Lewis, Susan

Susan Lewis

While preparing for the new Carnegie library in West Liberty, several building sites were under consideration. By informal ballot, contributors to the library fund could express their choice and the Lewis property at the corner of Spencer and Fourth Streets was favored.[1]  Mrs. Lewis, a widow at the time, sold the lot to the city for the library site. Her house was moved farther east and turned so that the front faced Fourth Street.[2]  Susan Lewis was appointed to the Library Board of Trustees in January,1905.[3]  As a former teacher, she had always had a great interest in the library. Initially, she was on the book committee and in 1912 she was on the executive committee.[4]  She resigned in April,1913 at the age of eighty.

Susan Troupe was born October 20,1833 in Montgomery County, Ohio. Her early adult years were spent in Ohio where she was a teacher, a favorite among the pupils. In 1871 she came to Iowa, resided in Cedar County with her sister, Mrs. Mary Gause, and taught in the area schools.[5]  She was married to John Lewis on June 24,1880 in Cedar County.[6]  Mr. Lewis had retired from farming and lived in West Liberty, where he was a director of People’s State Bank. He was a widower with three grown daughters. After moving to West Liberty, Susan Lewis was regularly active with W.C.T.U. work and was president of its county organization.[7]  Her husband died in 1900.[8]   Mrs. Lewis remained active in the community. As a member of the Floriculture Society, she assisted with their projects of making Oak Ridge Cemetery and Floral Park places of beauty. She was interested in the work of the public library and was a board member for eight years.[9]  After a short illness, she passed away Dec. 22,1916 and was buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery. She was survived by a sister, two stepdaughters, and several nephews.[10]

– Pam Schnittjer


[1] The Daily Times, Davenport, IA, March 22, 1904, p. 5.

[2] Muscatine Journal, Muscatine, IA, May 3, 1904, p. 6.

[3] Library Board of Trustees Minutes, Vol. 1, p. 74-75.

[4] Library Board of Trustees Minutes, Vol. 2, p. 3.

[5] West Liberty Index, West Liberty, IA Dec. 28, 1916, p. 4.

[6] Ancestry.com. Iowa, U.S., Select Marriages Index, 1758-1996 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.

[7]  Portrait and Biographical Album, Muscatine County, Iowa, 1889, page 564.

[8] The Evening Journal, Muscatine, Iowa, March 7, 1900, p. 1.

[9] West Liberty Index, West Liberty, IA Dec. 28, 1916, p. 4.

[10] Muscatine Journal, Muscatine, IA., Dec. 25, 1916, p. 7.