Iowa History, a weekly column by Cheryl Mullenbach exploring Iowa history, will appear on IowaWatch on Saturdays. Mullenbach is a former history teacher, newspaper editor, and public television project manager. She is the author of four non-fiction books for young people. Double Victory was featured on C-SPAN’s “Book TV” and The Industrial Revolution for Kids was selected for “Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.” Visit her website at http://www.cherylmullenbachink.com/.
The rat, mice, and ground squirrel populations of Iowa were about to be drastically reduced if the state department of health commissioner had his way. In December 1911 Dr. Guilford Sumner issued a statement that was circulated throughout the state. He wanted to exterminate every rodent that potentially carried the bubonic plague, cholera or leprosy.
In August 1910 the St. Louis Dispatch newspaper devoted a full page to a “Real Western Suffragette.” The reporter was writing about Carrie Vaughn Anderson, a former school teacher who was running for county recorder in Wright County, Iowa.
Deranged, lunatic, crazy as a loon: Those were words used to describe Mark Gray in April 1879 after he unsuccessfully tried to murder, Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth who had assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is a former history teacher, newspaper editor, and public television project manager. She is the author of four non-fiction books for young people. Double Victory was featured on C-SPAN’s “Book TV” and The Industrial Revolution for Kids was selected for “Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.” Her most recent book, Women in Blue traces the evolution of women in policing. Visit her website at: www.cherylmullenbachink.com
The Iowa State Fair of 1868, the 15th annual, was a disappointment in some ways.
“There is a handsome bronze tablet in the Army and Navy building in Washington, memorializing the mules and horses who died in the war; but nowhere is there found a record of the women who died,” declared Helen C. Courtney, a member of the Women’s Overseas Service League. The organization led an effort to establish a memorial for women who died in World War I, including a list of 161 names of “gold star women.” Among the names were several Iowans.
Iowa’s Governor Leslie M. Shaw delivered his annual message to the legislature and the citizens of the state in January 1900. He had a number of items on his mind, and he wasn’t shy about making his ideas known. The text of his speech was splashed in newspapers throughout the state.
I’m not going around trying to get kissed. I haven’t done anything brave. No one but a darned fool would have gone on that Merrimac trip.” Stuart, Iowa, native Osborn Warren Deignan was being modest when he claimed he hadn’t done anything brave. Most Americans in 1898 disagreed with the Spanish-American War hero when it came to his statement about bravery.