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COLLECTION Identifier: RA.A/G794

Letters of Floretta Elmore Greeley, 1906-1922


Letters written by Floretta Elmore Greeley, Radcliffe College Class of 1909, and her family; music manusript book; and swimming costume.


  • 1906-1922

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Originals closed; use digital images.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Floretta Elmore Greeley as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


5 folders
This collection consists of typed transcriptions of letters written by Floretta Elmore Greeley to her family, 1906-1922. They vividly describe her college life, professors and courses, social activities in Cambridge and Boston; trips to the country; editorial work and writing at Radcliffe; courtship and marriage; her travels to Germany and family life in Madison, Wisconsin.


Floretta (Elmore) Greeley was born 25 September 1884, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the daughter of Eltinge and Harriet Lavinia (Cooke) Elmore. She attended Milwaukee Downer College and entered Radcliffe in 1906 as a sophomore, and was graduated, cum laude in 1909. While at Radcliffe Greeley was a member of the Dramatic Committee, 1907-1908, Assistant Editor, 1907-1908, and then Editor-in-Chief of the Radcliffe Magazine, 1908-1909. She was elected to the intellectually exclusive English Club, was designated class poet, and wrote the Radcliffe Hymn, "Radcliffe, now we rise to greet thee," in 1909.

After graduation, Greeley taught in Miss Mary Haskell's school for girls in Boston until her marriage in April 1911, to Dr. Hugh Payne Greeley. They spent a year at Grenfell's mission hospital on Pilley's Island, Newfoundland and then spent 1912-1913 in Munich and Vienna where Hugh Payne Greeley studied medicine. They returned to Boston, later moved to Waukesha and ultimately settled in Madison, Wisconsin. With her husband, Greeley wrote Work and Play in the Grenfell Mission, (1922) about their year in Newfoundland, and wrote and published poetry. She was an active member of her local Congregational church and choir and during World War I was active in war work and the Municipal league. The Greeleys had five children: David McLean (1912), Hannah (1913), Priscilla Elmore (1915), Hugh McLean (1920) and Roger Eltinge (1923). Greeley died, tragically, in September 1923 of puerperal fever. After her death, her husband, Hugh Payne Greeley, wrote in her entry for the Class of 1909 25th reunion report (1934) that she had been busy with her growing family and civic activities and had found little time for writing. Until the children were grown was a "period of interregnum," and that afterwards she had been intending "to do the writing that she had in her mind."

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: R85-24

This collection was given to the Radcliffe College Archives by Hannah (Greeley) Kaiser, daughter of Floretta Elmore Greeley, in October 1985.

Processing Information

Processed: November 1985

By: Jane S. Knowles
Link to catalog
Greeley, Floretta Elmore, 1884-1923. Letters of Floretta Elmore Greeley, 1906-1922: A Finding Aid
Radcliffe College Archives, Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future.

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