Carrie Lane Chapman Catt House – Charles City, Iowa
This house in Charles City is one of the homes of Carrie Lane Chapman Catt who spent her adult life working for women’s rights. She was a “pioneer” in this cause and led the struggle to give women the right to vote. It is currently being restored, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1865 and 1866, Lucius Lane – Carrie’s father – constructed the first section of the home prior to his family’s arrival from Ripon, Wisconsin. Seven-year-old Carrie, her nine-year-old brother Charles, and their mother Maria Clinton Lane lived in another house in town during construction, and moved into the modest but handsome home in 1866. Later additions, completed by about 1875, give the home its appearance today. Lucius Lane, seeking to accommodate his family on the rugged prairie frontier, built the brick structure with enclosed, hollow exterior walls to provide efficient insulation for heating and cooling during each of Iowa’s four robust seasons.
During the next 11 years, Carrie lived with her family at the farm. In 1877, she graduated from Charles City High School and enrolled at the state’s agricultural and science college in Ames. Carrie’s ties to the home remained strong, however, as she continued to visit her family. In 1885, at age 26, Carrie married Leo Chapman in a wedding ceremony in the Lane home’s living room (the east addition). Six years later, in 1891, the Lane family sold the property and moved into a house on Ferguson Street in Charles City. That house also remains at its original location today.
"The struggle for the vote
was an effort to bring men
to feel less superior and
women to feel less inferior."
Carrie Chapman Catt, 1924
Admission – None
Directions – south of the town on U. S. Highway 218
Hours – by appointment
Phone – (515) 228-3336 or (800) 765-3035