This collection contains the papers of L. Dorothy Green Lester and her Husband Rev. John P. Lester.  L. Dorothy Green was born July 18, 1902 in Rolfe, Iowa.  She graduated magna cum laude from Buena Vista College in Storm Lake, Iowa in 1926, where she later served as Director of Religious Activities.  L. Dorothy later received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Buena Vista.  She moved to Mena, Polk County, Arkansas in 1937 in order to help her mother and the Reverend and Mrs. John P. Lester establish retirement quarters for themselves.  Shortly thereafter, L. Dorothy and Rev. Lester were asked to temporarily fill the position of minister and assistant at Old Potter Presbyterian Church near Mena.  L. Dorothy was also asked to supervise missionary work in Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma; her main job was caring for the spiritual needs of the Choctaw Indians and African Americans who comprised these small Presbyterian missions.  For this and other religious activities L. Dorothy was named “Arkansas Woman of the Year” in 1954.  Soon after this she married the widower Rev. John P. Lester.  He died in 1958.

In 1963, L. Dorothy became the first woman ordained into Presbyterian ministry in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.  In 1970, after many years writing sermons and instructional materials, L Dorothy’s first book, The Grand Perhaps was published.  Numerous other writings for devotional magazines soon followed.  All this was accomplished while L. Dorothy was serving in the capacity of minister at the Old Potter Church, taking over after her husband died.  She retired in the early 1980’s and on December 6, 1989 L. Dorothy Green Lester died in Mena.

NOTE: When requesting materials from this collection, please specify collection number (M90-7), box number, and file number.

Arrangement:  This collection contains two series: (I) Personal Papers and (II) Professional Papers.  Series II includes the bulk of the collection, embracing both L. Dorothy’s and her husband’s religious notes.

Series I – Personal Papers:  Biographical materials; Personal correspondence; Business correspondence; Personal business papers; Newspaper clippings; Photographs

Series II – Professional Papers:  Literary publication correspondence; Contracts; Literary noted; Rough drafts; Literary publications; Literary works; Book & Religious Papers: Religious correspondence and information; Vacation Bible School Materials; Pamphlets; Religious Catalogs and materials; Sermons and notes; Appointment books; Sermon Notes (books); Summer Camp Booklets; General materials



Series I – Personal Papers

Box 1

File 1 – Biographical Materials

File 2 – Personal Correspondence, 1932-1963

File 3 – Personal Business Correspondence, 1922-1933

File 4 – Personal Business Papers

File 5 – Check Stubs, February 16, 1955- October 23, 1955

File 6 – Check Stubs, October 25, 1955- May 18, 1956

File 7 – Check Stubs, June 1, 1956- November 24, 1956

File 8 – Newspaper Clippings

File 9 – Photographs

Env 1 – Dorothy Lester at Elliot, Iowa c. 1920

Env 2 – Dorothy Lester c. 1930

Env 3 – Dorothy Lester c. 1930

Env 4 – Dr. John P. and L. Dorothy Lester Oct. 2, 1939

Env 5 – Presbyterian Church, Rolf, Iowa c. 1930

Env 6 – Dr. John P. Lester

Env 7 – Dorothy Lester and Previous Mrs. Lester

Env 8 – Dr. John P. Lester (fishing)

Env 9 – Dorothy Lester in Estherville, Iowa c. 1930

Env 10- Dorothy Lester in Estherville, Iowa c. 1931

Env 11- Dorothy (fishing) c. 1940

Env 12- Dorothy Lester

Env 13- Church scenes

Env 14- Landscapes

Env 15- Houses

Env 16- Buildings

Env 17- Lake Scenes

Env 18- Mr. J. T. Duggar and Dorothy in Fayetteville, Arkansas c. 1950

File 10- Photographs Youth conference at Camp Gordon Gray, 1946 and many unidentified persons and friends

End of Box 1

End of Series I


Series II – Professional Papers

Box 1

File 1 – Correspondence, Literary Publications

File 2 – Literary Contracts

File 3 – Literary Notes

File 4 – Rough Draft- Unidentified

File 5 – Rough Draft, The Grand Perhaps

File 6 – Literary Works

File 7 – Literary Publications

File 8 – Literary Publications

File 9 – Literary Work, Tho’ Sundered For

File 10- Literary Work Were You There?

File 11- Book The Grand Perhaps

File 12- Religious Correspondence and Informational Materials

File 13- Religious Correspondence

File 14- Vacation Bible School Materials, 1952

File 15- Religious Pamphlets

File 16- Religious Catalogs and Materials

End of Box 1


Series II – Professional Papers

Box 2

File 1 – Sermons and Notes

File 2 – Sermons and Notes

File 3 – Sermons and Notes

File 4 – Sermons and Notes

File 5 – Sermons and Notes

File 6 – Sermons and Notes

File 7 – Sermons and Notes

File 8 – Sermons and Notes

File 9 – Sermons and Notes

File 10- Sermons and Notes

File 11- Sermons and Notes

File 12- Sermons and Notes

File 13- Incomplete Sermons

File 14- Appointment Books, 1953-1954

End of Box 2


Series II – Professional Papers

Box 3

File 1 – Sermon Notes (Books), 1914-1915

File 2 – Sermon Notes (Books), 1915-1922

File 3 – Sermon Notes (Books), 1922-1923

File 4 – Sermon Notes (Books), 1923-1925

File 5 – Sermon Notes (Books), 1930-1940

File 6 – Sermon Notes (Books), 1940

File 7 – Sermon Notes (Books), 1940

File 8 – Sermon Notes (Books), Undated

File 9 – Booklets, Summer Camp

File 10- Booklets, Summer Camp

File 11- Booklets, Summer Camp

File 12- Booklets, Summer Camp

File 13- Booklets, Summer Camp

File 14- Booklets and Materials, Summer Camp

File 15- General Materials

File 16- General Materials

End of Box 3

End of Series II

End of Collection