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Arabella Mansfield - Educator And Administrator

belle iowa depauw degree

Mansfield continued her academic career at Iowa Wesleyan. Belle earned a master's degree in 1870 and a bachelor of laws (LLB) degree in 1872 from the same institution. She was a charter member of the Iowa Woman Suffrage Society whose convention met in Mount Pleasant in 1870. Using her law degree as a badge of respect, Mansfield went on the lecture circuit for the Iowa Peace Society, speaking about government and women's rights. She billed herself as "Belle Mansfield, Esq." for the tour.

In 1879 the Mansfields moved to Greencastle, Indiana, to join the faculty at DePauw University. John suffered a mental breakdown around 1883 and Belle took a leave of absence to care for him. He was eventually institutionalized in Napa Valley, California, and died in 1894. Belle never spoke of his illness in public. She returned to DePauw in 1886 where she taught but also devoted her energy to administration of the school. Mansfield eventually became dean of women and dean of the schools of art and music at DePauw.


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