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RG1059.AM:  Elizabeth (Lemen) Wentz, 1869-1956

Papers:  1920-1935

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska:  Educator

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


Elizabeth Lemen Wentz was born in DuQuoin, Illinois in 1869, and at age fourteen move with her family to Lincoln, Nebraska. After returning to Illinois to attend college, she settled permanently in Lincoln by marrying local plumbing and heating engineer, George H. Wentz, in 1891.

Mrs. Wentz was a pioneer in the field of Nebraska education as evidenced by her efforts in organizing the state’s Parent Teachers Association and serving as its first president from 1922-1926. She was also influential as a twelve-year member of the Lincoln City Board of Education, a lifetime member of the National Education Association, and State Chairman of the American Health Association. Her many achievements included originating the idea for official recognition of March 1st as “State Day”, and compiling the “Know Nebraska” book series.

After a long, active life of extensive professional involvement, Mrs. George H. Wentz died at her Lincoln home on November 13, 1956. She was eighty-seven years old. Her husband died at the age of eighty-eight in 1953. Two sons, Harry and Lawrence, survived the couple.


This collection consists of one box of manuscript material relating to educator, Elizabeth L. Wentz. Arrangement is in seven series within two subgroups. Subgroup 1, Nebraska Congress of Parents and Teachers, includes three series: (1) Reports, 1923-1926; (2) State Day Files, 1930s; and (3) Miscellany, 1920s-1930s. Subgroup 2, National Congress of Parents and Teachers consists of four series: (1) Minutes, 1924-1926; (2) Reports and plans of work, 1925-1927; (3) Resolutions, 1925; and (4) Printed Matter, 1920s.

The bulk of this collection consists of material pertaining to professional activities of Elizabeth L. Wentz during her tenure as first president of the Nebraska Congress of Parents and Teachers. Specifically, Series One, Reports, 1923-1926, of Subgroup 1, Nebraska Congress of Parents and Teachers represents a compilation of efforts by various officers and members within the Nebraska PTA. The second series in this subgroup, State Day Files, 1930s, includes speeches, essays, and reminiscences compiled by various individuals in conjunction with the celebration of State Day, a Wentz project. The final series in the first subgroup is Miscellany, 1920s-1930s, and incorporates by-laws, galley proofs for “Know Nebraska” and assorted printed matter (newsletters, clippings, etc.)

The four series in Subgroup 2, National Congress of Parents and Teachers, reflect the various activities of this national educational organization with which Mrs. Wentz was affiliated. Series one, Minutes, 1924-1926, documents primarily the proceedings of various meetings of the National Congress. Series two, Reports and Plans of Work, 1925-1927, and series three, Resolutions, 1925 represent the products of some of those committee meetings in the form of detailed recommendations and observations on a variety of matters. The fourth series, Printed Matter, 1920s, contains primarily National Congress pamphlets addressing a variety of topics and intended for use by PTA’s at the local level.


Subgroup 1: Nebraska Congress of Parents and Teachers

Series 1 – Reports, 1923-1926

Box 1


  1. Reports, 1923-1926

Series 2 – State Day files, 1930s

  1. Speeches, 1934

  1. Essays, 1930

Series 3 – Miscellany, 1920s – 1930s

  1. Misc. including by-laws and printed matter

Subgroup 2: National Congress of Parents and Teachers

Series 1 – Minutes, 1924-1926

  1. Minutes, 1924-1926

Series 2 – Reports and Plans of Work, 1925-1927

  1. Reports, 1925-1927

Series 3 – Resolutions, 1925

  1. Resolutions, 1925

Series 4 – Printed Matter, 1920s

  1. Printed Matter, 1920s


Subject headings:

Education — Nebraska — History


National Congress of Parents and Teachers

Nebraska Congress of Parents and Teachers

Nebraska — History

Parents and Teachers Associations

State Day — Nebraska

Teachers — Nebraska

Wentz, Elizabeth (Lemen), 1869-1956

Wentz, George Harrison, 1865-1953


Revised TMM       04-26-2007