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Oregon State University
Special Collections and Archives
Research Center

Buena Maris Mockmore Papers, 1916-2010View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates: 1939-1969
The Buena Maris Mockmore Papers consist of materials created and assembled by Buena Margason Maris Mockmore Steinmetz documenting her life and work, both at Oregon State College (OSC) and Iowa State University, and her work for the Manhattan Project. Mockmore earned a Master of Science degree in Home Economics at OSC in 1939, and taught family relations and child development at Oregon State until 1941, when she became Dean of Women, a position she held until 1948. In 1943, Mockmore was asked to serve as the “Director of Women’s Activities” at the Manhattan Project site in Hanford, Washington, and took a yearlong leave of absence from OSC.
ID: MSS Mockmore
Extent: 0.7 cubic feet
More Extent Information
Scope and Content Notes
Biographical / Historical Notes
Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation: Buena Maris Mockmore Papers (MSS Mockmore), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.
Acquisition Note: Roughly half the materials in the collection were donated to the University Archives by Marjorie Maris Peterson, Mockmore's daughter, in 1996. An addition to the collection, specifically the materials found in Series 3, were donated to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center by Washington State University's Hanford History Project in 2016.
Acquired: 1996.
Languages of Materials

Container List

Series 1: Personal and Biographical Materials, 1939-1969 Add to Shelf
The personal and biographical information in this series includes obituaries, certificates, curriculum vitae, poetry, and correspondence. Certificates include an Oregon State College Phi Kappa Phi membership certificate (1939); a Certificate of Appointment to the Iowa Commission on Children and Youth signed by then-Governor Herschel C. Loveless (1958); and a Certificate of Recognition for outstanding extension work in Iowa awarded by the Alpha Mu chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, the National Honorary Extension Fraternity (1958). Obituaries in this series were published in the Corvallis Gazette Times, and the Tri-City Herald, a paper headquartered in Kennewick, Washington (roughly 30 miles south of Hanford). Also included in this series are materials documenting the establishment of the Buena M. Steinmetz Scholarship Fund in 1969, a scholarship awarded to a student majoring in Child Development or Family Relations.
Box-Folder 1.1: Certificates and awards, 1939-1958 Add to Shelf
Includes a certificate of membership in Phi Kappa Phi, a certificate of recognition for Outstanding Extension Work from the Iowan chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, and a certificate of appointment designating Mockmore a member of the Iowa Commission on Children and Youth.
Box-Folder 1.2: Charter Day Convocation program, 1943 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.3: In memoriam, 1967-1969 Add to Shelf
Includes obituaries, funeral programs, and materials documenting the establishment of the Buena M. Steinmetz Scholarship fund (correspondence, selection criteria, and fund balances).
Box-Folder 1.4: Love, by Roy Croft, undated Add to Shelf
Annotation by Mockmore's daughter Marjorie reads: "A very favorite poem of Buena Maris."
Series 2: Oregon State University and Iowa State University, 1916-1967 Add to Shelf

The materials in Series 2 document Mockmore’s extension work at Oregon State College and Iowa State University. The majority of the materials – which include speech and presentation transcripts and notes, and television and radio scripts – date from the 1940s to the 1950s, and address topics relating to family relationships, child development, and rural homemaking. Notes for a television presentation about the White House Conference on the Welfare of Families, Children, and Youth are also included. The publications and teaching aids include an article – "Lasting Values in a Changing World" – published in the Journal of Home Economics (1958) on handouts about family relationships issued by Oregon State College Home Economics Extension from 1938 to 1941, and referred to as "Maris's Mimeos;" and questionnaires and handouts about family relationships, teenagers, and children.

Also included in this series are 28 black and white photographs dating from 1916 to 1967. Roughly half the photographs in this series are studio portraits of Mockmore; the remainder include candid and posed group portraits documenting Mockmore's speaking engagements and teaching. Mockmore is pictured accepting the gavel of office in May 1962 as the new President of the Oregon State Home Economics Association, and her 1916, Jefferson High School graduation photograph is also included. Photographers include Josie Wolfe (Salem, Oregon), Gladys Gilbert Studio (Portland, Oregon), Hill Studio (Ames, Iowa), and Hise Studio (Corvallis, Oregon).

