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HALLIBURTON, Louise Herron

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1999 photograph courtesy of Bob Reding
HALLIBURTON, Louise Herron. (Dubuque, IA, 1897--Dubuque, IA, Aug. 7, 1991). Halliburton was described in a 1970 New York Times article about Dubuque as
        a pacifist since she saw the first draft numbers 
        drawn out of a fish bowl in Washington before 
        WORLD WAR I. Mrs. Halliburton has fasted for 
        peace, picketed for civil rights and against the 
        VIETNAM WAR, leafleted at the Pentagon and 
        consistently befriended Iowa's conscientious 
        objectors. (1)
Louise Halliburton being interviewed by a reporter from the New York Times in 1970. Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
Halliburton was considered neither shrill or humorless about the causes she represented. A friend noted,"she has perfected the art of being at one with people who hold widely divergent opinions from her own. Halliburton's life of social activism began in high school. She successfully petitioned the school superintendent to allow her to take a technical drawing class only open for boys at that time. Halliburton championed the cause of blood donation by writing an editorial in 1946. (2) In 1949 she protested frequent flights of small airplanes over residential areas of Dubuque. (3) In 1964 the national YWCA magazine published a story written by Halliburton, chairperson of the local YWCA Public Affairs Committee. The article told how the committee had showed films, sponsored panel discussions and held an open meeting with an African American member of the national YWCA board of directors in an effort to decrease local prejudice. (4)

Her protest of the Vietnam War began in 1966 after the Quaker group whose meetings she had attended moved away. Halliburton and Mimi Vernon moved to WASHINGTON PARK and began a silent vigil that continued for seven years until the war ended. (5) Joined later by others, the demonstrators wore small white signs reading "Silent Vigil for Peace" and stood without speaking or moving from 10:00-11:00 a.m. each Sunday. (6) In 1970 when The New York Times reporters came to Dubuque, Halliburton broke ranks with the other protestors and walked a block away from Washington Park to be interviewed. "We normally don't break the vigil but I said I would for The New York Times." (7) Among other activities in which she participated, Halliburton joined the War Resisters' League and was the only protester to march with conscientious objectors during WORLD WAR II. She was associated with the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE (N.A.A.C.P.), American Friends Service Committee, and the Dubuque Quaker meetings. In 1986 she received the annual peace prize from the Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament at its Mother's Day for Peace event. (8)

Halliburton is also remembered as an artist. She studied at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. where she received honorable mention in water color. When a mechanical drafting position in the water transport service opened, she applied and began designing hulls for river steamers. While living in New York City she involved herself in rug and textile design and created original patterns for custom made rugs. She also worked with an Indian rug business copying designs from Indian rugs displayed in the Metropolitan Museum. Halliburton continued her art study while living in Indiana and later at the Norton School of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida and the Pennsylvania Academy of Art in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania. (9) By 1951 her work was displayed at Franklin College, Franklin, Indiana; Strait Museum, Lake Worth, Florida; and by the DUBUQUE ART ASSOCIATION. (10) A past officer of the DUBUQUE ART ASSOCIATION, she later had works exhibited at the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE, CLARKE COLLEGE, and the CARNEGIE-STOUT PUBLIC LIBRARY. Her paintings are held in private collections across the United States.

Halliburton picture-1936



1. McCormick, John, "Even Off Stage, Louise Halliburton Nudges People," Telegraph Herald, February 7, 1982, p. 5

2. "Letter Box," Telegraph-Herald, September 30, 1946, p. 6

3. "The Letter Box," Telegraph-Herald, November 27, 1949, p. 8

4. "Story Published," Telegraph-Herald, March 25, 1964, p. 5

5. McCormick

6. "A Peace Vigil Every Sunday," Telegraph-Herald, February 12, 1968, p. 1

7. Shipley, Florence D., When the New York Times Comes to Dubuque," March 15, 1970, p. 7

8. "Mother's Day Peace Event," Telegraph Herald, May 8, 1986, p. 17

9. "Louise Halliburton to Exhibit Watercolors," Telegraph-Herald, November 12, 1961, p. 13

10. "Dubuque Artist's Work Will Be Put on Display," Telegraph-Herald, September 9, 1951, p. 17