Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd

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Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd
Born (1876-11-13)November 13, 1876
Athol, Massachusetts
Died September 4, 1962(1962-09-04) (aged 85)
Pippa Passes, Kentucky
Education Chauncey Hall
Radcliffe College
Occupation Social reformer, journalist, educator
Spouse(s) Arthur Lloyd
Parent(s) William E. Geddes
Ella (Ainsworth) Geddes

Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd (November 13, 1876 – September 4, 1962) was an American social reformer who founded Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, Kentucky.

Alice Spencer Geddes was born in Athol, Massachusetts on November 13, 1876 and later studied at Radcliffe College.[1][2] In her early career in Boston, Alice Geddes worked as a journalist. In 1902, she was publisher and editor of The Cambridge Press, the first United States publication to have an all-female staff.[3][4]

In 1915 Alice Geddes Lloyd and her husband Arthur Lloyd moved to Knott County, Kentucky, with the goal of improving social and economic conditions,[2][5] living at first in Ivis. Their initial work involved provision of health care, educational services, and agricultural improvements to the Appalachian region, funded by donations from East Coast states.[4] In 1917 Alice Lloyd and her mother moved to Caney Creek, where she had been offered land for a school.[4] She separated from her husband in 1918 and remained in Knott County.[2] She named her Caney Creek home "Pippa Passes" after a poem by Robert Browning [2] and in honor of donors from the New England Browning Society.[6]

Together with June Buchanan, a native of Syracuse, New York,[4] who joined her in Kentucky in 1919, Lloyd founded 100 elementary schools throughout eastern Kentucky and opened Caney Junior College in 1923.[5] The college offered a free education to mountain youth, who were required to promise to remain in the region or return after completing their education.[2][6] There was a long waiting list for admission. Lloyd imposed strict rules on the students, including no jewelry, cosmetics, slang, or high-heeled shoes for girls and no tobacco, gambling, liquor, guns or "unauthorized meetings with the opposite sex" for boys.[6]

Both Lloyd and Buchanan worked without pay at both education and fund-raising. Lloyd is said to have raised some $2.5 million for the college, mainly by typing and mailing fund-raising appeals.[5] On December 7, 1955, Lloyd appeared on the This is Your Life television show,[7] whose host Ralph Edwards made a direct fund-raising plea on her school's behalf, resulting in a large influx of donations which totaled nearly $250,000.[8] In 1997, the college's director of marketing and communications at the time, Stephen Reed, told a journalist, "We've still got people on our mailing and donor list who saw the show."[5]

Lloyd served the college until her death on September 4, 1962.[1] After her death, the college was renamed in her honor.[5] Miss Buchanan served at Alice Lloyd College until 1988, when she died at the age of 100,[4] having lived to see the 1984 opening of the June Buchanan School, a K-12 school on the Alice Lloyd College campus named in her honor.[9] A statue of Lloyd was dedicated on October 10, 2009 during a ceremony at the college.[10][11]

Lloyd is currently portrayed as a Chautauqua character in an exciting one-woman dramatization called "Stay On, Stranger." This program, part of the Kentucky Humanities Council, may be booked by any organization or group of individuals through their web page.


  1. ^ a b Kleber, John E., ed. (1992). The Kentucky Encyclopedia. Associate editors: Thomas D. Clark, Lowell H. Harrison, and James C. Klotter. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1772-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Jennings, Judith (1996). "A College for Appalachia: Alice Lloyd on Caney Creek by P. David Searles". The Journal of Southern History. Southern Historical Association. 62 (3): 608–9. ISSN 0022-4642. JSTOR 2211546. doi:10.2307/2211546 – via JSTOR. (Registration required (help)). 
  3. ^ Spotlight: Alice Lloyd College, Foundation Center
  4. ^ a b c d e Our History, Alice Lloyd College website (accessed June 18, 2009 and August 10, 2013)
  5. ^ a b c d e Carl Hoffman, Appalachian Scene: Building Character on Campus, Appalachia Magazine, September–December 1997, published by the Appalachian Regional Commission
  6. ^ a b c School in Caney Valley, Time magazine, April 8, 1940
  7. ^ "This Is Your Life: Radio and TV Episode List". Classic TV Info. Archived from the original on 24 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  8. ^ Reed, Stephen (2009-11-03). "Hope Knows No Recession". Archived from the original on 13 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  9. ^ "The June Buchanan School". June Buchanan School. Archived from the original on 2010-09-06. Retrieved 2009-06-18. 
  10. ^ "Commodore Slone Building and Alice Lloyd Statue Celebration". Alice Lloyd College. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  11. ^ "Alice Lloyd Statue Unveiling". Alice Lloyd College. 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 

Further reading[edit]

  • A College for Appalachia: Alice Lloyd on Caney Creek. By P. David Searles (1995). Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1883-2
  • Miracle on Caney Creek. By Jerry C. Davis (1982). Pippa Passes, KY: Caney Creek Community Center, Inc.
  • "Stay On Stranger! An Extraordinary Story of the Kentucky Mountains", by William S. Dutton; Farrar, Straus and Young, 1954

External links[edit]