Highlighting Salisbury Women of History: Edith M. Clark & Emma Lewis Speight Morris

Edith Clark 1926 Senior Photo, The Echo, Boyden High School, Salisbury, N.C.

Our Women’s History post this week features two women. The first, Edith M. Clark. This information was taken from the Rowan Town and Country feature.

Whenever anyone chooses to do in-depth research on Western North Carolina genealogy and history including all areas of old Rowan County, more than likely you will be guided to the Rowan Public Library’s Edith M. Clark History Room. In recognition of International Women’s Day, I could not help but think of an often overlooked, seldom documented local woman. Edith Montcalm Clark was a truly remarkable person who was in a class of her own. Thanks to her dedication to history and attention to detail we are fortunate to have the “history room” provided to us to use as an incredible research tool. To read more about her amazing contributions check out this article.

You can’t have an Edith M. Clark History Room at the library without the library itself!

And that’s where today’s second feature for Women’s History Month comes in! Mrs. Emma Lewis Speight Morris, a former teacher, was a founder of the Rowan Public Library and started the first adult literacy program in Salisbury in the evenings at the Salisbury Cotton Mill, where her husband was vice president. She was also the first female member of the Board of Education and was named “Woman of the Year” for Rowan County in 1951. Mrs. Morris was never far from “her” library, since her residence was on West Bank Street until she passed away in 1970.