Eldora Olive Gragg, C.S.D.

Pastel portrait by William Baxter Closson. Gift of her daughter, Mrs. Elisabeth F. Norwood, C.S.B.


ELDORA OLIVE GRAGG became a schoolteacher after graduating from high school in Roxbury, Massachusetts, but gave up teaching after marrying. In 1884, she developed a severe illness and, failing to find medical relief, turned to Christian Science and was healed. Eldora had Primary class instruction with Mrs. Eddy in March 1888 at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, became a Journal-listed practitioner by the end of 1891, and a Christian Science teacher in 1892. Mrs. Eddy appointed Mrs. Gragg as one of the 12 students who formed The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, in 1892. Mrs. Gragg and her students donated the chimes in the church tower of the Original Edifice of The Mother Church in 1894. In January 1895, she was chosen to be the first Second Reader of The Mother Church, serving with Judge Septimus J. Hanna, who was appointed First Reader. Eldora Gragg read for seven years without an absence (at this time there was no term limit for the readership). She would go on to devote more than 25 years to Christian Science practice and teaching, leaving a rich legacy of students to carry forward the work she had begun.

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