Fannie R. Buchanan


"In my estimation, there probably has been no other woman in the history of Iowa who has contributed more to the cultural enlightenment of rural Iowans."
— Mary Edna Pilgrim Sherman, 1983

Fannie R. Buchanan, who grew up in Grinnell, Iowa, touched Iowans in nearly every county in the state through the music projects she conducted for the Iowa State College Extension Service. During the lean years of the Depression, Buchanan brought classical and folk music and vocal and dance instruction to rural Iowans who had limited opportunities for recreation. Buchanan had worked during World War I for the War Camp Community Service and the American Red Cross, organizing special music and rehabilitation projects. After the war, she returned to Iowa and began her travels around the state, organizing rural choruses and staging pageants. Buchanan devoted much of her time to promoting musical activities in 4-H Clubs, and many of the songs she wrote for that organization were designated as official 4-H songs and are still sung today. Buchanan died in 1957. Buchanan was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1984.