Woman of the Century/Elizabeth Garver Jordan
JORDAN, Miss Elizabeth Garver, journalist, born in Milwaukee, Wis., 9th May, 1867. Her father was William F. Jordan and her mother, who was Spanish, had for her maiden name Margarita G . Garver. ELIZABETH GARVER JORDAN. The childhood of Elizabeth Garver Jordan was spent in Milwaukee, and her career as a journalist began while she was a resident of that city. Under her own name she contributed to the Milwaukee "Evening Wisconsin," the St. Paul "Globe," "Texas Siftings," and Chicago papers. The publishers of "Peck's Sun," then recognizing the cleverness of her work, offered her a place on that paper, and she edited its woman's page for two years. In 1888 she went to Chicago and became an all-round reporter. While on the staff of the Chicago "Tribune" she filled several notable assignments, not the least of which was her report of the terrible Chatsworth disaster. She went to the scene of the accident and remained several days, helping in the heartrending work of caring for the injured and the dead. The courage which sustained her in that test stood her in good stead later on, when she took up her work in New York. She went to that city in May, 1890, at the invitation of Col. Cockerill, then editor-in-chief of the New York "World." Her fine credentials gained for her immediate recognition among her fellow-workers. Miss Jordan accepted the same class of assignments that were given to her brother reporters and filled them with equal success. She developed a special talent for interviewing and has interviewed a large number of the most noted men and women of the day, succeeding when others failed. In the New York tenement houses she has done a work that entitled her to be known as a practical philanthropist. In September, 1890, the "World began the publication of its series, "True Stories of the News," each story being the recital of some tragic, humorous or dramatic event of the day before, and which was of strong human interest. Miss Jordan wrote the majority of these stories, and the work of gathering them took her into the hospitals, the morgue, the police courts, and the great east-side tenements of New York. She became known to the city officials, who took a special interest in her stories and never missed a chance to give her a good news "pointer." At the time of the Koch lymph agitation she spent a night in the Charity Hospital on Blackwell's Island, at the death-bed of a consumptive, that she might write the story of the last struggle of a patient with that dread disease. The woman patient died at 3 a. m., holding fast the young journalist's hand. The story was finished three hours later. Among her frequent out-of-town assignments was one to Harper's Ferry, where she saw and talked with eye-witnesses of John Brown's famous raid in 1859. She obtained interviews with the man who tended the bridge on that eventful night, and with others, who made the report of her trip not only interesting, but of actual historical value. Later she made a most perilous trip into the Virginia and Tennessee mountains, traveling on horseback through almost impenetrable forests, fording rivers and climbing gorges, her only companion being a negro guide, and her only defense a Spanish stiletto to use in case of treachery. During that trip she visited a lonely mining camp in the mountains, where no other woman ever set foot. She slept in the cabins of the mountaineers by night, visited the camps of moonshiners and wrote numerous "Sunday World " mountain stories afterwards, which were widely copied. She was promoted to the editorial staff of the "World," and has since edited the woman's and child's pages. In April, 1892, she was appointed assistant editor of the "Sunday World." She enjoys the distinction of being the youngest woman editor on the staff of any New York newspaper. She was referred to by a prominent journalist as "the best newspaper man in New York." The strongest point in her character is firmness, and the quality which has contributed greatly to her journalistic success is quiet courage, which prompts her to accept unquestioningly whatever is given her to do, regardless of dangers involved. She has no higher ambition than to shine in journalism, though she is an accomplished musician and linguist, and possesses broad social culture.