Ida B. Wise Smith


"In my book, Ida B. Wise Smith of Des Moines was one of the greatest of all Iowans."
— George Mills, The Des Moines Register, April 4, 1993


Ida B. Wise Smith fought for woman suffrage and child welfare through the Women's Christian Temperance Union and was instrumental in establishing the Women's reformatory at Rockwell City. She served as president of the National WCTU for 11 years and as president of the Iowa WCTU for 20 years. In 1927, Governor Hamill named Smith the "most distinguished woman in Iowa" for her contributions to child welfare. While chairperson of one committee on children, Smith prepared a children's code for the Iowa Legislature. In 1930, President Hoover appointed her to the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, and in 1940 she was appointed to the White House Conference on Children in a Democracy. Born in 1871, this Hamburg native died in 1952 at age 81. Smith was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1977.