Lula Greene Richards
Louisa Lula Greene Richards (April 8, 1849 – September 9, 1944) was a poet and was the first female periodical editor in Utah Territory, USA. Richards's work was published under a variety of names, including Louisa L. Greene, Louise L. Green, Lula Green, and Lula G. Richards.
Louisa Lula Greene was born in Kanesville, Iowa. Lula's parents were Evan M. Greene (a son of John P. Greene) and Susan Kent. Both of her grandmothers were sisters to LDS Church president Brigham Young. In 1852, her family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah Territory. In Utah, Greene grew up in Salt Lake City, Provo, Grantsville and Smithfield.
In 1869, Greene was briefly the editor of the Smithfield Sunday School Gazette, a small periodical issued to individuals who attended the LDS Church Sunday School in Smithfield. In early 1870, Greene enrolled at the University of Deseret in Salt Lake City. However, in 1871, she was required to return to Smithfield due to a family illness. Lacking the money she needed for the trip, Greene submitted a poem to the Salt Lake Daily Herald and asked editor Edward L. Sloan to buy it for $7.50, which was the amount of money she needed to return home. Sloan agreed, and her poem "Tired Out" was published on the front page of the Daily Herald.
Sloan contacted Greene in Smithfield and asked her if she would be interested in being the editor of a newspaper for Latter-day Saint women. Greene conferred with general Relief Society president Eliza R. Snow, and after receiving her blessing and the approval of Brigham Young, Greene accepted Sloan's offer. In 1872, Women's Exponent began publication in Salt Lake City with Greene as editor. Greene edited the periodical until she was succeeded in 1877 by Emmeline B. Wells, who edited until Women's Exponent was discontinued in 1915.
In 1873, Greene married Levi W. Richards, the son of Levi Richards and a nephew of church leader Willard Richards. Levi served in many positions in the LDS Church including as a member of the general board of the Sunday School and as a patriarch. Lula and Levi had seven children, four of whom lived to adulthood. One of their children was the artist Lee Greene Richards.
In 1883, Louisa Richards became an editor with the Juvenile Instructor, an LDS periodical edited by George Q. Cannon. She wrote and edited the column "Our Little Folks" until 1907. Richards wrote poetry, and her poems appeared in Woman’s Exponent, Improvement Era, Young Woman's Journal, Children’s Friend, Relief Society Magazine, and Juvenile Instructor. Her book of poetry, Branches That Run Over the Wall, was published in 1904.
- Sherilyn Cox Bennion, "Lula Greene Richards: Utah's First Woman Editor", BYU Studies 21:2 p. 155 (1981)