In 1904, Iowa passed their version of the juvenile court law. This legislation was similar to legislation passed in several other states and was part of the national movement to establish juvenile courts in Progressive era America. The champion of the bill in Iowa was Cora Bussey Hillis, an upper middle class woman with years of organizing experience behind her by virtue of her membership in the National Congress of Mothers. The juvenile court bill was just one of Hillis reforms centered on children, but it is an important piece of legislation because this law occurred in a specific historical moment when women, like Cora Bussey Hillis, took positive steps toward national reform movements.
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