Of special note in Series 2 are questions submitted by teenagers in the 1940s and 1950s at Mockmore's family life meetings (Box-folder 1.27).

Box-Folder 1.5: Photographs, 1916-1967 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.6: "Maris's Mimeos:" Family relationships, parent education, and child development, 1935-1942 Add to Shelf
Handouts prepared for Oregon State College Extension Service Home Economics courses presented by Mockmore. Includes reference materials.
Box-Folder 1.7: Correspondence, 1937-1964 Add to Shelf
Correspondence in this folder is primarily comprised of thank you notes documenting Mockmore's speaking engagements while employed by Oregon State College and Iowa State University.
Box-Folder 1.8: "The Family Plans," "Choosing Family Goals," and "Untying Apron Strings", 1939-1945 Add to Shelf
Scripts prepared for radio programs presented on KOAC, Corvallis. "Untying Apron Strings" was delivered on air by KOAC staff member Zelta Rodenwold, Director of Women's programming at the station (and OAC Alumnus editor in the 1920s).
Box-Folder 1.9: "Democracy gets start in family, says Mrs. Maris", 1939 Add to Shelf
Oregon State College News Service press release.
Box-Folder 1.10: "Girls and Mothers", circa 1939 Add to Shelf
Presented in Myrtle Point, Oregon.
Box-Folder 1.11: "Rural Homemaking and the Children", 1939 Add to Shelf
Presented for radio station KKX's National Farm and Home Hour.
Box-Folder 1.12: Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home Economics: Plan of Work, 1940 Add to Shelf
Includes correspondence between Edna E. Walls, Extension Specialist in Child Development and Parent Education at the University of Illinois, and an outline of the work to be done as part of the Child Development and Parent Education project.
Box-Folder 1.13: News clippings, circa 1940-1965 Add to Shelf
News clippings in this folder document Mockmore's speeches and presentations in both Iowa and Oregon.
Box-Folder 1.14: Lists of speaking engagements, 1941-1947 Add to Shelf
The 1941-1942 list includes mileage driven to each engagement; the 1946-1947 list includes the number of attendees present at each engagement.
Box-Folder 1.15: Associated Women Students' Emergency Loan Fund, circa 1945-1948 Add to Shelf
Includes a brief history of the establishment of the fund, and fund balance sheets.
Box-Folder 1.16: "Leadership Makes the Difference", October 14-16, 1952 Add to Shelf
Presented at the Leaders' Conference held in Berkeley, California.
Box-Folder 1.17: "Smoke Signals", 1954 Add to Shelf
"Your Home Hour" television program script.
Box-Folder 1.18: "When Your Children Leave Home", 1955 Add to Shelf
Script prepared for the Radio Child Study Club, Family Series #10; Iowa State College.
Box-Folder 1.19: "Understanding Teenagers (and Ourselves!)", circa 1956-1957 Add to Shelf
Includes handouts, notes, and references for a presentation at Iowa State College.
Box-Folder 1.20: "Time for Spring Cleaning", 1957 Add to Shelf
May have been presented at Elkader, Iowa.
Box-Folder 1.21: "Our Families: Bane or Blessing", 1957 Add to Shelf
Presented at a conference in Walla Walla, Washington.
Box-Folder 1.22: "Lasting Values in a Changing World", 1958 Add to Shelf
Includes the draft of an article written for the Journal of Home Economics, and a copy of the issue in which the article was published.
Box-Folder 1.23: White House Conference Report, circa 1960 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.24: "Who's a Twig Bender?", circa 1960 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.25: "Women from Around the World on Common Ground", circa 1960 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.26: "Let's Work with the Grain", 1961 Add to Shelf
Presented to parents of junior high students at the First Presbyterian Church in Corvallis.
Box-Folder 1.27: "What Do You Want?", 1964 Add to Shelf
Presented in St. Helens, Oregon.
Box-Folder 2.1: "Building Responsible Personalities" and "Stair Steps to Personality Development", undated Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.2: "Growing Healthy Personalities: The Young Sprouts," "Growing Healthy Personalities: Not Bent Twigs, Those Deep-rooted Teens," "Putting Down New Roots: The School Child", undated Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.3: "Launching Youth as Mature Young Adults", undated Add to Shelf
Includes notes and outlines.
Box-Folder 2.4: "Understanding Teenagers", undated Add to Shelf
Includes question cards submitted by teenage attendees. Questions primarily concern topics such as how to tell if someone is interested in dating you, how and when to ask someone out on a date, and the age at which someone should start dating or get married.
Box-Folder 2.5: "What Do These Teenagers Want?", undated Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.6: "Who Gets the Lead?", undated Add to Shelf
Series 3: The Manhattan Project; Hanford, Washington, 1943-2010 Add to Shelf

