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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 Cora Ellen Porter

Miss Cora E. Porter, county superintendent of schools and prominent Iowa teacher, was born in Washington, Iowa, the youngest of a family of six children, daughter of Charles Robert Porter and Ellen Keating.  Her father was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, and her mother in County Down, Ireland.  They were married in Washington, Dec. 6, 1854.  Miss Porter was educated in the public schools and in the University of Colorado.  She began teaching in the district schools, then in the Washington grammar school, and then to the position of teacher of mathematics in the Washington high school.  In 1902 she resigned her position and spent a year in Colorado.  Upon her return to Iowa she was elected superintendent of schools of Washington county, which office she held for five years.  During that time she raised the standard of requirement for teachers and also secured better salaries for the teachers in that county.  She published a Journal for the teachers and school officers of the county, which was an innovation very much appreciated.  She realized that a public office is a public trust and all her duties were performed in adherence to that truth.  She was held in highest esteem by the teachers, and at the first teacher's conference she was presented with a handsome diamond ring as a token of their appreciation of her work.  In 1909 she accepted the position as teacher of mathematics in the Fairfield high school, which position she still holds.  She is a member of the Presbyterian church, of the Fortnightly Club of Washington, the P. E. O. sisterhood, the Iowa State Teachers' Association and of the South Eastern Iowa Teachers' Association.  She has often appeared on their programs.



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