Press release from Congresswoman Cindy Axne:
On Tuesday, President Trump signed legislation authored by Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) to rename the U.S. Post Office in Clarinda in honor of Jessie Field Shambaugh, the former school superintendent from Page County and longtime Iowa educator known to many as the ‘Mother of 4-H.’
With the President’s signature, Clarinda’s post office will now be officially designated the Jessie Field Shambaugh Post Office Building.
“I am incredibly proud to see my proposal to create the Jessie Field Shambaugh Post Office Building become a reality for Clarinda. I fondly remember my time as a 4-H kid, and this renaming not only cements her pioneering accomplishments, but also recognizes the values of leadership, engagement, and community that have been instilled in millions through 4-H,” said Rep. Axne. “I am deeply thankful for my colleagues in the House and the Senate for their support and assistance in getting this bill signed into law.”
Shambaugh began teaching in Page County in 1901, and formed the Boys Corn Club and the Girls Home Club to teach students essential skills for the farm and home through extracurricular programs. To boost participation in the Clubs, she created a clover pin – with each leaf labeled with an H. Her design became the symbol of 4-H in 1914 when the Smith-Lever Act established the Cooperative Extension System at the USDA, formalizing 4-H clubs across the country.
Today, over 6 million schoolchildren participate in 4-H activities – learning life skills, leadership, and cooperation through the same values of ‘Head, Hands, Heart, and Health’ that Shambaugh helped pioneer over a century ago.
Shambaugh was also an author, radio contributor on KFNF in Shenandoah, and the mother of two children. She was born in 1881 near Shenandoah, studied at Shenandoah’s Western Normal College, graduated Tabor College in Fremont County, and was elected superintendent of schools in Page County in 1906. She died in 1971 in Clarinda. In 1977, Shambaugh was named to the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.
The bill introduced by Rep. Axne to rename the post office at 101 S. 16th Street was cosponsored by the other three members of the Iowa House delegation in the 116th Congress: Reps. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), and Steve King (IA-04).