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.