Cora Wilson Stewart

Cora Wilson Stewart (January 17, 1875 – December 2, 1958) was an American progressive era social reformer and educator who is well known for her work to eliminate adult illiteracy. In 1911, Stewart was the first woman to be elected to the position of the president of the Kentucky Education Association.[1] Stewart opened Moonlight School, first in Rowan County, Kentucky and then across the United States, to educate illiterate adults at night in the schools where children studied during the day.[2]


Family, early life, and educationEdit

Cora Wilson, the daughter of a physician and a schoolteacher, was born January 17, 1875. Her parents Dr. Jeremiah and Annie Eliza (Hally) Wilson were residents of Rowan County, Kentucky where she attended .

Cora Wilson married Ulysses Grant Carey in 1895, and the couple divorced in 1898 with no children. In 1902, she married Alexander Thomas Stewart, son of William G. and Elizabeth (Patton) Stewart. The couple divorced in 1904 but remarried three months later. In 1907, they had their only child, William Holley Stewart who died in 1908. Cora and Alexander divorced on June 8, 1910.[1][3]

Moonlight schoolsEdit

In 1911, Stewart opened Moonlight School in Rowan County, Kentucky to educate illiterate adults at night in the schools where children studied during the day.[2]


  1. ^ a b Baldwin, Yvonne Honeycutt (2006). Cora Wilson Stewart and Kentucky's Moonlight Schools. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 081312378X. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  2. ^ a b Nelms, Willie (1997). Cora Wilson Stewart : crusader against illiteracy. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. ISBN 0786403349. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  3. ^ Kleber, John E. (1992). "Moonlight Schools". The Kentucky Encyclopedia. University Press of Kentucky. pp. 646, 855. ISBN 0813117720. Retrieved 2 April 2010.

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