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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 11173
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #11173

Title: Izora (Sue) Maynard Rawson

Dates: 1923-2001

Collection Number: 11173

Quantity: 1.5 feet

Abstract: Consists of the diaries and journals of Izora (Sue) Maynard Rawson which formed the basis of the 2013 memoir Dark Bread and Dancing by Rosemary Rawson, Sue’s daughter. Sue Rawson lived in Kensal and Pettibone (ND).

Provenance: The collection was donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Rosemarie Rawson, Sue’s daughter, on May 23, 2013.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.   

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

From Rawson’s obituary in the Fargo Forum, November 3, 2006

Izora Rawson, 100, Detroit Lakes, died Friday, November 3, 2006, in St. Mary’s Nursing Center, Detroit Lakes (MN).

Izora Maynard, known as Sue, was born January 27, 1906, in Willmar, Minn. She grew up and attended school in Pettibone, ND. She attended Valley City (ND) State University. She taught near Pettibone. In June 1927, she married Claude Rawson. They farmed until 1931, when they moved into Pettibone. She taught piano for more than 40 years. They spent winters in Apache Junction, Ariz., and summers at Leaf Lake near Detroit Lakes. Mr. Rawson died in 1987. In 1995, she moved to Tucson, Ariz. In 2001, she returned to Detroit Lakes and entered the nursing home.

She is survived by a son, Wally (Lue), Detroit Lakes; four daughters, Bonny (Oscar) Lenit, Stuart, Fla., Colleen (Vern) Gores, Lady Lake, Fla., Rosemary (John) Rawson, Tucson, Arlene (Merrill) Flanders, Robinson, N.D.; 27 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.


Sue was born when Teddy Roosevelt was President, raised in the brand new town of Pettibone in the North Dakota prairie. She honeymooned in the Black Hills of South Dakota when Mount Rushmore was just a mountain. She raised five children, three of them born during the Depression. She made music, she traveled, she taught. She knew about love and loss, about disappointment, delight and despair. Along the way she discovered that life can hold both meaning and purpose.

Sue lived one hundred years. Through much of it she recorded in ordinary spiral notebooks the minutia of her days and thoughts – the price of gas, what she thought of The Feminine Mystique and almost always what they had for supper. Her daughter Rosemary has distilled them down to a charming, personal, sometimes funny portrait of a life well lived. In many ways Sue’s life is unremarkable. In others it is the story of every woman who evolved through the amazing history of the Twentieth Century.


Rosemary Rawson was born in North Dakota in August, 1936, the hottest, driest summer on record. "As a child I believed it was the perfect place to grow up and I still do. Going through my mother's diaries I got to do it all over again. I still miss the meadowlarks and the lilacs in spring, the chokecherry jelly at the end of summer and the northern lights in a clear, dark, star-filled sky in the fall. I even get nostalgic about the snow of winter, which is always crisp and white in my memory. But that small town life of my memory no longer exists. But, I swear, it lives in Dark Bread & Dancing."

Rosemary graduated from the University of North Dakota and clasping her degree (English/journalism) headed for the nearest big city, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, where she soon married a newspaper reporter and produced four children. She is now retired and living in Tucson, AZ.


Box 1:
1 Diaries, September 1923 – October 1923; 1924 and 1951
2 Diary, September 1963 – July 1964
3 Diary – Europe trip, 1965
4 Diary, ca. 1965-1971
5 Diary, ca. 1965-1971 (continued)
6 Diary, 1969      
7 Diary, 1978-1994 
8 Diary, 1980
9 Diary, January 1981 – February 1982
10 Diary, October 1982 – June 1983         
11 Diary, July 1983 – May 1984
12 Diary, May 1984 – February 1985
13 Diary, December 1984 – April 1986
14 Diary, April 1987 – August 1988
15 Diary, April 1988 – April 1989
16 Diary, April 1989 – April 1990
17 Diary from time at the Elderhostel at Green Lake (MN), October 1989
18 Diary, May 1990 – January 1991
19 Diary, 1991   
20 Diary, 1992
21 Diary, 1993
22 Diary, January – August 1994

Box 2:
1 Diary, August 1994 – August 1995
2 Diary, September 1995 – May 1996
3 Diary, May 1996 – January 1997
4 Diary, 1997
5 Diary, January 1998 – June 1998
6 Diary, July 1999 – April 2001
7 Diary, April 2001 – October 2001

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