Ruby Neill Douglass

Honored by:Eleanor Soseman
Brick location:A:11  map

8/31/01 to 2/11/95 Oskaloosa, Iowa (Born: Adams Co.)

I am honoring my mother at the Plaza of Heroines because, though I will always remember her, I want her to be remembered. My mother was what God intended a women to be -- gracious, strong, loving, compassionate and confident enough in herself that she was able to help others be all they could be. "Gracious" was the word most often used to describe her. Ruby was the oldest daughter in a family of seven children born to Earnest J. and Nettie Houck Neill in Adams County, Iowa.

Her parents were hard-working, successful farmers. She did resent the fact that her mother, who was a county school teacher and church organist before her early marriage, was not allowed to vote until 1920. She took care of the Farm Business while raising and preserving most of the food for the family of eight (one child died in infancy). Mother was the first in the family to want to go to college and she graduated from Grinnell in 1924. She taught English at Mt. Ayr, Iowa, for five years and was appreciated by her students for her excellent training in writing and speaking. Her positive influence on young people continued all of her life.

On July 28, 1929, Ruby Neill married J. Wayne Douglass, a young merchant in Mt. Ayr. They lived in Winterset and after 1938 in Oskaloosa. I was their only child, born 5-7-30. My father was a highly respected business man who served their church the business community and Rotary International. He was District Governor, District 600, 1969-1970.

They celebrated 62 years of marriage. My mother received the first "Outstanding Citizen Award" given by the Oskaloosa Jaycees in 1949 and was awarded at age 93 a "Distinguished Supporter Award" by United Community Services in 1994 for continuing service to the community through church service and health organizations.

Ruby Neill Douglass was a person who made a difference in many lives. She was a great inspiration to me and to my husband and my four children and to our five grandchildren. Eleanor Douglass Soseman, Douglass John Soseman DDS, Amy Lynn Stover, Elizabeth Ann Kistenmacher, Thomas William Soseman JD MB.