The Blue Book of Iowa Women

The Blue Book of Iowa Women

A History of Contemporary Women

Edited and Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914

Woodbury County, Iowa  Click here for the Home page.



The Blue Book of Iowa Women
page 10
Mrs. Carrie May Harding, the wife of W. L. Harding, Lieutenant Governor of Iowa, was born in Dunbarton, Wis., Nov. 17, 1879. She is the daughter of H. H. Lamareaux and Margaret Annetta Phoenix, both natives of "Wyoming county, Penn. She received her education at Morningside College, Sioux City, having been graduated from that institution in music and expression. On Jany. 9, 1907, she was married at the home of her parents at Meriden, la., to W. L. Harding, an attorney by profession. Lieut. Gov. Harding is the son of Mr. and Mrs. 0. B. Harding, natives of Pennsylvania, who came to Osceola county, Iowa, in 1874, being among the early settlers of that part of the state. He was graduated from the law school of the State University of South Dakota, in 1905. He immediately opened a law office in Sioux City and is now the senior member of the firm of Harding & Oliver. He was elected Representative in 1906 and re-elected in 1908. When George W. Clarke was elected Governor of Iowa, he was elected to the office of Lieut. Gov. Since 1906 Mr. and Mrs. Harding have spent a part of the year in Des Moines. Mrs. Harding is a member of the Board of Directors of the Legislative Ladies' League, and has been both prominent and popular in the social life of the capital city. She is a charter member of the Sioux City Woman's Club. She is a home lover and does fine needlework and china painting, and has for a creed, "East or west, home's best."


page 18
Matilda Anna von Schmidt is the daughter of John and Anna Elizabeth Lenz von Schmidt, both of whom were born in Germany and met for the first time on board the ship which brought them to America. She attended school until sixteen years of age when her father died, leaving her mother with eight children. She began to help her mother in the support of the family by conducting a millinery store, and the brave spirit of the girl was manifested in the success of the undertaking. On Oct. 31, 1884, she was married to Mr. Arp in Denison. Two children have been born to them, Myrtle Wilhelmina, the wife of Dr. H. T. Kennedy, of Pierre, S. D. She is a graduate of the Chicago Musical College and took post-graduate work in Boston. Esther Anna, the second daughter, is a student at the State University of South Dakota. Mrs. Arp has always been an active worker in the church and Sunday school, and is a warm advocate of study classes and clubs for women. "When she moved to Sioux City in 1910 she found no Woman's Club. She advocated its organization for several months and then invited a few women to a parlor meeting at her home from which the Sioux City Women's Club was organized on Nov. 25, 1911, having in its membership some of the brightest women in that city. Mrs. Arp is a member of the Equal Suffrage Club and an earnest advocate of its principles. Her life has been saddened by the tragic death of her brother, the Rev. Lewis J. Schmidt, a man of great ability and usefulness in the world. She has two brothers, Charles and John Schmidt, living in Manning, Iowa, and a sister, Mrs. Minnie Behrens, living in South Dakota.


page 49

Miss Margaret Gay Dolliver who is Dean of Women of Morningside College, Sioux City, was born on a farm near Kingswood, Preston county, West Virginia. She is the daughter of the Rev. James J. Dolliver and Eliza J. Brown. Her father spent over forty years in the ministry of the Methodist Episcopal church, for the greater part in the mountains of West Virginia. The family moved to Ft. Dodge, Iowa, in 1881. Miss Dolliver received her preparatory education in the schools of Ft. Dodge, later attending the Ohio Wesleyan College at Cincinnati. graduating in 1886. She took post graduate work in the North Western University 1905- '06. Taught in Fort Dodge schools 1886- '90. Upon the death of her mother she made a home for her father and her brother, J. P. Dolliver, from 1890- '95. In 1895 Miss Dolliver accepted a position in Morningside College and since that time has devoted herself to the educational interests of the young women of that institution, being Dean of Women. She is a member of the Education Committee of the I. F. W. C. She is a member of the P. E. 0. sisterhood and of a number of local clubs. She is a woman of broad mind and splendid Christian character. Beside the late J. P. Dolliver she has two other brothers, Robert H., a Methodist minister in Rochelle, 111., and Victor B., an attorney in Ft. Dodge, and a sister, Mrs. E. R. Graham of Evanston.


page 79
Mrs. Lou Miksell Chittenden, daughter of Powel Garner Miksell and Mary Kline Watts, was born in a log house, J any. 7, 1863, near Red Rock (now Cordova) in Marion county, la. Her grandfather, John Huff Mikesell, came to Marion county, Oct. 18, 1842. Prominent among pioneers he had a very large share in the upbuilding and progress of that part of the state. Mrs. Chittenden is a direct descendant of William Ashley of Rochester, Mass., who rendered heroic service in the War of the Revolution. She was educated in the Council Bluffs High School and in Drake University. For eighteen years she taught in the schools of Council Bluffs, being a ward principal six years of that time. She was married Jany. 30, 1905, in Denver, Colo., to Hiram Jonah Chittenden. They lived in Colorado for a short time, then came to Sioux City where they still reside. She is a member of St. Thomas Episcopal church and an officer in the parish Guild. She is a member of the Sioux City Woman's Club and for two years was chairman of the Household Study class ; is a member of the National Society D. A. R., of the Midlothian Golf club, and of the Boat Club. She has four sisters, all residing in Council Bluffs. Mrs. Anna Burtch Mikesell, Mrs. Adolph George Henning, Mrs. Richard Harry Harris, Mrs. Patrick Henry O'Donnell.


