Founder of Girls Town —
LORNA KEMPER WAS BORN IN 1895 and raised in Clinton, Mo. She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, Va. and Pittsburgh State College in Kansas. Upon returning to Clinton, she became an active member of the community, especially in local and state women’s clubs. In 1950, as state president of the Missouri Federated Women’s Club, she conceived the idea of a home for neglected girls similar to Boys Town. Consequently, she founded Missouri Girls Town as a home for non-delinquent, neglected, abused and/or abandoned girls ages eight to 17. She wrote a book concerning her efforts to organize the home entitled “A Dream is born.”
In 1966, Kemper received national recognition when elected as the vice president general of the national organization of the Daughters of the American Revolution, a position she held until 1969. She also served as the chaplain general between 1971 and 1974.
Through the Missouri Girls Town, Kemper has changed the lives of countless girls and young women by providing them a place where they can be safe, get an education and learn how to be good citizens.