Harriet Beyer Stange

Honored by:Jean B. Stange
Brick location:F:4  map

Harriet Beyer Stange was born on March 28, 1886 in Rock Valley, Iowa where her father, Harry Beyer, was in the lumber business. Her mother Jennie (McElyea) Beyer an 1879 graduate of Iowa State College upon the death of her husband, moved back to Ames with her three young daughters. Harriet, the oldest child, was the only one to survive beyond their seventeenth year.

Harriet Beyer graduated from Ames High School in 1903. While a student at Iowa State College, she was crowned the first May Queen in 1907, graduating soon after with a Bachelor of Science degree. Her graduation picture in the 1907 Bomb had an accompanying quotation: "Is she not more than painting can express or youthful poets fancy when they love?"

She taught in the Iowa Extension Service from 1908 until October 20, 1909 when she married a fellow classmate Charles Henry Stange, DVM, who, earlier in 1909, had become Dean of the Veterinary Medicine Department and who was to continue in that capacity until his death in 1936.

Three children were born to the couple: Robert, who died in infancy in 1913; Elizabeth Jane, born November 18, 1916; and Jean Beyer born on June 7, 1920.

Harriet Stange was active in the Ames community. A member of Delta Delta Delta, she was president of the Faculty Women's Club as well as president of the Ames Chapter of the American Association of University Women. In 1927, she served as State President of the P.E.O. Sisterhood.

Upon the sudden death of her husband in April, 1936, she became Hall Director of the new Maria Roberts Dormitory on campus. Later she was in charge of the Off-Campus Housing Office at Iowa State at the end of World War II, when the GI's flocked to the campus and the demand for housing was greater than the supply.

Soon after the end of World War II, her daughter Elizabeth married Edward H. Peters, who graduated from Iowa State College under the G.I. Bill in 1950. Two children were born in Ames: Charles Edward was born in 1947, and Jeanne born in 1949. From that period on, Harriet Stange's interest as is the case of most grandparents never flagged when it came to her grandchildren.

Still maintaining an apartment in Ames in the early 1950's, she moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where her daughter Jean was on the faculty of the University of Tennessee. She became housemother to the members of the Sigma Nu Fraternity and it proved to be a happy mix. However, when her daughter moved away, she decided to leave Knoxville. Within months after her departure numerous telephone calls begging her to return made her change her mind. She returned to be met by a large contingent of young people and older friends by flowers and much fanfare at the Knoxville train station and on to a dinner held in her honor that evening. There she remained until she made what was to be a brief visit to Ames. However on April 15, 1959 she died in the Iowa State College Hospital. The boys back in Tennessee sent their chapter president to Ames to represent them and to act as one of her pallbearers. At the same time they asked the University of Tennessee to fly the flag on "The Hill" at half-mast in her honor. They paid tribute to her as a "great and unforgettable human being". She is buried in the College Cemetery alongside her husband Charles Henry Stange.

Submitted on 5/95