Grace Jordan

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Grace Edgington Jordan (April 16, 1892 – September 20, 1985) was an American writer and journalist who wrote primarily about her adopted home state of Idaho. She was the wife of former Idaho governor and United States Senator Leonard B. Jordan.

Early life[edit]

Born Grace Hartley Edgington in Wasco, Oregon in 1892 to a doctor and a schoolteacher, she graduated with an honors degree in English from the University of Oregon.[1] Following graduation, she worked as a journalist in Eugene and Lewiston, Idaho. In 1923, she became a member of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women when she was initiated as a convention Honor Initiate.[2]

On December 30, 1924, she married Len Jordan (1899–1983). In 1933, the Jordans and their three children moved to a ranch in Hells Canyon along the Snake River in Idaho and later to Grangeville. In 1946, Len was elected to the state senate and in 1950, he was elected governor. The family moved to Boise where she served as First Lady of Idaho for four years.

Writing and teaching career[edit]

Jordan's first book, Home Below Hells Canyon was published in 1954. A memoir of her time along the Snake River, it has since been translated into several languages and remains her best-known work.[3] Several other books about Idaho life followed and Jordan wrote poetry and taught creative writing at several Idaho universities.[1] In August 1962, Len was appointed to the U. S. Senate seat vacated by the death of Henry Dworshak. Three months later, Len was elected to complete the remaining four years of the term and the Jordans relocated to Washington D.C.. He was re-elected in 1966, but chose not to run in 1972 and they retired from public service. Grace Jordan's book The Unintentional Senator describes this time in their life.[3]

The Jordans returned to Boise, where she died in 1985, two years after her husband.[3] They are buried in the Cloverdale Cemetery in west Boise.

Grace Jordan School in the Boise School District is named in her honor.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "About Grace Jordan School". Boise School District. Archived from the original on 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 
  2. ^ 1923 Arrow of Pi Beta Phi
  3. ^ a b c "Grace Edgington Jordan" (PDF). Idaho State Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-06-17. 

External links[edit]


Home Below Hells Canyon (1954) (ISBN 0803251076)
Canyon Boy (1960)
The King’s Pines of Idaho (1961)
The Unintentional Senator (1972)
The Country Editor (1976)