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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.


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A village in one of the garden spots of Iowa bears the name Letts.  To many of its residents the name recalls a train of golden memories of the pioneer, Madison Letts, for love of whom the people changed the name of their village from Onanawa to Letts.  From the tower of the church where his descendants still worship, a sweet toned bell, the gift of appreciation for the honor bestowed, still calls the people to worship.  In 1854 the Letts family journeyed westward from their Illinois home and established here the "Letts Homestead."  Here it was that Rowena B. Letts spent her girlhood days and here in 1860 was married to Edwin F. Brockway of Canesville, a descendant of an honored pioneer family.  All the sterling characteristics of the pioneer father and the lovable traits of a refined mother seem to have centered in the personality of Mrs. Brockway.  She glorified womanhood in its highest degree and the influence she created in her home, church and society, still lives to honor her memory.  Hers was a keen intellect and her father, husband and son, who have aided in shaping Iowa's laws and destinies found in her a helpful advisor.  She was a loyal member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, of Nehemiah Letts chapter.  A history of this Revolutionary ancestor was written by her and published in the history of the Iowa D. A. R's.

The later years of her life were spent at the "Letts Homestead" where she dispensed hospitality and good cheer until her death in September, 1912.  The world was better for having known her.


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