Fannie R. Buchanan

Honored by:The Music Department
Brick location:PAVER:22  map

Fannie Buchanan, the first ISU music extension specialist, began helping state 4-H leaders with their music program in 1922 as a special assignment while employed by the Victor Talking Machine Company (RCA). Buchanan, a native Iowan, was lured back for good in 1925 to a post with the Iowa State College Extension Service. She wrote the home study courses in which memorizing both music and routines for folk dances was expected. She introduced rural people to opera. All this with the strong support of Edith Barker and Josephine Bakke, State 4-H leaders in their living out of the extension purpose--to extend knowledge to the people of Iowa.

When the youth had achieved their music goals and had gained skill in singing together, Fannie invited them to perform at Farm and Home Week Banquets in Ames. A Dallas County chorus quartet orchestra and drama team were chief entertainment for the 1932 banquet. Twenty eight of the 32 members of the orchestra were active farmers, men, and women ranging in age from 16 to 68. County Rally Days, 4-H, and Farm Bureau Conventions provided other public stages RN their live performances.

Many a piano bench of farm homes held the little music booklets of narrative and music that Fannie Buchanan researched, compiled, and wrote. The titles reflect the width and depth of the studies. "Music Gems from an Old World Treasure Chest", "Half-Hour Studies from Famous Operas", "Little Studies in American Music", "Musical Moments from Latin America" and more--one upon the other, year after year, putting the "culture in agriculture," as R. K. Bliss said in 1936.

She was involved in a serious car-train accident during the WW II period, which disabled her and ended her participation in the extension music program.


Paver Inscription:

Marion Barnum
Fannie Buchanan
Louise Hamilton
Ilza Niemack"