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Phyllis Josephine Hughes, JD

2001 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Honoree:  Phyllis Josephine Hughes, JD (1912-2005)

"The majority of her daily hours are spent in helping others."
--Rita Engelken, 2001

Phyllis Josephine Hughes

Phyllis Josephine Hughes, of Manchester, was born knowing she would be an attorney. The day after she received her doctorate from Marquette University Law School, she began practicing law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her law career took her to New York, Washington D.C. and Europe. She was the first woman executive with the Curtis Wright Corporation, who offered her employment not knowing she was a woman. Hughes returned to Iowa in 1950 after the death of her mother to assist her father as co-owner of the E.M. Hughes Store, continuing her legal work at night. Since 1983, Hughes has volunteered her time helping distressed farmers with their legal needs. Pope John Paul II honored Hughes for her devoted service to farmers. She is a 75-year member of the Democratic Party; and in the last 50 years, she has not missed a county, district, or state Democratic Convention. She is a long time member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, National Council of Catholic Women, Catholic Daughters of America, and the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Hughes designed and presented the “Tribute to Iowa Women: Past, Present, and Future” bronze medallion as a gift from the women of Iowa during Iowa’s sesquicentennial, which is displayed in the Governor’s Conference Room at the State Capitol. She has just completed her first novel, Thirty-six Inches Makes a Yard. Hughes was born in The Dalles, Oregon in 1912. Hughes was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 2001.