Woman of the Century/Celia Parker Woolley
WOOLLEY, Mrs. Celia Parker, novelist, born in Toledo, Ohio, 14th June, 1848. Her maiden name was Celia Parker. Shortly after her birth her parents left Toledo and made their home CELIA PARKER WOOLEY. in Coldwater, Mich. With the exception of a few months in the Lake Erie Seminary in Painesville, Ohio, Miss Parker's education was received in her own town. She was graduated from the Coldwater Seminary in 1866. In 1868 she became the wife of Dr. J. H. Woolley. In 1876 Dr. and Mrs. Woolley removed to Chicago, Ill., where they now reside. Until 18S5 Mrs. Woolley's literary work was limited to occasional contributions to Unitarian papers, both eastern and western. These contributions were mainly devoted to social and literary subjects, and she earned the reputation of a thoughtful and philosophic writer. For eight years she was the Chicago correspondent of the "Christian Register", of Boston, Mass. Occasionally she published poems of marked merit. Her first story was published in 1884 in "Lippincott's Magazine," and a few others have followed in the same periodical. When she planned a more ambitious volume, it was only natural that she should touch upon theology and other questions of current interest, as she had seen much of the theological unrest of the day. Her father, while still young, broke away from "orthodox " associations, going first with the Swedenborgians and later with more radical thinkers. Her mother, bred in the Episcopal Church, withdrew from that organization and aided her husband in forming a "liberal" society. Naturally, the daughter was interested in all those changes, and her book, "Love and Theology" (Boston. 1887), took on a decidedly religious or theological character. That work in one year passed into its fifth edition, when the title was changed to "Rachel Armstrong." Since then it has been still more widely circulated. Her second book. "A Girl Graduate" (Boston, 1889) achieved another remarkable success. Her third volume, "Roger Hunt"' (Boston. 1892). is pronounced her best book. Mrs. Woolley's literary connections are numerous. For two years she served as president of the Chicago Woman's Club, an organization of nearly five-hundred members, devoted to literary culture and philanthropic work. She is a member of the Fortnightly, a smaller, but older, social and literary organization of women. For a year she was president of the Woman's Western Unitarian Conference, and she is especially interested in that line of work, having sensed as assistant editor of "Unity." the western Unitarian paper, whose editor is Rev. Jenkin Lloyd Jones. Much of her work has been done on the platform, lecturing before women's club> and similar onganizations.