Iva Belle Moore was born November 10, 1915 in west Texas, the eldest surviving of seven children of May V. Melton and Jesse L. Moore. She spent her childhood on several west Texas ranches, including the famed JA Ranch. She married Cecil Tucker in 1935; they had two children, a daughter who died shortly after birth and a son, Lyndon Tucker.
Cecil and Iva set up housekeeping in Texas for a time before moving to California in search of better opportunities. They supported the war effort during World War II and became permanent California residents, but visited west Texas many times over the years.
Iva never described her life as easy, but she had a strong sense of the life on these ranches as a unique and important moment in the nation’s history. Wanting the people and places to be remembered, she devoted considerable energy to identfying photographs, collecting family memories and ephemera, and recording her own stories in a strong, feminine script. Despite her very limited formal education (which she describes in one of her stories), her papers are well-written and reflect an eye for details that would leave important clues for future readers.
As her papers are transcribed, they will be published individually. View the collection here.