Where, oh where, are today’s Bob Rays?

It’s hard for those of us of a certain vintage to realize it has been 39 years since Robert Ray was Iowa’s governor. In spite of the passage of so much time, his name was on the minds of many people last week. What triggered the Bob Ray memories was Gov. Kim Reynolds’ interview with WHO Radio on Thursday. Reynolds was asked about the thousands of children, mostly from Central America, who are showing up this year at our border with Mexico without their parents. They arrive hoping to be allowed to live in the United States with relatives or sponsors, freeing them from the deadly violence and the grip of poverty so common where they came from.

Cattle Queen Becomes Lawsuit Magnet: From Iowa History

Mary Harrah had been a popular teacher in Newton in 1890. Within just a few years she had made a name for herself in the family cattle business. The Des Moines Register labeled her the “cattle queen” of Iowa and reported that she was central to the success of the 600-acre enterprise where the Harrah’s raised shorthorns. But Mary didn’t stay on the farm. In 1903 she was living in Davenport and had formed a partnership with a local businessman.