Janet Lucy Arthur Lusher

Honored by:Rachel Elder
Brick location:A:10  map

Janet Lucy Arthur Lusher was the youngest child of Ella Amaretta Abbott Arthur who is also honored here in the Carrie Chapman Catt Plaza of Heroines. Janet spent almost all her life in Dickinson County, Iowa within a few miles of her birthplace on East Okoboji Lake. Continuing the line of women school teachers she had formal training at Spirit Lake High School and then spent one year studying Teaching and Domestic Science at Iowa Teachers College in Cedar Falls. She taught in rural schools and lived with the families of her pupils at a time when scientific agriculture was emerging. She taught such things as how to test seed corn as part of the elementary school curriculum. A salt-of-the-earth farmer's wife she was a long time participant in Iowa States Extension programs continuing to attend training sessions for 4-H leaders long after her children were grown. Her oldest child graduated from Iowa State in 1944; her youngest child sixteen years younger also graduated from Iowa State. Her life-long commitment was to the proposition that "You should do what you think is right no matter what people say." As an Iowa farm woman during the stress of the Great Depression and the pressures of the World War II era she was steadfast knowing both pain and quiet happiness. In her last years after her husband's death she spent winters with her daughter in California except for one winter in Florida with a granddaughter and great-grandsons. That year she celebrated her birthday by going with her great-grandsons to a Scout meeting to learn about Florida snakes. Her winters in California focused on her grandchildren especially Ralph named for her husband. Although she was employed as a teacher only a few years she was a teacher all her life. When asked if she was jealous of all the modern conveniences her daughters had (running water instead of pumping water by hand electric range instead of cob fires steam irons instead of sad irons) she replied simply "I am glad my daughters are able to do what I would have liked to do." She was happy that today's women can have both professional careers and families. She was thankful for the dramatic changes in the status of women and aware of the challenges that are in the future. She was especially delighted when one of her granddaughters received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and became a professor.

-Written by her daughter Rachel Ann Lusher Elder ISU BS 1944 MS 1947