Caroline E. Hunter Gardner

Honored by:Marilyn Stephenson
Brick location:G:27  map

(1889-1949) "Carrie" Hunter graduated from Iowa State College in Home Economics Education in 1912. A native of Ames, her forbears were among the earliest settlers in Story County. She commuted from her home to college daily via the trolley line that ran between Ames and the small station on campus near Beardshear Hall, which was a relatively new structure then, as was Botany Hall. She fondly described how as a student she helped to move the Home Economics department from the old to the new building.

To her, Carrie Chapman Catt was a very real and admired figure. Carrie Hunter was musically talented, an excellent student who elected to take calculus with the engineering students and active in college drama. One summer she participated in Chautauqua in Iowa, a prerequisite for which she was required to add five pounds on her slender frame to help preserve health. The Boston Cooking School cookbook from Iowa State days was her kitchen mainstay for many decades and the principles of home economics she learned at Iowa State served her well for a lifetime.

Her many natural talents and learned skills were used effectively and faithfully in community and social life, including Federated Clubs of Iowa, 4-H and Eastern Star, and in Methodist Church activities. For many years her talents in public speaking and drama were widely sought. Following graduation, Carrie opened the high school Home Economics department in Le Mars Iowa.

She taught there until her marriage in 1914 to her college sweetheart, W. Miles Gardner (Animal Husbandry '11), whose maternal ancestors Benjamin and Azubah Nye were the first white settlers in Muscatine county and whose paternal ancestors came over on the Mayflower.

Carrie and Miles Gardner lived on Iowa farms, first in Audubon and later Buchanan counties, during some good and extremely bad times, including the 1930's Great Depression. Always conscious of the benefits they themselves had received from a college education, they reared and college-educated their five children through great determination, perseverance and self-sacrifice. Two daughters graduated in Home Economics from Iowa State (Elizabeth '38; Marilyn '51). Carrie and Miles were wonderful parents and morally upstanding models for their children. In their strength and devotion, they exemplified the strong pioneer prairie spirit that has built and preserved Iowa and Iowa State.

We, their surviving children, are proud of our Iowa heritage and wish to honor our parents as our heroine and our hero through this memorial in the Plaza of Heroines.

Olive McCannon, Sun City Center, FL; Elizabeth Brown and Miles H. Gardner, Hazelton, IA; and Marilyn Stephenson, Alexandria, VA.