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Anna Cochrane Lomas papers

Identifier: IWA0053

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Scope and Contents

The Anna Lomas papers date from 1917 to 1991 and measure 5 linear feet. The papers document the political careers of Anna Lomas and her father William Cochrane. The papers are arranged in three subgroups: Personal, Political, and William Cochrane Papers. These papers would be most useful for a researcher interested in the role and perspective of a woman in the Republican Party at mid-century, the popular or material culture of US politics at this time, or local and state political organizations and activities.

The Personal Papers subgroup includes biographical information about Anna Lomas and material from her service on the White House Conference on Aging and the Iowa State Historical Society. There is material from Herbert Hoover's 80th birthday commemoration and the Hoover Presidential Library Dedication. The subgroup also contains a speech Lomas made when honored by her sorority as well as photographs and correspondence.

The Political Papers are further divided into four series: Iowa Republican Party, National Republican Party, Political Campaigns, and Artifacts. Each series is organized chronologically. The Iowa Republican Party series contains material on Republican party conventions from 1944 to 1972, gubernatorial inaugurations from 1955 to 1969, party workshops in the 1950s and 1960s, the Iowa Republican Party Central Committee activities in the 1950s and 1960s, and materials of the Iowa Council of Republican Women from the 1940s to the 1960s. The National party papers are primarily from the 1950s and 1960s but contain some items from the 1940s, 1970s, and early 1980s. Material includes programs, flyers, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and photographs from national conventions; programs, memoirs, meeting reports, and photographs from presidential inaugurations; correspondence, meeting minutes, publications, newsletters, and announcements of the Republican National Committee and its women's organizations and conferences, and publications and photographs from the National Federation of Republican Women.

The Political Campaigns series dates from 1944 to 1968 and contains local, state, and national levels including speeches, newspaper clippings, photographs, flyers, sheet music, and memorabilia from the campaigns. Among the Artifacts are political campaign and Republican party buttons, jewelry, bumper stickers, ribbons, and similar material from 1912 to 1981. In 1956 Lomas kept a scrapbook of material relevant to her political activities from the state convention through the campaign and election and including the 1957 inaugurations of the governor and president. The material was never pasted into the scrapbook and has been sorted and arranged within the relevant series in this subgroup.

The William Cochrane subgroup contains papers relating to Cochrane's service on the draft exemption board from 1917 to 1919 and extensive correspondence from the 1931 session of the General Assembly on issues such as a proposed state driver's license law, income tax legislation, proposed state constabulary, school funding issues, proposal that dentists might purchase limited amounts of whiskey for their practice, and opposition to mandatory military training at state colleges and universities. Late in her life Lomas privately published a memoir of her father entitled William Cochrane: Biography of a Self-Made Man, a copy is included with his papers.


  • Creation: 1917-1991


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Anna Cochrane Lomas was born in Monroe, Iowa on June 25, 1896, the oldest child of William and Myrtle Murphy Cochrane. In 1900 her father moved the family to Red Oak, Iowa where he became a partner in his brother-in-law's business, the Thomas D. Murphy Art Calendar Company. Among his numerous community services, Cochrane served on the Iowa District Exemption Board for the Military Draft during the First World War. Anna Cochrane attended Red Oak public schools from 1902 to 1914 and the University of Iowa from 1914 to 1917. There she met Malcolm DeWitt Lomas of Villisca, Iowa, whom she married on December 27, 1917. The couple settled in Red Oak, where Malcolm managed the sales force for the Murphy calendar firm.

In 1926 William Cochrane ran successfully for state senate on a road improvement platform. He served in the General Assembly from 1927 to 1932. Toward the end of his political career, Cochrane began to lose his eyesight and his daughter Anna read to him political news, constituent correspondence, and other material necessary to his duties in the General Assembly. She credits this time with her father as the inspiration for her political career. William Cochrane became president and sole owner of the calendar company in 1931. When he died in 1941, Malcolm Lomas took over the firm.

As her children grew, Anna Lomas became increasingly involved in politics. During World War II she was active in local Republican women's clubs. She was a delegate to the State Republican Convention from the 1940s through the 1970s. Lomas served as an alternate to the Republican National Convention in 1944 and was a regular delegate to the National Convention in 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1964. She was a member of the State Republican Committee for the 7th Congressional District of Iowa from 1944 to 1952 and was Iowa Republican National Committeewoman from 1952 to 1964.

Lomas served as a member of the White House Conference on Aging in 1961, was a curator of the Iowa Historical Society from 1946 to 1957 and 1962 to 1965, served in the Montgomery County chapter of the American Red Cross and was active in local church and youth groups throughout her life. During her long career, Lomas remained active in Republican women's organizations. In the early 1950s the Republican party recognized the political potential of women and began to actively encourage their participation. Lomas believed that the Republican party was the party that best addressed women's issues and offered women the greatest opportunities for political involvement. She was not, however, afraid to point out when she thought the party was dragging its feet. In a handwritten memoir of her visit to Washington for the 1953 Presidential inauguration, she said of the Republican National Committee organization: "There is no doubt that men have complete control in the political field in spite of the fact that an estimate [sic] 52% of the vote was cast by women." In a 1960 political speech, she urged women to become more politically active: "In the United States today women of voting age outnumber men by three million. They can shape this government in any way they choose." Lomas was always politically conservative but that never meant to her that women should not be involved in the world in any way that they were able. Anna Lomas died on September 30, 1991 in Red Oak, Iowa at the age of 95.


5.00 Linear Feet

Artifacts in boxes 10-12; 45 rpm records; Slides in boxes 10 and 12; Photographs in boxes 1, 3-7, 9, and map case. boxes

Language of Materials



Republican National Committeewoman in the 1950s and 1960s from Red Oak, Iowa.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor number 107) were received from Anna Lomas' daughters, Mary Jo Van Druff, Louise Bastron, and Margaret Brandt, in 1992.

Bridget M. Butler, 1992.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)