World War II Victory Garden Mania Hits Iowa

“Own your own victory garden and four room house,” a Davenport realtor suggested to buyers in a local newspaper ad in spring 1942. All over the state businesses used the victory garden campaign to sell their products and services. Seed and gardening stores offered free seed packets and information pamphlets to customers to entice customers to plant victory gardens. Clothing stores advertised slacks for women to wear while tending their victory garden. A Charles City nursery advertised for “Victory Garden Salesmen” to help sell products to “make healthy American workers and fighters.”

Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays.

No Hitching Posts, No Business: Iowa History

Farmers in the Charles City area threatened to take their business to neighboring towns if the Improvement Association removed the hitching posts in the city park. But the 45 women who had formed the new association in 1903 weren’t about to back down. Before long the hitching posts were gone and only a fading memory. The hitching post removal had been a hard-fought victory for the women, but it was only one of many improvements they planned for the town over the next ten years. Number one on the list was to beautify the city’s only public park.