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Tinsman, Maggie (1936-)



  • Existence: 1936-


Margaret Bruce Neir, the daughter of Francis E. and Elizabeth Lourie Neir, was born on July 14, 1936, in Moline, Illinois. She attended Moline public schools and then earned her B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1958. At college, she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Gamma Mu, and Mortar Board. Following her graduation, Margaret Neir lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, and worked as an airline steward for four months until her engagement, when company rules required her to quit. On February 21, 1959, she married Robert Hovey Tinsman, Jr.

The Tinsmans, known to everyone as Maggie and Hovey, began their life together in eastern Iowa, in the area known as the Quad Cities. Hovey Tinsman, trained as a chemical engineer, founded the Twin-State Engineering and Chemical Company. Maggie Tinsman's primary role in the early years of her marriage was that of wife and mother. The couple had three children, Hovey III, Heidi, and Bruce. Though Maggie Tinsman did not work outside the home, she became very involved in volunteering at the schools and in such areas as juvenile probation.

In 1974, Maggie Tinsman earned a Master of Arts degree in social work from the University of Iowa. Her thesis was entitled The Changing Role of the Middle Class Volunteer. She began doing more community service, working for the next three years with the Children and Youth Project, a division of the Scott County Department of Health. The majority of her work was related closely with social service agencies and nursing and hospital services. She also worked with United Way, and she originated the Women's Community Leadership Institute Project, which trained women as potential board members for government agencies. In 1979, Maggie Tinsman was named Iowa Social Worker of the Year.

In addition to her interest in social work, Maggie Tinsman was also active in politics. A loyal Republican, Maggie Tinsman acted as precinct Committee Person in Bettendorf, Iowa, as well as a delegate to several county and state conventions. In 1978, she was appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Scott County Board of Supervisors and was elected that same year to a four-year term. She kept her seat for more than ten years, relinquishing it only when she became a State Senator in 1989.

As a County Supervisor, Maggie Tinsman was involved in several organizations of county officials. These included the Iowa Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the National Association of Counties, Women Officials in the National Association of Counties, and the Iowa State Association of Counties. In 1983, the German Marshall Plan, a project spearheaded by Maggie Tinsman, was selected by the Reagan administration as the United States county government representative to the German-American Federalism Symposium.

As a State Senator, Maggie Tinsman has served on committees dealing with education, human resources, appropriations, the judiciary system, health and human rights, and local government. She has also been an active leader in Medicaid and welfare reform. In 1996, Maggie Tinsman, a pro-choice Republican, who labeled herself a "fiscal conservative and a social centrist," lost a bid for a seat in the United States Senate.

(Biographical data taken chiefly from Maggie Tinsman's resume dated 8/97 and from "Margaret Neir Tinsman." Baraks, Gloria et al. Profiles in Leadership: Dynamic Men and Women of the Quad Cities. Rock Island, Illinois: Quest Publishing, 1981. 220-225.)

Found in 16 Collections and/or Records:

Maggie Tinsman papers

Identifier: IWA0348

Bettendorf Republican who served on the Scott County Board of Supervisors and the Iowa State Senate.

Dates: 1971-2015

Additional filters:

Archival Object 15
Collection 1
1971-1980 1
1981-1990 1
1991-2000 1
Archives (groupings) 1
Bettendorf (Iowa) 1