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Kelly, Alberta Metcalf, 1899-1994



  • Existence: 1899 - 1994


Alberta Metcalf Kelly was born in Nichols, Iowa in 1899 to Berton Lee Metcalf and Ina Hankins. Her father was a cattleman, teacher, entrepreneur and Democratic legislator in the 45th State Assembly from 1933 to 1937 representing Muscatine County. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1920 at the State University of Iowa (now the University of Iowa ) in the College of Education . In 1936, Metcalf Kelly finished her Master of Arts degree at the same institution. Her teaching career included instructing high school in Rockford and Chicago , Illinois , and Iowa City , Iowa , in the 1920s. She also taught English classes at the University of Iowa in 1956. Metcalf Kelly married William Kelly in 1923 whom she met during her college days in Iowa City . Their marriage ended in divorce in 1934.

In 1940, Metcalf Kelly began her lifelong pursuit of involvement in the Democratic Party, beginning at the precinct level and extending her activity to local, state and national party politics. She served as the Vice-President of the Muscatine County Democratic Central Committee of Iowa. From 1944 to 1953, she served as First District Committeewoman of the State Central Committee. In 1953, she was elected to the Democratic National Committee by delegates to the 1952 national Democratic convention. The national committee's role includes fundraising for the party, searching for and training of potential candidates, as well as coordinating and writing the party platform. Metcalf Kelly remained on the national committee until 1968. Between 1948 and 1968, she attended the Democratic National Conventions as a delegate or in other capacities. She also participated in various national meetings and functions of the Democratic Party.

Metcalf Kelly died in 1994 in her hometown of Nichols.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Alberta Metcalf Kelly papers

Identifier: IWA0176

High school English teacher who was active in state and national Democratic Party politics during the 1950s and 1960s.

Dates: 1899-1994