Aiming for Success: Davenport High School Girls’ Rifle Club

In March of 1927, 10 girls from Davenport High School formed the Girls’ Rifle Club. Under the direction of Mrs. F. C. Strohbehn, they practiced for a year at a shooting range located in the basement of the closed Adams School, 7th and Perry St.

We assume they became quite proficient in the shooting range as they were 1 of only 3 girls’ team that participated in The National Rifle Association Junior Rifle Corps competition in February and March of 1928. The other 50 teams entered into the competition were male teams. The Boys’ Rifle Club from Davenport High School was part of the competition as well.

The competition was not held in a specific venue. Instead, teams shot their targets at their home shooting ranges, sent in their targets and scores, and then the scores were compared to other competing teams.

Margaret Herzberg and Ruth Walsmith achieved the rank of “expert rifleman”. To become an expert rifleman, they had to send in 10 targets, each scoring 40 points or better out of a possible 50: 4 of the targets had to be shot in prone position, 3 sitting, 2 kneeling and 1 standing.

Davenport High School Boys’ team and Girls’ team tied with a score of 455 points out of a possible 500. Individual scores from the girls were: Ruth Walsmith 95; Margaret Herzberg 93; Marian Hoffbauer 93; Genevieve Morris 91; and Marie Herold 83

The girls’ team finished 25 overall, but ranked 10th in Division B, which was made up of 27 teams.

“Rifle shooting is a fine sport for girls. It is not too strenuous. Girls should know how to handle a gun as well as boys as a matter of protection. The accidents with firearms happen to persons ignorant of how to handle them.” – Mrs. F C. Strohbehn



posted by Cristina



The Davenport Democrat and Leader. “Davenport Girls Rifle Team Wins Match With Oklahoma Team — Enters National Meet.” February 19, 1928: 14.

The Davenport Democrat and Leader. “Girls’ Rifle Team is 10th in National Meet.” April 1, 1928: 25.

The Davenport Democrat and Leader. “These Davenport Sharpshooter Girls Know Their Guns — Form Only Girls’ Rifle Team In Iowa and One of Few in the Country.” February 26, 1928.


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