Loyce Braun on H. W. R. Strong

“She was an inventor.”

Loyce Braun, the 62nd President of the Ebell Women’s Club, tells the story of the Ebell’s founder– Harriet Williams Russell Strong, an inventor who turned the arid land she inherited into profitable farmland by devising a system of cofferdams among other things, winning awards for her inventions at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She founded the Ebell in 1894 as a community for women to further their education and receive support when going through hard times. Harriet’s story of perseverance, creativity and compassion is sure to inspire.


Loyce Braun

Loyce Braun taught 4th grade in Oakland, Chicago and Los Angeles and then went to work temporarily for her family’s architectural woodwork company. 28 years later she retired from it. In 1994, just for fun, she joined the historic women’s club, the Ebell of Los Angeles, found there was a great deal to it worthy of commitment, and 22 years later became its President for a two year term. The subject of her video, Mrs. Strong, was the first President of the Ebell of Los Angeles, founded in 1894.

Featured Woman

Harriet Williams Russell Strong

Harriet Williams Russell Strong was an American social activist, inventor, conservationist and leading figure of the early woman’s movement. She is a member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Her pioneering innovations in water storage and flood control enabled the construction of the Hoover dam and the All-American Canal. She founded the Ebell of Los Angeles in 1894.

Photo of Harriet Williams Russell Strong from National Cyclopaedia of American biography Vol 17 (1921), J.T. White Company. Photo of pampas grass collection from Natural History Museum Los Angeles County, Seaver Center.