Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable: Kentuckians: January 17, 1875 – Cora Wilson Stewart

Image from exploreuk.uky.edu

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Cora (Wilson) Stewart, pioneer in adult education, was born to Dr. Jeremiah and Annie Eliza (Hally) Wilson on January 17, 1875, and reared in Farmers, Rowan County, Kentucky. She attended Morehead Normal School and the National Normal University in Lebanon, Ohio, and then began a teaching career in her home county in 1895. She quickly earned a reputation as an outstanding educator, and in 1901 she was elected Rowan County school superintendent. In 1904 she married Alexander T. Stewart, a Rowan County school teacher. Cora Stewart was reelected school superintendent in 1909 and two years later became the first woman president of the Kentucky Educational Association .

In 1911 Stewart launched an experimental adult education program, the moonlight school, to combat illiteracy in her home county. In 1923 Stewart was elected to the executive committee of the National Education Association. Six years later President Herbert Hoover named her to chair the executive committee of the National Advisory Committee on Illiteracy. She also presided over the illiteracy section of the World Conference on Education. Success and recognition brought prizes and honors. In 1924, for example, she received Pictorial Review's $5,000 achievement prize for her contribution to human welfare, and in 1930 she accepted the Ella Flagg Young Medal for distinguished service in the field of education.

She moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1936 and subsequently to various rest homes in North Carolina. She died on December 2, 1958, and was buried in Tryon, North Carolina.

JAMES M. GIFFORD, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Baldwin, Yvonne Honeycutt. Cora Wilson Stewart and the Illiteracy Crusade : Moonlight Schools and Progressive Reform. Lexington, Ky.: [s.n.], 1996. Print.
Theses 1996, Young Library - Theses 5th Floor Stacks

Nelms, Willie. Cora Wilson Stewart : Crusader against Illiteracy. Lexington, Ky.: [s.n.], 1973. Print.
LA2317.S826 N45 1997, Young Library - 4th Floor

Baldwin, Yvonne Honeycutt, and Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Cora Wilson Stewart Oral History Project. 1990.
OHCWS, Special Collections Research Center - Oral History Collection

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