|Honored by:||Sarah E. Teaford|
|Brick location:||G:27 map|
Jane Teaford, my mother, was born on a farm near Hunter, Kansas in 1935, the youngest of six children born to Fred W. and Antoinette P. Lawson Brown. Her given name was Laura Jane Brown. She attended area schools in Lincoln county, Kansas through the ninth grade and graduated from Burr Oak High School in 1953.
My mother followed in the footsteps of her five older siblings, and entered Kansas State University (or Kansas State College, as it was known at that time), in the fall of 1953. She met my father on a blind date in 1956 when she was a junior. She graduated in 1957 with a B.S. in Home Economics and worked for one and one-half years as a county home economics extension agent. On February 8th, 1959, my mother married William J. Teaford in the North Branch Friend's Church in North Branch, Kansas. Their first home was in Downer's Grove, Illinois.
In 1962, my father completed his M.S. in Agriculture Engineering from the University of Illinois. A position with John Deere brought them to Cedar Falls, Iowa in May of 1962. My mother joined the League of Women Voters of Waterloo-Cedar Falls in 1963. She was on the local board from 1964-1971, the last two years serving as president. This was the beginning of her involvement in government and politics. My mother served on the League of Women Voters of Iowa Board of Directors from 1972-1981, anti was president of that board for two years.
In 1984, my mother was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives, where she served 4 terms in the Democratic majority. She continues to be a community activist, serving on local boards as well as working in local politics as a volunteer.
Carrie Chapman Catt's life's work was promoting education, securing the right to vote for women, and working for world peace. She founded the League of Women Voters. When I found out that a Carrie Chapman Catt Hall was going to be dedicated, and that a plaza of engraved bricks honoring women for their contributions was going to be offered, I knew I wanted to honor my mother.
I am not only honoring my mother for her involvement in government and politics, but for her commitment to her family. Although she was always active in the community, neither my brother, Phillip, nor I ever felt as though she didn't have time for us. Our individualities were always fostered and encouraged and although politics was a passion for my mother, we never felt the pressure to become involved in anything we didn't want to do.
I was a Camp Fire Girl and my mother was a leader for six years, always finding new and exciting ways to teach our troop different skills. She encouraged both my brother and I to develop musical skills, and she herself continues to play the piano. In the summer, when we were children, she would take us to the local swimming pool and spend quality time, watching and teaching us how to swim. I cannot say enough about my mother, and the wondrous childhood she fostered for us. She was always there for us ... and still is.
She has been an inspiration and a powerful role model. She is the most honest and honorable woman I know. This short biography serves as a permanent reminder for my heroine my mother.
Submitted on 7/1/96