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Whitley, Cora Call, 1862-1937



  • Existence: 1862 - 1937


Cora Call Whitley, prominent conservationist and club woman, was born on May 7, 1862in Rowelsburg, West Virginia, to the Reverend L.N. Call, a Baptist minister, and Mary (Guyon) Call. The family moved to Iowa in 1867 where Cora Call attended public school in Hampton and Webster City, graduating from the Cedar Valley seminary in Osage. She taught high school in Webster City until her marriage in 1882 to Dr. Francis E. Whitley. Their three children were Gladys, Grace, and Guyon. Dr. Whitley died in 1918 and Cora Whitley remained in Webster City until her death in 1937. Cora Whitley was widely recognized for her pioneering role in conservation, her organizational ability, and her gift as a speaker.

Whitley was active in church organizations, local women's clubs, the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R). and numerous state and national organizations. She was well-known for her involvement during World War I as the state chairman for the Women's Committee of the Council of National Defense, working to organize women in Iowa for various phases of war work. She also assumed leadership positions in the Federation of Women's Clubs of which she served as Iowa president from 1915-1917. Whitley later became a prominent national leader of the General Federation of Women's Clubs' conservation activities. One of her special projects was the "Outdoor Good Manners" campaign in 1925. Whitley died on December 20, 1937. She was honored for her conservation work with the establishment of the Whitley Forest at Lake Ahquahi State Park, near Indianola, Iowa.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Cora Call Whitley papers

Identifier: IWA0154

Clubwoman and conservationist involved in the Council of National Defense Women's Committee during World War I.

Dates: 1916-1937