Grace A. Harmes Loomer

Honored by:Marian Solomon
Brick location:E:24  map

Born: January 25, 1862 in Rockford, Illinois; died December 19, 1955, in Austin, Minnesota.
Married: John Milton Loomer in Thiensville, Wisconsin in 1890.
Three children: Clarence, Lee and Hazel
Teacher, journalist, poet, suffragette.

President of the Minnesota WCTU; attended the World WCTU Convention in Switzerland in 1928; active in the Methodist church in Sherburne and Austin, Minnesota.

She loved to travel, write and paint.
She served as a role model for her only granddaughter, Marian.

She wrote the following in the Fairmount (Minnesota) Sentinel in 1919: "Women are not greatly interested in politics but they are progressive. We can take 20 minutes to read and grasp what is read and women will not barter their votes for a mess of pottage. Read good, books make good friends and the world will be a better place for our having been here."

I am most distressed by the continuing attacks on the naming of a building for Carrie Chapman Catt, an honor graduate of ISU in 1880 who along with Susan B. Anthony labored her whole life to enable women -- Black as well as White -- to vote. All women owe her a great deal as indicated in chapter 10 of Strongminded Women of Iowa by Louise Noun. Without Catt's impassioned pleas to governors and legislatures in 1919 to act on the suffrage amendment, it might have met the same defeat as the ERA.

I raise the following rhetorical questions: Have any of us never made a statement that someone else might take to be sexist or racist? Why are women always held up to a "higher" standard? I heard stories about the suffrage struggle from both my mother, Helen Loomer, and my grandmother, Grace Loomer, who had leadership roles in the WCTU in Minnesota. Thus I am requesting the adding of bricks in their honor in the Plaza of Heroines. We women could not have achieved great strides without the efforts of the "Heroines."

Marian Grace Loomer Solomon

Submitted 9/26/96