Colorado Connections

Edith DeLong - Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Edith DeLong

Carnegie Library for Local History, Museum of Boulder Collection. 

When Edith DeLong enrolled at the University of Colorado Boulder in 1898, few women's associations existed.  To remedy this, she founded the Alethea Society; alethea being a variation of the Greek word aletheia, meaning truth and immortality.  In what is likely a portrait commemorating her initiation, right, Edith is styled as a Greek demigoddess.  The Alethea Society would come to form the core of the Beta Mu Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, an organization founded by Edith in 1901 and still active today. 

In 1907, Edith moved to California, a state where women still battled for the right to vote.  She enthusiastically joined their campaign.  As she later explained to a reporter, “While I had always believed in woman suffrage before, I had taken it as a matter of course.  When I lived in a state [California] where women had no rights, however, the injustice of it dawned more strongly upon me and I have been working for the cause ever since.  I intend to devote all my time to the movement here.” Edith continued her activism after moving to Seattle, leading the Washington Women's Suffrage Association.  As described by a local newspaper, she ran “a campaign for the establishment of the equality of the sexes at the polls such as Seattle has never seen before.”

Quotes drawn from: Sylvia Pettem, Only in Boulder: the County's Colorful Characters (Charleston: The History Press, 2010), 21.