Photo courtesy of Community of Christ Archives

Marietta Hodges Walker (1834-1930)
Marietta Hodges Walker's life wove an inspiring thread through the first one hundered years of the church. Her story began in Willoughby, a town just west of Kirtland, Ohio. Like many of the early Saints, her family moved from Kirtland to northern Missouri and eventually to Nauvoo, Illinois in 1839. Several years later, Marietta settled in Sandwich, Illinois, where she became acquainted with Joseph Smith III. Over the next sixty years, Marietta immersed herself into the Reorganization. Her educational background prepared her to take an active role in the publication committee of the Inspired Version of the Bible. She was a relentless believer in education for youth and adults, often promoting her ideas while editing and writing for several church publications. Today, Marietta is traditionally honored as the mother of Graceland University. In 1895, her educational vision for all became a reality with her generous donation of Iowa farmland for the creation of Graceland College, our church's institution of higher learning.