Charter Member of USHA – 1937

USHA President – 1936-1951

Mary Webster might well be described as the “mother” of USHA. It was Mary who first arranged a series of monthly dinner meetings in 1935, with Mary Barnes, Mary Bitner, Katherine Hall, and Alice Colton for the purpose of discussing current research and new ideas in speech correction therapy. Mary had done advanced study at the University of Wisconsin. By the next year, when Ruth Clark, Susie Niles, Vera Gee and Alonzo Morley joined, the group had been organized as “The Society of the Study of the Disorders of Speech.” Later that year, they drew up the first constitution of what is now USHA.

During the 1920s, Mrs. Webster enrolled in graduate classes at the University of Wisconsin. From 1927-1936, she taught two courses in Speech Correction at the University of Utah (Elementary Speech Correction and Speech Correction Clinic). Little came of these offerings at the beginning because the president of the University felt that Speech Correction was still in the experimental stage and the University of Utah had no funds for experimentation. It was not until 1936, that University President George A. Thomas gave the green light for emphasizing a Speech Correction program.

During 1935-1936, while Mrs. Webster was receiving her M.A. degree, Dr. Lee Travis at Iowa and Maude Mae Babcock, Speech Department Chairman, wrote her asking for an enlargement of speech corrections programs when she returned.

When the Utah Division of the Crippled Children’s Service was organized in 1936, the first director requested that the University of Utah and Brigham Young University conduct diagnostic clinics in several school districts in Utah. Over the next ten years, Mary Webster and others screened several hundred students in various school districts in the state. After the first of this series of clinics, a letter from Miss McInnery to Mary Webster stated, “through the publicity regarding these clinics, there has been an urgent demand for such a service throughout the state, and I can assure you the Utah Crippled Children’s Service will do all in its power to see that this program develops and becomes a permanent project in the State of Utah.”

Mrs. Webster retired from active teaching and training at the University in 1951. Immediately thereafter she accepted an invitation by the University of Hawaii to come for a year to teach Speech Correction in the Islands. They stayed for eight years. Because of her broad background in language, Mary was requested to work on reading problems as well as speech. It was in the area of reading that the Islanders seemed to need her help the most. She had a strong conviction about the need for developing language as a whole rather than concentrating on isolated segments.

Mary returned to Salt Lake City after this eight year period and immediately opened her studio to working with remedial and corrective language as well as reading problems. She was still trying to seal the idea that something can and must be done for the speech handicapped child.


Charter Member of USHA – 1937

USHA President – 1941

Deceased – October 21, 1986

Dr. Ruth Millburn Clark was a native Utahan who received her B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Utah, and her Ph.D. degree from the University of Southern California. She was also a special student of Edna Hill Young and helped her systematize the Moto-Kinesthetic Method of Speech Correction. She also helped produce the film on the Moto-Kinesthetic which has been a most useful film in the area of this method.

Although Ellen C. Henderson had worked a year in Salt Lake Schools, to Ruth Millburn Clark goes the real honor of establishing public schools Speech Correction in Utah. She was the first to make a survey of the speech defects of the students in the Salt Lake City schools, and she presented this material to the superintendent of the Salt Lake School system. Prior to this time there was general lack of information among educators as to the incidence of speech problems, and there was no scientific research evidence in Utah to back up the claims of those who were pioneering in the field of Speech Correction.

Ruth did more than just survey the speech problems. She also organized the first public school speech correction program in Utah and put it into practice in the Salt Lake City Schools. She continued working as a speech correctionist in the Salt Lake Public School system for several years.

While Ruth was at the University of Utah, she was very active in dramatics and made a trip around the world with her famous drama teacher Maude Mae Babcock. Ruth’s happy manner and dynamic personality prepared her for many important dramatic roles.

In 1945, she began teaching at the University of Denver, where she was Professor of Speech and Director of the Speech Clinic.

She belonged to many professional, honorary, and service organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the American Speech and Hearing Association in which she holds Advanced Certification in Speech and was a fellow. She was National President of Sigma Alpha Eta professional fraternity.

Ruth lectured in many countries throughout the world, and was a visiting lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1950-1951. Her travel experience was extensive, including the U.S.S.R., China, Japan, Hawaii, Europe, England, Scotland, Canada, Mexico, South America, and Africa.

Dr. Clark was listed in Who’s Who In American Education, Who’s Who in American Women, and Who’s Who in the West. She had numerous publications, including articles in professional journals, chapters in several books, film strips, and important recordings in her professional field of Speech and Hearing.

