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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Jones, Bernice Starr, 1906 - 2000 Collection, 1956 - 1977

Page address:

Minnesota State University, Mankato,
Memorial Library, Southern Minnesota Historical Center
Jones, Bernice Starr, 1906 - 2000. Collection, 1956 - 1977.
SMHC Manuscript Collection 183

Jones, Bernice Starr, 1906 - 2000. Collection, 1956 - 1977. SMHC Manuscript Collection 183. 2 folders, 2 audiocassette tapes, and CD duplicates of the audiocassettes.


The Bernice Starr Jones collection contains an oral history conducted between Jones and Marcia Mason in 1976, a second oral history conducted between Jones and Karin Thiem in 1977, and newspaper clippings and other related items. In the oral histories, Jones talks about her time as a musician, her involvement with music groups and clubs in Mankato, and her time as director of the Mankato Community Chorus. She also talks about the beginnings of the Mankato Symphony; her involvements with the YWCA, P.E.O. Sisterhood, and DAR; and her travels.

The items related to the Chorus are newspaper clippings, three Messiah musical show programs dated 1956, 1958, and 1960, and two typed copies of press releases for the Chorus’s rehearsals in 1960.

Biographical Note:

Bernice G. Olson was born on 22 January 1906 in St. Paul, Minnesota. She grew up in Duluth and attended the University of Minnesota between 1922 and 1926. When she graduated college, Olson possessed a Bachelors of Education with a music major. Subsequently, she taught in Faribault, Minnesota until marrying Henrik Strom of Jackson, Minnesota. The couple moved to Mankato, Minnesota around 1928. They had two children, David and Elizabeth. Henrik Strom died in 1954. Bernice Starr remarried six years later to Robert Starr. However, Robert Starr died in 1973. Following her second husband's death, Bernice Starr married Ben Jones in 1976.


There are no restrictions on use of this collection for research purposes. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property and libel laws as they apply.

Collection Citation:

Jones, Bernice Starr, 1906 - 2000. Collection, 1956 - 1977. SMHC Manuscript Collection 183, Southern Minnesota Historical Center, Memorial Library, Minnesota State University, Mankato.


Bernice Starr Jones donated this collection in June 1977.

Processed By:

The MSU Archives staff processed this collection in November 1981. Jeff A. Jenson developed the finding aid in February 2002. Brooklyn Vetter transcribed the interview in April 2013. Mee Xiong made additions to the collection in June 2017.

Related Collections:

It has been determined that the original recordings of the oral history interviews of Bernice Starr Jones are available at the Blue Earth County Historical Society, Mankato, Minnesota.

LCSH Subject Headings:

Bernice Starr Jones, 1906 - 2000.
Mankato Community Chorus.
Choral societies--Minnesota--Mankato.

SMHC Manuscript Collection 183



Newspaper Clippings and Related Items, 1956 – ca. 1975



Oral History Interview, Audio CD, 20 April 1976



Oral History Interview, Audio CD, 27 June 1977



Oral History Interview, Audiocassette, 20 April 1976



Oral History Interview, Audiocassette, 27 June 1977



Oral History Interview, Transcript, 20 April 1976



Oral History Interview, Transcript, 27 June 1977