The Heroines

Camilla Cave

is honored with a Brick from Sally Luallen.

 Camilla  Cave B.A. in Education, Kansas University, 1933

Camilla Cave is a marvel, a Kansas treasure, a gadfly in a positive sense. She opened minds and eyes, and is one of the real pioneers in the Kansas arts community. Camilla, the multi-talented daughter of a Kansas Attorney General, was born in Cimmaron, Kansas.

Before the days of knowledge about dyslexia, Camilla was treated as "slow." Her answers were never the same as others. Therefore she sat with a mirror in the attic teaching herself through mirror images to read and respond as those whose answers pleased the teachers. That determination and intelligence served her and all those who know her well.

Before Kansas University had an athletic budget that included women, Camilla qualified for the 1931 Olympics in two events: the 900 yard dash and sharpshooting. She beat the world record in the dash: Glen Cunningham went to the Olympics, Camilla didn't. Because of Camilla, women's studies was a shared interest in my life. Because of her relentless calls and urging, Dodge City gained an Arts Council and southwest Kansas, a consortium for the arts. She has been a long-time supporter and participant from the first days of Women's Studies at Wichita State University.

Having served as President of the Kansas Arts Commission, she was appointed to the Kansas Humanities Council. Both state-wide agencies grew under her leadership. She traveled thousands of miles across Kansas for years in their service.

A listing of all her honors, awards and accomplishments would still be slight praise for her. The University of Kansas Alumni Association honored Camellia as a Distinguished Alumnae in 1980. No one was surprised. She was a "Rosie the Riveter" in a Boston shoe and boot plant during World War II. A fine enamelist and visual artist, she also sang in rich alto voice in the Presbyterian Church choir for 50 years and sold Community Concert memberships for that same number of years, one of those rare people with talents too numerous to mention.

It is so important to me to honor Camilla in the Plaza of Heroines. She changed and enriched my life and continues to do that for thousands of others in Dodge City and anyone she touches. A woman of substance and stature, a heroine for many reasons.

Submitted by Sally Shank Luallen

September 18, 1998