Elizabeth Dodge Huntington Clarke Papers
Elizabeth Wentworth Dodge was born August 10, 1884, to Cleveland H. and Grace Parish Dodge, at Greyston, the Dodge family summer home in Riverdale, New York. The wealthy Dodge family had a strong tradition of philanthropic and evangelical activity and her aunt, the philanthropist Grace Hoadley Dodge, became the first president of the YWCA of the U.S.A. when that organization formed in 1906.
Elizabeth's early schooling took place at home, then she attended the Brearley School, graduating in 1903. Soon after, Grace Dodge got Elizabeth involved with the YWCA, asking her to assume the post of treasurer of the Territorial Committee for New York and New Jersey. Though she was an enthusiastic amateur painter, Elizabeth soon found that her YWCA duties left no time for that hobby. But the YWCA took advantage of her interest, convincing her to help organize a Studio Club for art, dance, and music students in New York City.
Through her father's service as President of the Board of Trustees of Robert College in Constantinople, Turkey, Elizabeth met her first husband, George H. Huntington, who was on the faculty of the College's preparatory Academy. They were married on July 27, 1916.
The Huntingtons lived in Constantinople where Elizabeth was involved in Robert College, American College for Girls, the YWCA, and its Istanbul Service Center for young women. George contracted polio in the fall of 1933, and the couple returned to the U.S. so that George could get treatment. Two years later, he resigned his position as Vice President of the College. The Huntingtons returned to Turkey in 1938. From a wheelchair, George participated in College activities as much as possible, but the challenges of negotiating the steep hills of the campus ultimately proved too great and they returned to the U.S. just before World War II.
Elizabeth served on many YWCA committees through the 1940s and 1950s. After George's death in 1953, she married her long-time friend, Dumont Clarke, in 1955. In the 1950s and 1960s, Elizabeth served on the Board of Robert College and the American Hospital in Istanbul and continued her involvement with the YWCA. She received an honorary degree from Western College for Women in 1963.
Dumont Clarke died in 1960. Elizabeth Dodge Huntington Clarke died on January 9, 1976 in Bronx, New York.