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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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Mrs. Roma Wheeler Woods

A very interesting woman, one loved and revered by all who know her, is Mrs. Roma Wheeler Woods, of Sutherland, Iowa.  She was born in Perrysberg, Ohio, March 16, 1835.  Her father was Daniel Holbrook Wheeler, descended from a historical family of Connecticut;  her mother, Lydia Churchill Martin, was descended from John Churchill of Connecticut.  She attended high school in Akron, Ohio;  her father taught her higher mathematics, and French and music were taught by private tutors.  For several years she was soprano singer in St. Paul's church in Akron.  On Sept. 4, 1855, at her home in Davenport, she was married to William Hanston Woods, of Iowa City, which was then the capitol of the state.  Their first home was in Iowa City, where Mrs. Wood was assured by legislators that her songs were no small factor in securing the passage of the first Iowa temperance laws.  During the Civil War she was an active member of the Army Aid Society of Davenport.  Her husband died in 1909, a son and daughter having preceded him.  Mrs. Woods is secretary and supervising librarian of the Gen. N. B. Baker Library, founded by her husband in 1874, the pioneer library of the district.  She was for three years chairman of the eleventh district Political Equality Clubs and edited The Standard, the state paper, for two years.  She has contributed to magazines and papers for many years.  Is district chairman I. F. W. C. of the eleventh district where she established the scholarship fund before it was adopted by the state.  In her pleasant home, filled with books, pictures, music and good cheer, at the age of 79 she is still active and finds in each new day, new joy.



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