In Spite Of Wipe-out In Iowa, Early Twentieth Century Journalist Proves Women Just As Gritty As Men

“The west certainly surpassed all my expectations, and Iowa is great,” Cy Woodman claimed after traveling from New York to Iowa on a Flanders 4 motorcycle in October 1912. Ethel “Cy” Woodman had ridden cross country to follow through on a dare. The
freelance journalist had been at the New York City Press Club one day when a fellow journalist dared her to ride a motorcycle from New York to San Francisco. The dare came after Woodman boasted that women were just as “gritty” as men. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays.

Early Twentieth Century Iowa Librarian Moonlights as Journalist

The oldest blacksmith shop in Nashua

The largest private collection of geological specimens in America

An Iowa native who photographed glamorous stars

A Memorial Day parade in New York City

All topics of articles written by Belle Caldwell, Charles City librarian and part-time features writer. Earning a degree in library science from the University of Illinois in 1908, Caldwell, a native of Nashua, began an impressive career as a public librarian. Her feature articles carried in the Des Moines Register, Marble Rock Journal, Nashua Reporter and a national magazine, Musical America, brought Caldwell attention outside the library. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people.

Confederate States President’s Photo Album Ends Up in Iowa

Joseph Riley from Erie County, N.Y., was in a train station in New Jersey in 1873 when he overheard a conversation between two men sitting on a bench across from him. They were reminiscing about their experiences in the Civil War. One of the men had fought with the Union and said he had been stationed at Fortress Monroe during the final days of the war and that he had guarded the captured president of the Confederate States, Jefferson Davis. He said he had in his possession a family photo album that belonged to Davis. He guessed that Davis would be willing to pay dearly for the stolen piece of family history.

War of 1812 Vet From Iowa Never Lost His Patriotism

Shoppers in downtown Des Moines on September 11, 1874, were curious about a little fruit stand on wheels they saw on the sidewalk. It wasn’t unusual to see the elderly vendor selling fruit at the site, but on that day a large American flag adorned the little stand. When a passerby asked Charles Mooers about the flag, he replied that he was celebrating the anniversary of the War of 1812’s Battle of Plattsburgh. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people.

Titanic Survivor From Iowa Never Gave Up Hope

“I have not given up hope but what my husband was saved in some way,” Carrie Toogood Chaffee told a Minneapolis newspaper reporter in April 1912. Carrie had grown up in Manchester, Iowa, but moved to North Dakota when she married a well-to-do businessman named Herbert Chaffee. She remained close to her family and friends in Iowa after her marriage and visited often. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people.

Iowa’s Champion ‘Tomato Girl’ And The Secrets Of Her Success 100 Years Ago

Parents in Page County, Iowa, in 1915 hoped the actions of a local farm girl would cause similar seeds of thought to “germinate in the fertile minds of our youth.”

Eloise Parsons, 14, a member of the Page County Tomato Club, was honored for her work as a model tomato grower. On a small one-tenth of an acre tract of land near Clarinda, she grew a bumper crop of vegetables in the summer of 1914. After deducting her expenses of $15.61, which included renting the land, applying fertilizers, and her labor at a rate of ten cents per hour, Eloise saw a profit of $115.57. Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays. Cheryl Mullenbach is the author of non-fiction books for young people.