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Kelley, Alice



  • Existence: 1915 - 2005


Lifelong Iowa Citian Alice Hortense Kelley was born to Hortense Westcott Kelley and Thomas Delano Kelley in 1915 in Iowa City, Iowa. The third child, Kelley was preceded by a brother, Emory (born in 1906), and a sister, Mary Louise (1908-1997). Born in her maternal grandparents' home, Kelley and her family lived with the Westcotts for several years and Kelley began her primary education at Longfellow Elementary School. Kelley's father operated a dry cleaning business he had established in 1898. In 1921, Kelley's mother took a job as manager of the Iowa City Country Club. The family moved into the upstairs of the country club along the Iowa River for about two years. During this period Kelley attended University Elementary School. She returned to Longfellow Elementary School when her family moved again. In 1939 the family moved to 411 S. Governor Street (where Kelley resided until her death). Kelley attended Iowa City High School. She was editor of the Little Hawk Weekly and editor of the yearbook. She graduated in 1933.

While attending the University of Iowa, Alice Kelley worked part time in the department of publications for Fred Pownall. Kelley later worked for Adelaide Burge, dean of women. She received a BA degree in Liberal Arts in 1938 but continued working for the dean of women until May 1942, when she took a job as secretary to William Hageboeck, publisher of the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Kelley maintained that position, working for several subsequent publishers, until January 1975. As secretary to the publisher, Kelley ran the switchboards, took classified advertisements, read legal papers, maintained the correspondence, paid the bills, supervised the payroll and dealt with customers.

In retirement, Alice Kelley enjoyed traveling with her sister, Mary Louise Kelley. Alice Kelley was active in Altrusa, Business and Professional Women, University Women's Clubs, the BBC (a club that began among classmates at Longfellow Elementary School and continued through the 1990s), a monthly investment group formed with friends, and the First United Methodist Church. Kelley was also instrumental in preserving the nineteenth century schoolhouse in Coralville, Iowa, for the Johnson County Historical Society in 2001. Alice Kelley died in 2005.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Alice Kelley papers

Identifier: IWA0485

University of Iowa graduate who worked as a secretary. The papers mainly consist of the diaries she kept from 1926-2002.

Dates: 1888-2005