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P.E.O. Sisterhood New Mexico State Chapter records

Identifier: Ms-0134

Scope and Content

The P.E.O. Sisterhood New Mexico State Chapter records are arranged into seven series: Organizational records, further divided into four subseries: Register, Executive board records, Financial records, Corresponding secretary's records; History, Organizational events, Manuscripts, Oral Histories, Scrapbooks and Photographic records. Materials contained within this collection include records of the state executive board as well as of the individual state chapters. The collection begins with the constitution and financial records. The actual records are dated from 1929, when the state gained its charter, through 2018. There is a nearly complete run of state convention proceedings from 1929 through 2017. The bulk of the collection contains materials assembled for the 50th anniversary history of the New Mexico Chapter in 1979. A committee, headed by Stella Vaughan, collected individual chapter histories, clippings, photographs, slides, biographies, lists of past presidents, and scholarship winners, as well as published P.E.O. histories to use in the preparation of the 50th anniversary history. Extensive correspondence between the committee and the chapters is included in this section as are the drafts and proofs for the finished history, A Jubilee for a Western Star. The record books include a corresponding secretary's reference book and a convention register book covering 1929-1966. A new accession of records is added every spring. These generally include convention programs and proceedings, newsletters, and issues of the P.E.O. Record. The contents of each annual accession are added to the appropriate file and series.


  • 1906-2018

Language of Materials


Access and Use Restrictions

This material may be examined by researchers under supervised conditions in the Search Room.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with copyright and other applicable statutes.

Copyrights associated with this collection have not been transferred and assigned to New Mexico State University.


The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a philanthropic and educational organization interested in bringing to women increased opportunities for higher education. It was originally founded as a college sorority at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mount Pleasant, Iowa, in 1869, and later voted to retain its English letters and off campus chapters, thus changing from a college group to a community group. On the national level, the P.E.O. Sisterhood maintains four educational philanthropies: The P.E.O. Educational Fund, a revolving loan fund established in 1907 to lend money to women needing it for education beyond high school; Cottey Junior College For Women, a fully accredited liberal arts college at Nevada, Missouri owned and supported by the P.E.O. Sisterhood since 1927; International Peace Scholarship Program, established in 1949 to provide scholarships for foreign students to pursue graduate study in the United States and Canada; and the Program for Continuing Education, established in 1973 to provide grants to women in the United States and Canada for purposeful educational goals for self or service.

On January 21, 1909, Mrs. Viola Whittlesay, second vice president of the Supreme Chapter came to Carlsbad, New Mexico to charter Chapter A, the first P.E.O. chapter in the state. In April 1929, Mrs. Lu O' Conner accepted the charter for the New Mexico state chapter at the Supreme Chapter Convention in Chicago. During the fifty-three year history of the New Mexico Chapter, over fifty chapters (A-BU) have been added in various parts of the state.


29.75 Linear Feet


Records of the state executive board and individual state chapters for the women's philanthropic association.


  1. RG79-084 Gift of New Mexico Chapter P.E.O. Sisterhood
  2. RG81-018
  3. RG81-041
  4. RG81-092
  5. RG81-095
  6. RG81-105
  7. RG82-053
  8. RG83- 116 Gift of Mrs. Leon S. Pope
  9. RG84-136 Gift of Mrs. Leon S. Pope
  10. RG 85-124 Gift of Mrs. Leon S. Pope
  11. RG 87-009 Gift of Blanche Hubbard
  12. RG88-078 Gift of Blanche Hubbard
  13. RG88-132 Gift of Ardis Owen
  14. RG89-32 Gift of Ardis Owen
  15. RG89-46 Gift of Ardis Owen
  16. RG89-93 Gift of Ardis Owen
  17. RG90-87 Gift of Ardis Owen
  18. RG90-088 Gift of Ardis Owen
  19. RG91-018 Gift of Ardis Owen
  20. RG91-019 Gift of Ardis Owen
  21. RG91-021 Gift of Ardis Owen
  22. RG91-115 Gift of Ruth Ford
  23. RG92-57 Gift of Ruth Ford
  24. RG93-035 Gift of Ruth Ford
  25. RG94-103 Gift of Ruth Ford
  26. RG95-105 Gift of Ruth Ford
  27. RG95-024 Gift of Ruth Ford
  28. RG96-043 Gift of Ruth Ford
  29. RG96-046 Gift of Ruth Ford
  30. RG96-055 Gift of Ruth Ford
  31. RG96-056 Gift of Ruth Ford
  32. RG96-058 Gift of Ruth Ford
  33. RG97-028 Gift of Ruth Ford
  34. RG97-138 Gift of P.E.O. Sisterhood
  35. RG98-053 Gift of Cynthia Bettison
  36. RG99-078 Gift of Cynthia Bettison
  37. RG2000-050 Gift of Cynthia Bettison
  38. RG2001-069 Gift of Cynthia Bettison
  39. RG2002-153 Gift of Nita Swartz
  40. RG2003-062 Gift of Nita Swartz
  41. RG2004-023 Gift of Wendy Davis
  42. RG2005-070 Gift of Gift of Beverly Briggs
  43. RG2007-017 Gift of Beverly Briggs
  44. RG2008-010 Gift of Nancy Cobble
  45. RG2009-013 Gift of Nancy Cobble

Related Material

American Association of University Women records. Ms 0290New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.

Separated Material

Issues of The P.E.O. Record from 1919-2009 are housed in the Special Collections area of the Archives and Special Collections Department.


Contact Information

  1. Archives and Special Collections Department
  2. New Mexico State University Library
  3. P.O. Box 30006
  4. Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8006
  5. Phone: (505) 646-3839
  6. Fax: (505) 646-7477
  7. Email:
  8. URL:

Processing Information

Merleen Dilbert, May 1980

Ruleen Lazzell, February 1983

Marvin Steinback, January-February 2005, additional items added by Bill Boehm, August 2005

Additional items added and revisions made by Charles Stanford and Jennifer Chavez, May 2007, August 2009 and August 2012

Additional items added and revisions made by Isabel Lopez, Spring 2019
Guide to the P.E.O. Sisterhood New Mexico State Chapter records, 1906-2018
For Approval
Marvin Steinback
© 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA