Virginia P. Bedell
being included in a Bedell family outing to a ski jump at
Dakota when the temperature was bitterly sub-zero. Virginia might
well have enjoyed a nap in her warm home, but I doubt the thought
ever crossed her mind..."
Peter B. Narey, 1979
P. Bedell was the first woman county attorney in the state of
Iowa, having studied for the bar not in law school but with a
practicing attorney in Spirit Lake, Iowa. In 1940, with her appointment
to the Iowa Board of Parole, she became the first woman in the
United States to serve on a regularly appointed Parole Board.
During her 19 years of continuous service there, Bedell was elected
president of the Central States Corrections Association and was
active in other state and national corrections organizations.
As a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Bedell initiated
a program known as "Assigned Children," which has helped
thousands of needy children of veterans. Bedell was appointed
to the first Governor's Commission on Alcoholism and was a leader
in her church and in the Republican Party. Born to pioneer parents
in 1895, she died in 1975. Bedell was inducted into the Iowa
Women's Hall of Fame in 1983.