To the Editor:

In December I purchased a copy of “Seattle Met” magazine to read because of the cover story, “30 Women Who Built Seattle”. At the end of December, I went to the current film adaption of “Little Women”. It reminded me the Orchard House had been saved by a group of women after the Alcott family sold the house and the house fell into disrepair. It started me thinking of the women of Ellensburg who have made a difference.

The first one who came to mind was Elvira Elwood, who came from Pennsylvania to teach English at the Normal School, now CWU. She married Harry Elwood, a local druggist. She quit teaching, joined local women’s clubs.  She served 15 years on the city council. She was appointed by Governor Meade a member of the Committee on Conservation that met in Olympia for protecting our forests. She served on the Ellensburg library committee. As a member of the Municipal Club, she helped secure a Carnegie Library building for Ellensburg. Sadly, the Carnegie Library building is gone, but Elvira’s brick arts and crafts house at 701 North Pine is still standing.

Elvira Elwood and Donna Nylander have many parallels. Donna arrived in Ellensburg when her husband joined the faculty at CWU.  She became active in the community from teaching, serving on the city council, creating childrens activities, caring for the environment and historic preservation, just like Elvira.

As 2020 begins I would like to recognize Elvira, Donna and the many other women who have made a difference in our community.

Dorothy S. Stanley



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