Jeanne West Davis

Honored by:Wayne Davis
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Jeanne Frances West Davis was co-editor and publisher of The Seymour (Iowa) Herald from 1947 until her death in 1975. At the time of her passing, she was one of only two women who had been named Master Editor-Publisher by the Iowa Press Association (now the Iowa Newspaper Association).

Jeanne was born Oct. 3, 1922, in Chariton, Iowa, the daughter of Thomas F. and Maude Baxter West. She died June 21, 1975, in Kansas City, Missouri, at the age of 52 following a "cerebral accident" the preceding April.

She attended the Albia, Iowa, public schools, Albia Junior College and Drake University in Des Moines, where she received a bachelor of arts degree in 1943. For several months in 1944, she was news editor of the Clarinda, Iowa, Herald-Journal before her marriage in Albia on May 28, 1944, to Wayne P. Davis.

They had three children: Dr. Kenneth W. Davis of Indianapolis, Ind.; Kathleen, stillborn; and Polly (Mrs. Karl) Montgomery of Omaha, Nebr. Following her marriage, Jeanne joined her husband in the publication of The Moravia (Iowa) Union until he was drafted into the Army of the United States in January 1945.

After his return from service at the end of World War II, they managed and edited The Mille Lacs Messenger in Isle, Minn., for a few months in 1946 and 1947. They purchased The Seymour Herald Aug. 1, 1947. At The Herald, Jeanne earned many statewide newspaper honors, including the Master Editor-Publisher award -jointly with her husband - in 1971 and first place for women's news in 1972. Her weekly column "Type-Pie" brought her honorable mention as a Master Columnist in 1971. Jeanne had served as a grand officer in the Order of Rainbow for Girls and had been a member of Mortar Board honorary society and Theta Sigma Phi professional journalism society. She was charter president of the Seymour Business and Professional Women's club and was a member of PEO and TTT societies. She served as Wayne County Republican co-chair and was listed in Who's Who of American Women. The bandstand in the Seymour town park was built with funds from memorial contributions received after her death.