For her pioneering work in the public schools of Utah, for her eminent career in professional university teaching, for her worldwide lecturing and travel, and for her own dynamic and wonderful self, it was a pleasure to present the honors of the Association to her.


Charter Member of USHA – 1937

USHA President – 1946-1947

Deceased – January 21, 1983

Salt Lake City is “hometown” to Susie Niles. In reality, she grew up in Salt Lake, where she received her elementary education and graduated from East High School. She then went to Westminster College, pursuing her interest in languages which had been acquired in high school (Latin, French, German, and English). At Westminster she served as the year book’s first woman editor. Next, she moved north to Utah State Agricultural College (now Utah State University), where she received acclaim as a dynamic personality and an energetic student. She belonged to various clubs and affiliated with the Chi Omega National Sorority.

Shortly thereafter, she became very interested in the field of Speech Correction. When Ruth Clark, Vera Gee and Alonzo J. Morley began to affiliate with the new group called the Utah Society for the Study of the Disorders of Speech in 1936, young Susie joined with them. Her energy and enthusiasm were valuable assets to the new organization and for many years she was Salt Lake City’s only speech correctionist.

Susie has served two terms as President of the Utah Speech and Hearing Association and was a past President of the Western Speech Association as well as past second Vice President of the National Society for the Study of Communications. She belonged to many and varied organizations. Among them were the Utah Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters, Council of Exceptional Children, and the American Childhood Education Association.

Her interests and abilities in the field of speech and communication are known to many public school speech correctionists who came to Susie for assistance and guidance in public school programming.

World War II brought about additional incentive and concern to Susie Niles. She obtained a “Military Leave” from her work in the Salt Lake City schools and for three and one half years served as a Task Force Staff Member for the National American Red Cross, in Hospital Recreation and Social Work Assignments. She worked diligently in hospitals and centers in Alaska, the Aleutian Islands and various Canadian stations before the war ended. Afterward she returned to her clinical activities in the Salt Lake City schools.

Susie always kept abreast of the times, acquiring additional knowledge and skill. She did graduate work at the University of Utah and at Denver University. While in Denver at the Children’s Speech Clinic she did special duties in the Moto-Kinesthetic speech methods with Edna Hill Young and Ruth M. Clark. She also studied communications in interpersonal relations with Dr. Elwood Murray; psychodrama with Dr. Robert Haas and Albert Moreno, and Audiology and Speech for the Deaf with Dr. Robert Harrington and Alice Strong respectively.

To Susie, speech was a vital and living tool needed in interpersonal relations. Therefore her therapy was functional and purposeful. The child and his/her needs were paramount.


Charter Member of USHA – 1937

USHA President – 1937-1938, 1950

Deceased – June 28, 1995

When the original Utah Society for the Study of Disorders of Speech was formed in 1935, by Mary Webster and four others, Dr. Morley was attending the State University of Iowa where he received what was probably the nation’s first Ph.D. in Speech Pathology. He returned to Utah in 1936, joined the new organization, and helped draft its first formal constitution.

Dr. Morley became the second president of USHA in 1937, and served for two years during which he did much to sell the Speech Correction Program to teachers, school administrators, and members of civic organizations. He helped organize symposiums and clinics in various localities and invited national leaders to Utah as speakers.

During 1950, he served another term as President of the Association. During this period he was actively participating on an advisory committee which first recommended the establishment of the state special education certificate.

Dr. Morley was born in Moroni, Utah, January 8, 1903, the son of John F. and Maria J. Morley. He attended Moroni grade and high schools from which he graduated in 1921 as valedictorian. He went on to Brigham Young University (BYU) from which he received his AB degree in 1925.

Alonzo taught Speech and English at Uintah High School in Vernal, Utah, and then taught two years at Weber High School in Ogden. He returned to BYU in 1928, where he was the lone instructor in the areas of interpretation, play production, and public speaking for three years while the head of the Speech Department was on leave. He received his master’s degree from BYU in 1931.

While participating in a summer session at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1929, Dr. Morley first heard of the new and fascinating field of Speech Pathology which was developing mainly at the State University of Iowa (SUI). His investigations eventually led to his entering SUI in 1993, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1935, under the direction of Dr. Lee E. Travis. Dr. Morley returned to BYU as an Associate Professor of Speech in 1935, and became director of the Speech and Hearing area. He has taught summer courses at USC, Ohio State, and in Portland, Oregon; and taught one year at Fresno State College in California.

