Woman of the Century/Ella Hamilton Durley

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DURLEY, Mrs. Ella Hamilton, educator and journalist, was born in Butler county, Pa. She is the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Hamilton. In the spring of 1866 the family removed to Davis county, Iowa, where, in the most unpromising backwoods region, they made their home for a few years. It was in the rude log school-house of that locality that the young girl acquired sufficient knowledge of the rudimentary branches to permit her to begin to teach at the age of sixteen. The loss of her father, whose ambition for his children was limitless, led her to make the attempt to carry out his oft-expressed wish that she should take a college course. To do so meant hard work and strenuous application, for every penny of the necessary expense had to be earned by herself. In the spring of 1878 she took the degree of B. A. in the State University of Iowa, and four years later she received the degree of M. A. After graduation Miss Hamilton accepted the principalship of the high school in Waterloo, Iowa, which she held for two years. She then went abroad to continue her studies, more especially in the German language and literature. She spent a year in European travel and study, features of which were the attendance upon a course of lectures in the Victoria Lyceum of Berlin, and an inspection of the school system of Germany and Italy. Upon her return the result of her observation was given to the public in the form of a lecture, which was widely delivered and well received. After a year spent in the Iowa State Library. Miss Hamilton decided to turn her attention to newspaper work. She became associate editor of the Des Moines "Mail and Times," which position she held over a year, when a tempting offer caused her to become editor-in-chief of the "Northwestern Journal of Education." where her success was very gratifying. Her later journalistic work has been in connection with the Des Moines "Daily News," upon which she served as reporter and editorial and special writer for several years. In 1884 Miss Hamilton was appointed a member of the State Education Board of Examiners for Iowa, which position she held until 1888, serving during the most of her time as secretary. In October. 1886. she became the wife of Preston B. Durley, business manager of the Des Moines "Daily News." Mrs. Duriey's newspaper work was kept up uninterruptedly until the summer of 1890, when their home was gladdened by the birth of a son. At the present time she is president of the Des Moines Woman's Club, a large and prosperous literary society.