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The Blue Book of Iowa Women A History of Contemporary Women

Compiled by Winona Evans Reeves, 1914.


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Miss Emma Kate Corkhill

Emma Kate Corkhill, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Thomas E. Corkhill, was born in Burlington.  Reared in a Methodist parsonage she was an earnest Christian from early childhood.  With a keen mind, eager for knowledge she was a tireless student.  She graduated from the Iowa Wesleyan College and at once decided to devote her life to teaching.  She taught in the college at Mt. Pleasant for a few months, then went to Boston to take her degree.  This she did in two years---receiving the degree of Ph. D. from this school.  She then accepted the chair of English in Simpson College, where for seven years she taught with great success.  She then spent one year in the University of Edinborough, from which she received the "highest honors," as this school does not confer degrees upon women.  On her return she was called to fill the chair of English in the Lawrence College at Appleton, Wis.  Here she brought into action this finely educated and well developed mind---to such an extent as to rank her among the best of women instructors.  Aside from her teaching she was gifted as a writer, and had contributed generously to church periodicals.  Her idea was not to teach her students how to learn books but rather how to apply what the books said to their own lives, thereby enlarging and enriching them.  She sought the highest ideals in every line of work.  And "she was so true to her ideals, which were pure and high, so sweet and strong, so akin to the Christ whom she loved above all else on earth, so clear and positive in her devotion to truth and so constant as a friend."  Her life, though not long in years, was rich in deeds.  She died in Chicago, Dec. 13, 1913, and sleeps in Forest Home Cemetery at Mt. Pleasant.



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