Rhoda Huxsol McCartney

Honored by:David McCartney
Brick location:B:14  map

It is my pleasure to nominate my mother, Mrs. Rhoda Huxsol McCartney, of Charles City, to the Plaza of Heroines at Carrie Chapman Catt Hall, Iowa State University. A lifelong Iowan, Mrs. McCartney's enthusiasm for community improvement, dedication to volunteerism and generosity of spirit are but a few of the many reasons that merit inclusion of her name as a Heroine. Rhoda Mae Huxsol was born and reared in rural Marble Rock, Iowa the only child of Julius and Ruth (Carney) Huxsol.

After completing two years of study at Frances Shimer College in Mt. Carroll, Illinois she graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She pledged Gamma Phi Beta sorority while in college and remains an active member. She married Ralph Farnham McCartney, a former Iowa State student and graduate of the University of Michigan School of Law, in 1950. Following a two-year residence in Des Moines the young couple returned to their native Floyd County where her husband with partner Jack Frye established a new law practice on Main Street in Charles City.

Rhoda gave birth to three children: Ralph of Washington D.C.; Julia of Philadelphia Pa.; and David of Wheaton Md. Ralph is a 1973 graduate of Iowa State in aerospace engineering Julia is a 1976 graduate of the University of Iowa in psychology and David is a 1979 graduate of the University of Wisconsin in journalism. Despite the demands of raising a young and growing family Rhoda devoted countless hours to her community and continues to do so.

She is a member of the First Congregational Church of Charles City and is a former 4-H leader. She is a long-time member of the American Association of University Women PEO Sisterhood the Republican Party of Iowa and Floyd County Republican Women. In 1978 she became a member of the Terrace Hill Society an organization dedicated to the restoration and furnishing of lowa's historic governor’s mansion. For more than 15 years Rhoda has served on the Society's board of directors as well as on the Terrace Hill Commission a state agency. Thanks in part to her efforts Terrace Hill today is an outstanding example of successful partnerships between government and private citizens as they seek to achieve common goals. Rhoda served two terms as a member of the Iowa Arts Council's board of directors. She helped to introduce the practice of scheduling board meetings at locations throughout the state as a way of encouraging greater understanding of statewide needs and interests. A visitor to her hometown may notice an unusually large number of picturesque beautifully landscaped parks.

Charles City enjoys more than a dozen such parks large and small half of which are maintained by the volunteer-run City Improvement Association. As a past president of the Association Rhoda supervised land acquisitions and development of special points of interest: a newly constructed old style gazebo and limestone bell tower at Andres Park for example and a new public display of a turn-of-the-century millstone for Main Street pedestrians. Perhaps Rhoda's greatest community achievement is yet to come. She is founder and president of the National Nineteenth Amendment Society a non-profit organization that in 1991 purchased the rural Charles City childhood home of Carrie Chapman Catt. The Society is raising funds to restore the unique 1866 farmhouse nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. When the home is restored it will be open to the public as a museum and memorial to the renowned world suffrage leader.

Without Rhoda's foresight an important part of Iowa history and social progress might have been lost forever. As head of McCartney-Huxsol Farms Rhoda is also a successful businesswoman overseeing the care and operation of more than 2500 acres of northern Iowa farmland. A generous volunteer forward thinker community activist businesswoman. Devoted wife, loving mother, and a proud Iowan.

I am delighted to nominate Rhoda Huxsol McCartney to the Plaza of Heroines at Carrie Chapman Catt Hall Iowa State University. Thank you for this opportunity to honor a very special woman.