page 98

One of the really brilliant women of Iowa is Julia Clark Hallam, of Sioux City. She is an exceptionally veil educated woman, a lecturer of power, and a writer of ability. She was a pioneer advocate of suffrage and of the teaching of social hygiene, advocating these two ideas long before they came to be accepted as generally as they are today. She was born Jany. 7, 1860, in Portage, Wis. Her father was John Tellotson, Clark, and her mother, Louise Harriett Halley. She is a Mayflower descendant, tracing her ancestry direct to Gov. Bradford. She was graduated from the University of Wisconsin, B. A., 1881, M. A., 1883. She received the degree M. A. from the University of Chicago in 1910. Elected to Alpha Chapter Phi Beta Kappa of Wisconsin in 1913. On Aug. 17, 1883, she was married to Joseph Wood Hallam. They have four children: Marguerite, now Mrs. A. L. Matthews of Los Angeles ; Clark, Arthur Wood, and Kirkland. For thirty years she has been a member of the First Congregational church and has been an active worker in the Sunday school and in boys' and girls' clubs. She has been state president of the Political Equality Association, has been secretary of the L F. W. C's., and has been a leader of the Child Psychology Section of the Sioux City Woman's Club. She has served the Mothers' Child Study Club as president, and is a member of the D. A. R., church Missionary Society and Ladies' Aid. She has lectured throughout the state in Child Training and on Equal Suffrage. She is the author of "A Story of a European Tour," "Relation of the Sexes from a Scientific Standpoint" and "Studies in Child Development, ' ' all of which have had wide circulation.


pg. 100

Prominent among the professional women of Iowa is Dr. Ella Ray Gilmour of Sioux City. She was born in Holly Springs, Miss., March 3, 1866. Her father was a Baptist minister, Rev. Cyrus N. Ray, and her mother was Anna Lockhart Ray. She was educated at La Grange College and took her professional training at the American School of Osteopathy, at Kirksville, Mo., receiving the degree of Doctor of Osteopathy. She was married to Joseph B. Miller, a lawyer of Blackfoot, Idaho, on May 12, 1887. His death occurred in January, 1895. On July 24, 1898, she was married to Dr. George H. Gilmour, who died in May, 1907. Dr. Gilmour has three children by her first marriage, all of whom were adopted by her second husband and who therefore bear the name Gilmour. They are Ray B. Gilmour, Howard J. Gilmour and Mrs. Alta M. Quick. She has one grand child two years old, Roy F. Quick, Jr. She is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, and of the Iowa Osteopathic Association of which she is president. She has served as president of the Fifth District Iowa Osteopathic Association. During the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago she was one of the Board of Lady Managers, representing Idaho. She is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and has served as worthy Matron for three years. She is a member of the Baptist church, and like most business and professional women, believes in equal suffrage. She is a successful practitioner and one who loves her profession.


page 132

The Rev. Eleanor E. Gordon has exerted a lasting influence upon the lives of hundreds, indeed thousands, of Iowa people, among whom she has worked chiefly since her ordination into the Unitarian ministry in 1889. Seven years in Sioux City were followed by terms of service in the churches of Iowa City, Des Moines, and Burlington, and two years in Fargo, North Dakota. She has been secretary of the Iowa Unitarian Conference for seven years and still holds that position. For three years of this time she had charge of the field work and also edited the state paper. Old and New. For the last four years Miss Gordon has had charge in the winter of the Unitarian church in Orlando, Florida.' This is a winter parish only and the work can be done easily by one who has a four months' vacation. Miss Gordon's work has been characterized by practical accomplishment and she has achieved her ends by her own hard work, rather than by exercising the art of getting other people to do it. She might say with the Tennessee Sheriff: "I seen my duty and I done it." She has sought results rather than personal glory. Whenever the Unitarians have had a forlorn hope it has been the rule to send Miss Gordon there because she was willing to make the sacrifice and her good sense, tact and intellectual power were counted on to put the cause right. Her most important work probably was saving the church at Iowa City, the seat of the State University. Numerous men had been trying it for many years, supported by the American Unitarian Association and had not made much impression. Miss Gordon made the Unitarian gospel respected there and gave the church its first real grip on the university so that now it has a real reason for being. Cheerfulness and unselfishness, as well as intellectual ability of high order, have given Miss Gordon her strong hold upon the affections of the people she has served. Her preaching has always been sane and wholesome. She understands human nature and is charitable and broad in her views, so people have trusted her and been helped by her counsel. Her grasp of affairs and tactful way of getting on with people were well shown in her management of the "Woman's Suffrage Campaign in the State Legislature. Miss Gordon was president of the State Suffrage Association for two years. In this work, as in all her parishes, she commanded the devoted support of loyal friends, and these friends she holds through life, for they never fail to find her friendship helpful and uplifting. Miss Gordon was born in 1852 at Hamilton, 111., the daughter of Samuel Gordon and Permelia Alvord. The Alvords were of English origin. The Gordons were Scotch Presbyterians, driven from Scotland under the Catholic persecution and settled in Ireland. They came to America in 1745, and the old Gordon homestead still stands in Peterborough, N. H. She was educated at the Iowa State University and at Cornell University, N,. Y. Her address is Hamilton, 111.


