Best known as the designer of the 4-H club's famous clover emblem, she was responsible for the name of the organization (which was derived from the "heart," "head," "hands," and "home" leaves on her pin). Also an educator, she served as school superintendent of Page County, Iowa.
After graduating from Tabor College, she worked as a schoolteacher in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Montana.
Beginning in 1912, she worked for the Young Men's Christian Association's (YMCA's) New York office.
At the age of thirty-six, she wed Ira William Shambaugh in a ceremony in San Bernardino County, California.
She and Alabama teacher Luther Duncan were both important figures in the history of the 4-H club.