Dr. Morley not only helped pioneer USHA, but was a charter member in the Western Speech Association (1929), American Educational Theater Association (1937), Theta Alpha Phi, national honorary dramatics fraternity, the American Forensic Association (1949), and the Utah County Coordinating Council for Exceptional Children. He was also actively affiliated with the American Speech Association since 1925, the Utah Teachers of Speech since 1925, the Utah Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Inc. and the National Council for Exceptional Children (1956). He was a Fellow in USHA and holds advanced certificates in both Speech and Hearing.

He produced several books and articles pertaining to this and related fields among which is Speech Power Through Study and Practice.


Charter Member of USHA – 1937

USHA President – 1954-1955

Deceased – March 20, 1988

Mrs. Gee is a native of Cedar City, started out as a teacher, and for eight years taught at the School for the Deaf and Blind in Ogden, Utah. She returned to Salt Lake City and took further training at the University of Utah and the University of Wisconsin, getting her Master’s degree in Speech and Hearing.

She was a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association and of the National Association of Social Workers Academy. She was also a member of the Utah National Council for Exceptional Children and a life member of the Utah Congress of Parents and Teachers. Mrs. Gee served on the Executive Committee for Hard of Hearing Children and was a past delegate from Utah to the White House Conference on Children and Youth.

Vera served as President of the Utah Public Health Association in 1958, when an extensive study was made on hearing problems of children in Utah. She was a Past President of the Utah Speech and Hearing Association and was Exceptional Child Chairman of the Utah Congress of Parent-Teacher Association. She also was on the Board of the Family Service Society for six years and was a Chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Council for the Schools of the Deaf and Blind.

Mrs. Gee was a consultant in the Speech and Hearing Clinic of the State Department of Health for many years and supervised the speech and hearing evaluations. She also traveled around the state of Utah when the department conducted its itinerant clinics to screen children and find those with speech and hearing problems.

Whenever there was a study to be made, surveys to be taken or projects to be undertaken for the benefit of handicapped children, you can be certain that Mrs. Vera Gee was in the “thick” of it.

Although Mrs. Gee had no children of her own, she had the love of hundreds of youngsters who have benefited from her help as a speech and hearing expert. She arranged for several rigorous summer clinic programs which stressed one particular kind of speech help for children who could not receive help elsewhere.

The satisfaction which she derived from being engaged in helping see that handicapped children made progress were her rewards for her untiring endeavors.


Charter Member of USHA – 1937

Deceased – May 24, 1996

From the fields of Drama, Theater, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, General Speech, and many others, has arisen the profession of Speech and Hearing Rehabilitation. Wallace A. Goates is numbered among those who moved into Speech and Hearing when it became a new profession. He received his Bachelor’s degree in 1929, from the University of Utah and started his teaching career in Beaver High School as a teacher of Speech and English. In the summer of 1931, he returned to the University of Utah as an instructor of speech and then moved to Logan to teach speech at the Utah State Agricultural College.

“Wally,” as he was called by his friends and colleagues, was not content with the “status quo” and availed himself of every opportunity to improve himself. He went to Yale University to do graduate study and then on to the State University of Iowa to complete his Master’s and Doctor’s degrees. He engaged in post-doctoral studies at the University of Utah and Northwestern University.

While at the Utah State Agricultural College he founded and directed the Speech Clinic. In 1937, after completing his doctorate, he returned to the University of Utah and remained there except for the years he was serving his country as an officer in the United States Navy.

Dr. Goates has always had a great interest in organizing and providing services for handicapped children. He founded and directed the Speech Science Laboratory, the Speech and Hearing Center, the Clinic Preschool for Hearing and Speech Impaired Children, as well as the Institute for Special Education at the University of Utah. Through his efforts, Utah has been represented in the numerous organizations throughout the nation. One of the first American Speech and Hearing Association advanced certificates in Speech was given to Dr. Goates and this was followed in a few years by an advanced degree in Audiology.

Dr. Goates was among those early pioneers who helped organize speech and hearing services in Utah. He spent countless hours serving on various committees and constantly labored to improve the professional standing in USHA. Dr. Goates has articles published in such journals as the Journal of Pediatrics, Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, Utah Educational Review, and the Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology.

Dr. Goates had a major interest in Audiology, and was one of the early members of USHA to engage in private practice in speech and hearing.