MA 14




27.44 linear feet (21 boxes)


Rhea Beryl DeHaven Stewart was a teacher and a farm homemaker. She served on the South Dakota Board of Education from 1947 to 1959 and was a contributor of poetry and prose to many publications. This is a collection of manuscripts and published works of Beryl Stewart as well as material she collected and scrapbooks she created throughout her career.

Historical Note

Rhea Beryl DeHaven Stewart was born on September 2, 1899 in Linden, Iowa, to Albert and Eva DeHaven. The first years of Beryl's life were spent in Iowa, after which she homesteaded with her parents near Capa, South Dakota in 1907. In 1915, she and her family moved to Wessington, SD, which remained her home for most of her life.

In the fall of 1915, Beryl started teaching when she was drafted from high school to teach a group of 26 pupils in a rural school. In 1926, she completed her high school work at Northern States Teachers' college in Aberdeen, SD. She later took a teacher's course there and she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She was a student assistant in various departments while she attended college. She was a member of Kappa Delta Phi and Pi Kappa Delta, national societies, Beaux Arts Club and the Pasque Board. She also participated in forensics, dramatics and stagecraft activities.

In 1927, she accepted a position at Roosevelt Junior High in Aberdeen, SD. In the spring of that year, she took over the English and artwork in the new Simmons Junior High School. In 1930, she was made Director of the English Department at Central High School in Aberdeen. She taught English and dramatic courses and was adviser to the Drama Club and Word Craft, a publication initiated by Stewart and produced by students of the high school.

In 1932, Beryl was granted a Master of Arts degree from the State University of Iowa. Her major field of study was English literature.

On January 24, 1943, she married Chase David Stewart. She gave up her career as a teacher to become a farm homemaker. They resided near Wessington, SD.

Beryl Stewart was a long time contributor of poetry and prose to many publications. She was a member of the South Dakota Press Women and the National League of American Pen Women, serving the latter as state president. Her writings were awarded prizes in national competitions, poetry magazines and in South Dakota State Fair Literature contests. Her name appears in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in South Dakota and International Who's Who in Poetry.

Although Mrs. Stewart left her career as a teacher to become a farm homemaker, she retained her interest in education by serving on the South Dakota Board of Education from 1947 to 1959. She was also a member of President Eisenhower's Conference on Education in 1955. After her husband's death in February 1960, Mrs. Stewart returned to teaching English at Sioux Falls College.

Beryl DeHaven Stewart died on September 20, 1961.

Content Notes

This collection is composed of manuscripts and published works of Beryl Stewart as well as material she collected and scrapbooks she created throughout her career.

The collected works are composed of clippings about Stewart from newspapers, a book in which her name is mentioned, and several issues of Word Craft, a publication from Aberdeen Central High School to which Stewart was an adviser.

The correspondence covers the years from 1923 to 1942 and includes reference letters and letters from publishers.

The manuscripts are composed of essays, poems and short stories that Stewart wrote. Also included are works that Stewart entered in the South Dakota State Fair literature contests, some of which contain criticisms of her work and ribbons awarded. Many of these are included in the scrapbooks.

The published works are composed essays, poems and short stories that Stewart published in several literary and rural publications.

The scrapbooks are composed of scrapbooks that include correspondence and clippings from publications to which Beryl Stewart submitted her writings.

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


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