page 223
Mrs. Cornelia Johnson Sawyer was born in Osceola, Iowa, March 29, 1869. She is the daughter of Allison Cord Johnson and Emily Brenton. She was graduated form the Osceola high school, after which for six years she did cashier's work in her brother's bank. This experience gave her a broad knowledge of business methods, which has made her an unusually efficient officer in various clubs and charitable organizations in later years. On Sept. 6, 1899, in Armour, S. D., she was married to Dr. Prince B. Sawyer, an able surgeon and practitioner of Sioux City. Is a member of the First Congregational Church of Sioux City. She is president of the Emerson Club, and for four j-ears was president of the local P. E. 0. chapter. For many years she has been a prominent worker for the Boys' and Girls' Home, one of the most efficient philanthropic institutions in Iowa. She has served as recording secretary, corresponding secretary and treasurer of the board governing the institution, and is now president. The children in the Home love her devotedly and she is like a mother to them all. She was one of the chief promoters of the Better Baby contest held at the Inter-State Fair in 1913, which was given under the auspices of the City Federation of Women's Clubs. She is a prominent member of the P. E. 0. sisterhood in Iowa, having served the State Grand Chapter most efficiently as vice-president for one year, and as treasurer since 1912. She has traveled over this country from ocean to ocean, making many journeys to different points of interest. She is a very clever, quick witted woman, is fond of society, charitable and generous, and always a loyal friend.


page 244

Ema Jackson Young was born May 23, 1870, in Terre Haute, Ind. Her father, Henry Llewyln Jackson, was of English descent and her mother, Elizabeth Mc- Kenna, was of Scotch-Irish ancestry. Their early home was in Liverpool, England, whence they came to Philadelphia. Later they moved to Indiana, where Mrs. Young was born. After her father's death her mother moved to Sioux City. She was educated in the Sioux City schools, and on April 2, 1889, at Des Moines, was married to George A,, Young, president of the Homesteaders' Insurance Society. Since their marriage their home has been continuously in Des Moines. Mrs. Young is a member of the First Unitarian Church and of the Unity Circle. She is a charter member of the original Robert Browning Club. She is a member of the Iowa Press and Authors' Club, of the Political Equality Club and of the Votes for "Women League. She believes very earnestly in equal suffrage, in its justice and expediency. She is a member of the 0. E. S., and of the Iowa Humane Society. For the past seven years she has been associate editor of The Back Log, a fraternal insurance magazine published in Des Moines. She is a widely read woman and finds in this one of her greatest pleasures. She is a home-loving woman, not caring for society in the common acceptance of that term. She and her husband have always been the closest companions, having a common interest in everything. "There are a few people who live in perfect sympathy, in silent understanding; who do not have to spend years in shouting explanations to each other above the noise of living. Each has looked into the other's soul, and that glance has left its record and made those souls akin forever."


page 273
Rev. Mary Augusta Safford, Unitarian minister, was born in Quincy, 111., Dec. 23, 1851, daughter of Stephen F. and Louisa Hunt Safford, moving in childhood to Hamilton, 111. She attended the public schools there and at the age of eighteen entered the State University of Iowa. In 1878 she organized a Unitarian Society in Hamilton, in which she preached for nearly two years. The Iowa Unitarian Society invited her to be ordained in this state, receiving her ordination in Humboldt, where she preached for seven years. In 1885 she was called to Unity church at Sioux City, which to that time had been a struggling organization. Through her efforts the society was built up until it became one of the strong churches in the state. She founded the Humane Society in Sioux City, and aided in the work of other literary and reform clubs. In 1889 she resigned her pastorate in Sioux City, to accept a call to the First Unitarian church at Des Moines, where she preached until 1910, at which time she was made pastor Emeritus. In 1909 she went to England, where she preached in the principal churches of the liberal faith, both in England and Scotland. Miss Safford has always been a missionary, giving the very best that was in her to build up weak churches and organize new ones. For eleven years she was president of the Iowa Unitarian Conference, secretary of Iowa Unitarian Association and a dictator of the American Unitarian Association, and a member of the National Fellowship Committee. She -is at present editor of Old and New. She is a woman of the highest type, and one who truly serves humanity.


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