Cora Call Whitley, was
born on May 7, 1862 in Rowelsburg, West Virginia, to the Reverend L.N.
Call, a Baptist minister, and Mary (Guyon) Call. The family moved to
Iowa in 1867 where she attended public school, first in Hampton,
Franklin co. and then in Webster City, Hamilton co. Her obituary
states: "(She) lived in a home where books and music were enjoyed and
school prized." Cora graduated from the Cedar Valley seminary in Osage,
and then taught high school in Webster City until her marriage in 1882
(or 1883) to Dr. Francis Edmund Whitley (born in 1857).
Mrs. Whitney was a gifted speaker, one of the most
prominent clubwomen and conservationists in the nation and was listed
in "Who's Who" for her activities in club work as well as with the
Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1915, as president of the Iowa
Federation of Women's Clubs, it was her privilege to appoint a
committee of conservation of natural scenery, the first such committee
created in any state federation. 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
The Whitley's had three children: Gladys, Grace, and
Guyon. Dr. Whitley died in 1918. Mrs. Whitney remained in Webster City
until her death on December 20, 1937.
[Note: additional reading - Cora Whitney wrote an
article titled "Across the Mississippi" for the PALIMPSEST.
about 1/2 way down the page)