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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CORLETT, SELENE - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CORLETT, SELENE (13 Oct. 1864-8 Feb.1943) was a milliner and dressmaker who organized a training school which prepared 260 women to work in hospitals, factories, at the AMERICAN RED CROSS, CLEVELAND CHAPTER, and on streetcars during WORLD WAR I. A suffragist who picketed the White House and Capitol building in 1916, she volunteered and raised funds for many other local efforts to improve the status of WOMEN. Corlett was born in England to Thomas and Caroline Griffiths James. The family came to America while Corlett was young; she attended the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS and studied LAW at the Pittsburgh College for Girls.

On 4 March 1884 Corlett married city engineer Walter H. Corlett; the couple lived in SHAKER HEIGHTS with daughter Blanche (d. 9 Feb. 1943). Corlett was president of the board of the Women's Civic Association and chaired the Welfare Federation committee which improved conditions at the police station for women witnesses. She claimed to have been the first in Cleveland to suggest hiring women officers at the CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT (see WOMEN'S BUREAU OF THE CLEVELAND POLICE DEPT.). An activist, she urged the adoption of codes of SANITATION in the SUBURBS. Corlett presided over the local branch of the National Woman's Party, served on the Shaker Heights school board, and belonged to the Welsh Women's Association, the WOMEN'S CITY CLUB, the Republican Women's Club Of Ohio, and the Susan B. Anthony Club. Corlett is buried in Highland Park Cemetery in Cleveland.

Last Modified: 14 Jul 1997 04:50:16 PM

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