From its earliest days, Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, pioneered daring and unconventional educational policies and practices. On January 21, 1869, seven Iowa Wesleyan students, bonded by their friendship, founded the P.E.O. Sisterhood.
When the Belle Babb Mansfield statue was unveiled on the Iowa Wesleyan campus on May 2, 2008, the wind whipped at the tarp, and at all who gathered for the dedication. But the nine-foot sculpted bronze statue appeared as strong and resolute as the woman it depicted.
May 3, 2008
Towering more than 8 feet tall, Belle Babb Mansfield stands overlooking the community that helped her become the first woman admitted to the bar in the United States. On Friday, the bronze statue honoring the Iowa Wesleyan College alumna was dedicated on the east side of campus in front of community members and national and local luminaries.
Aberdeen sculptor Ben Victor continues to make his artistic mark in places far from Aberdeen. Iowa’s First Lady Christie Vilsack recently called Victor to tell him he’s been selected to create a sculpture of Belle Babb Mansfield, the first woman licensed to practice law in the U.S. in 1869.