Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood Home – Charles City, Iowa
Carrie (Lane) Chapman Catt revitalized the National American Woman Suffrage Association and played a leading role in its successful campaign to win voting rights for women.
In 1920 she founded the League of Women Voters upon ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Being born in Wisconsin, at the age of seven, her family moved to rural Charles City, Iowa, where she graduated from high school in 1877. Following her graduation from the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm in Ames (now Iowa State University) at the top of her class. She was also the only woman in her graduating class. After college, she returned to Charles City to work as a law clerk and, in nearby Mason City, as a school teacher and a principal. In 1883, she became one of the first women in the nation appointed superintendent of schools.
A classic example of Victorian-era architecture and utilitarian design, the Carrie Chapman Catt Girlhood Home is located about three miles southeast of Charles City, Iowa. The home today is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and has been restored at the direction of the National 19th Amendment Society, a volunteer, non-profit organization based in Charles City.
In 1865 and 1866, Lucius Lane – Carrie’s father – constructed the first section of the home prior to his family’s arrival from 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. As many homes of the era the house was built of brick with the enclosed, hollow exterior walls to provide efficient insulation for heating and cooling during each of Iowa’s four robust seasons.
Location: 2379 Timber Ave