Belle Aurelia Babb

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Belle Aurelia Babb was born in Benton Township, Iowa back in 1846 to Miles and Mary.  Her father left for California in 1850, where he was superintendent of the Bay State Mining Company, where he was killed in the collapse of a mining tunnel in 1852.  After her father’s death the family moved to Mount Pleasant, Iowa where the children attended the local schools.

In 1862, she attended the Iowa Wesleyan College.  As the men were leaving to fight in the Civil War, universities were admitting women students, then hiring them as teachers.  She graduated as valedictorian in just three years.

After graduation, she taught school at Des Moines Conference Seminary in Indianola, Iowa for a year.  She returned to Mount Pleasant to marry her college sweetheart John.  She taught college at Wesleyan followed by DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.  In 1893, she was selected as Dean of the School of Art at DePauw, the next year she was hired as Dean of the School of Music.  She died in 1911, she was 65.

What you may not know about Belle Mansfield his that she was the first female lawyer in the United States in 1869, admitted to the Iowa bar. 

NW Arkansas, come for a visit, stay for a lifetime. 

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NW Arkansas the home of WalMart, JB Hunt Trucking and Tyson Foods.


Come for a visit stay for a lifetime.  



Comments (18)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - her father, like many of his time, likely came to California in search of gold.  

Sep 23, 2021 02:50 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi James - taking a teaching job to the next level to become a lawyer was a leap of faith at that time.

Sep 23, 2021 03:42 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, James... I'm astonished that this is a woman whose name is not widely known.

Sep 23, 2021 04:57 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Some just can't get enough education. Belle just kept going and going. Enjoy your day.

Sep 23, 2021 04:58 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

Good morning James,

Being a teacher in my opinion was the better of the professions.

Make yourself an awesome day.

Sep 23, 2021 05:33 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

She did great during tough times James Dray . I'd love to know how her law practice did.

Sep 23, 2021 05:52 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

You are right, I did not know that about her but now I do.  Of course, I will probably forget by tomorrow, haha.

Sep 23, 2021 05:53 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Thank you for introducing us to  yet another unsung hero James Dray 

Sep 23, 2021 06:00 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Sep 23, 2021 06:04 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

James, great job Belle for breaking the glass ceiling and forging forward in her field.

Sep 23, 2021 06:46 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Love her name, and I admire her accomplishment.  That is good, really wonderful for Iowa. A

Sep 23, 2021 08:19 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Interesting read about another very well accomplished woman. I wonder what else she might have achieved if she had lived longer?

Sep 23, 2021 09:50 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi James- now that certainly is an honor and achievement!  What a shame she died at such a young age. 

Sep 23, 2021 10:27 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Wow what a fascinating story and oh boy the first female attorney.... Endre

Sep 23, 2021 10:56 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - Bella was in the right place at the right time and took advantage of it.  Good for her!

Sep 24, 2021 07:32 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

That is such a good name it sounds like an old hell white ghost wearing a bonnet in someone's bedroom, I love it

Sep 24, 2021 11:09 PM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

James, another interesting life story of an accomplished life  -- Belle Aurelia Babb.  And to remember that she lost her father two times --- at the age of 4 and at the age of
6 years old.

Oct 28, 2021 01:49 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Wow! First female lawyer in the United States! That is a amazing achievement and a major glass ceiling broken.

Dec 13, 2021 09:52 AM