Series 3 documents Mockmore’s work on the Manhattan Project at Hanford, Washington. Included in this series are flyers and memos dating from Mockmore’s time at Hanford, and her later reminiscences regarding her work on the project. Correspondence with Lieutenant General Leslie Groves regarding his plans to write a book on the project, and his requests for Mockmore’s input and insight, is also included. Two black and white studio portraits of Mockmore are included in the folder commemorating the Hanford's site 50th anniversary.

Also included in this series are materials documenting the life and work of Glenn Seaborg, an American chemist involved in the synthesis, discovery, and investigation of ten transuranium elements. Seaborg’s work with the Metallurgical Laboratory University of Chicago in 1942 informed the processes used to produce plutonium at the Hanford site. Nine color photographs of Seaborg and Mockmore’s daughter, Marjorie Maris Peterson, are included in this series. The photographs were taken at a book signing for Seaborg’s book, Adventures in the Atomic Age: From Watts to Washington.

Box-Folder 2.7: Correspondence, 1943-1944 Add to Shelf
Includes memos and informational flyers from T.E. Weissinger and R.E. Burton, and salary tables for Hanford employees.
Box-Folder 2.8: 50th Anniversary, 1944-1994 Add to Shelf
Includes Marjorie Maris Peterson's reminiscences of life at Hanford; programs for the Hanford 50th anniversary celebration; a letter of thanks from Under-Secretary of War, Robert P. Patterson; and a certificate of appreciation from the War Department, Manhattan District. Two black and white studio portraits of Mockmore are also included.
Box-Folder 2.9: News clippings, 1945 Add to Shelf
News clippings in this folder document the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and the work at Hanford that preceded it. Also included are clippings documenting the 50th anniversary of the Manhattan Project at Hanford.
Box-Folder 2.10: Lieutenant General Leslie R. Groves, 1960-1962 Add to Shelf
Includes correspondence between Groves and Mockmore regarding Groves' intention to write a history of the Manhattan Project at Hanford. Also includes Mockmore's reminiscences of her work on the project, and several autobiographical sheets.
Box-Folder 2.11: "Hanford in Retrospect," by Buena Maris Mockmore, 1963 Add to Shelf
Also included is The Hanford Site: An Anthology of Early Histories, prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management.
Box-Folder 2.12: Photographs, 1998 Add to Shelf
The 9 color photographs in this folder document a book signing attended by Glenn Seaborg and Marjorie Maris Mockmore. Two of the images include captions. The caption on the first image reads: "After Dr. Seaborg signed both his book and General Groves' -- with Dr. S's comment about Groves' book that was signed -- 'Now that's an important signature.'" The caption on the third image reads: "When books unavailable, people brought copies of the periodic table of elements and Dr. Groves signed them" (presumably, "Dr. Groves" should be "Dr. Seaborg").
Box-Folder 2.13: News clippings, 1998-2010 Add to Shelf
The loose news clippings in this folder were removed from The Plutonium Story.
Box-Item 2.14: The Plutonium Story: The Journals of Professor Glenn T. Seaborg, 1939-1946, 1994 Add to Shelf
A copy of this title is also held in SCARC's Atomic Energy collection, and in the Valley Library's Main Collection (QC773.3 .U5 S424 1994).
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