writing (7)1976-2001 circa
5. Original Writings58Original Drafts of Writing (8)2001 circa
5. Original Writings59Original Drafts of Writing (9)2002 circa
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage523Excerpts from diaries on courtship and marriage : 1948 October 20 to 1949 October 81948-1949
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage524Excerpts from diaries on courtship and marriage : 1949 October 8 to 1950 January 111949-1950
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage526Excerpts from diaries on courtship and marriage : 1950 April 9 to August 241950
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage527Excerpts from diaries on courtship and marriage : 1950 August 24 to 1951 January 131950-1951
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage525Excerpts from diaries on courtship and marriage : 1950 January 12 to February 101950
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage528Excerpts from diaries on courtship and marriage : 1951 January 11 to July 11951
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage529Excerpts from diaries on courtship and marriage : 1951 June 24 to 1953 January 291951-1953
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage530Excerpts from diaries on courtship and marriage : 1953 January 30 to 1954 February 111953-1954
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage531Excerpts from diaries on courtship and marriage : 1954 February 12 to 1955 March 161954-1955
6. Diary Excerpts: 1948-1955 Courtship and Early Marriage522Excerpts from early diaries - thoughts from daily entries1948-1955
6. Diary Excerpts: 1949 Diary516Copy of Diary - A thru E : 1949 January 1 to March 181949
6. Diary Excerpts: 1949 Diary517Copy of Diary - F thru J : 1949 March 19 to May 271949
6. Diary Excerpts: 1949 Diary518Copy of Diary - K thru O : 1949 May 28 to August 71949
6. Diary Excerpts: 1949 Diary519Copy of Diary - P thru T : 1949 August 8 to October 171949
6. Diary Excerpts: 1949 Diary520Copy of Diary - U thru Y : 1949 October 18 to December 151949
6. Diary Excerpts: 1949 Diary521Copy of Diary - Z thru 1950 D : 1949 December 16 to 1950 January 311949-1950
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family532Excerpts from diaries : 1955 March 17 to 1956 July 291955-1956
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family533Excerpts from diaries : 1956 July 30 to 1957 July 221956-1957
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family534Excerpts from diaries : 1957 July 23 to 1958 April 271957-1958
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family535Excerpts from diaries : 1958 April 28 to November 191958
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family536Excerpts from diaries : 1958 November 19 to 1959 September 181958-1959
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family537Excerpts from diaries : 1959 September 19 to 1960 May 291959-1960
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family539Excerpts from diaries : 1960 December 25 to 1961 July 251960-1961
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family538Excerpts from diaries : 1960 May 29 to December 241960
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family540Excerpts from diaries : 1961 July 26 to 1962 February 151961-1962
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family541Excerpts from diaries : 1962 February 16 to September 241962
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family542Excerpts from diaries : 1962 September 25 to 1963 May 191962-1963
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family543Excerpts from diaries : 1963 May 20 to November 191963
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family544Excerpts from diaries : 1963 November 19 to 1964 May 291963-1964
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family546Excerpts from diaries : 1964 December 19 to 1965 July 101964-1965
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family545Excerpts from diaries : 1964 May 29 to December 191964
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family547Excerpts from diaries : 1965 July 10 to 1966 January 291965-1966
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family549Excerpts from diaries : 1966 August 5 to 1967 May 141966-1967
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family548Excerpts from diaries : 1966 January 29 to August 41966
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family550Excerpts from diaries : 1967 May 14 to 1968 April 191967-1968
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family551Excerpts from diaries : 1968 April 19 to 1969 February 41968-1969
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family552Excerpts from diaries : 1969 February 4 to October 281969
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family553Excerpts from diaries : 1969 October 28 to 1970 June 291969-1970
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family61Excerpts from diaries : 1970 December 13 to 1971 June 241970-1971
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family554Excerpts from diaries : 1970 June 30 to December 121970
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family63Excerpts from diaries : 1971 December 17 to 1972 June 221971-1972
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family62Excerpts from diaries : 1971 June 24 to December 171971
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family64Excerpts from diaries : 1972 June 23 to October 241972
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family65Excerpts from diaries : 1972 October 24 to 1973 May 211972-1973
6. Diary Excerpts: 1955-1973 Marriage and Family66Excerpts from diaries : 1973 May 21 to May 281973
7. General67Background and biographical information 
7. General68Confirmation Bible1943
7. General69Correspondence - Peggy Gordon Miller2002-2007
7. General610Correspondence regarding transfer of papers2004-2010
7. General611My Grief Notebook1998-2002
7. General612Newspaper Clippings2009
7. General613Our Trip to the Yellowstone1948
7. General627U.S. Flag flown for Mr. T.E. Corothers1991
7. General614Writings - Memories and Reflectionsundated
7. General615Writings - Personal thoughts on marriage, religion, etc.undated

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Copyright note

Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.

Arranged and Described by

Ruby R. Wilson, 2012 February 7.

Additions made by Crystal J. Gamradt, Archivist on 2017 October 27