Myra Kelly

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Myra Kelly (1875–1910) was an Irish American schoolteacher and author.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, she came to the United States with her father, a physician who established a practice on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.[1] She attended the Horace Mann School[2] and Teachers College, Columbia University, graduating in 1899.[3]

Kelly taught elementary school at Public School 147 from 1899 to 1901.[3] She produced three collections of stories based on her experiences as a teacher. Her character Constance Bailey teaches Irish and Russian Jewish immigrant children. A minor theme within her works is the changing character of the neighborhood and the displacement of Irish immigrant families.[1] After the publishing of her "In Loco Parentis", US President Theodore Roosevelt wrote her a letter of appreciation.[4][5]

Kelly married Allan Macnaughton in 1905.[2] Prior to her death, she also wrote the romance novels Rosnah and The Golden Season.[1]

Kelly developed tuberculosis and died on March 30, 1910 in Torquay, England.[4] She was 35 years old.


  • Little Citizens, The Humours of School Life (1905)
  • The Isle of Dreams (1907)
  • Wards of Liberty (1907)
  • Rosnah (1908)
  • The Golden Season (1909)
  • Little Aliens (1910)


  1. ^ a b c Fanning, Charles (2000). The Irish Voice in America: 250 Years of Irish-American Fiction (2nd ed.). University Press of Kentucky. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-8131-2760-6. 
  2. ^ a b Myra Kelly, Originator. The Book Buyer. 39-40. C. Scribner's Sons. 1914. p. 77. 
  3. ^ a b The Work of Teachers in America: A Social History Through Stories. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. 1997. pp. 193–194. ISBN 978-1-135-45934-5. 
  4. ^ a b "Myra Kelly, Writer of Child Life, Dead". The New York Times. April 1, 1910. 
  5. ^ "Myra Kelly". Americans All: Stories of American Life of To-Day. Library of Alexandria. ISBN 978-1-4655-2356-3. 

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