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Marguerite E. Uttley


Marguerite Uttley was born in Dubuque, Iowa, and graduated from high school in 1910.  She received a degree from Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa) at Cedar Falls in 1915.  All her graduate work in geography was done at the University of Chicago.  She earned the M. S. degree in 1921 and the Ph. D. degree in 1937.  Her first teaching position was Supervisor of the fifth grade in the Campus School at U.N.I.  She was a professor of geography at U.N.I. from 1921 until her retirement in 1955.  Dr. Uttley published many articles in the Journal of Geography, Midland Schools, and other magazines.  She co-authored several books for elementary grades with the late Alison Aitchison:  Across Seven Seas to Seven Continents (1925), North America by Plane and Train (1931), Workbook in the Geography of Iowa (1929), and The Geography of Iowa (1936).  A sixth-grade textbook in geography published by Ginn & Co. has gone through many revisions, which Dr. Uttley worked on for years during her retirement.  She also was active in the Iowa Council for Geography and served several years as its president.  Dr. Uttley and Alison Aitchison initiated the founding of the geography honorary society--Beta Chapter, Gamma Theta Upsilon--on campus and maintained a very active organization.

At the time of Dr. Uttley's retirement, Dr. C. W. Lantz, head of her department, wrote to the president of the college the following:  "Dr. Uttley has been on the faculty since 1921.  During this time she has gained national recognition as a geographer, especially in relation to the training of elementary teachers in geography.  She and Miss Aitchison, through their writings and their teaching, both on the campus and Extension Service, have had a significant effect on the teaching of geography."  At the same time the president wrote to Dr. Uttley:  "The State Board of Education asked that you be informed of the appreciation of the State Board for the splendid service you have rendered to the State of Iowa through your many years of service as a member of the faculty of this College."

Dr. Uttley spent her retirement years at St. Petersburg, Florida, where her sister, Mrs. Louise Churchill, resides.  She died on April 27, 1976, after a long illness.

Ernestine L. Smith
Emeritus Professor of Geography
University of Northern Iowa

Copyright The Journal of Geography, Volume 75, No. 6, p. 383.

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