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Dr Cora May Johnstone Best
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Birth: Dec. 31, 1878
Dodge County
Minnesota, USA
Death: Nov. 19, 1930

Known as a climber, adventurer and lecturer. She was known for her many first ascents in the Canadian Rockies during the 1920s and was the beloved friend of Audrey 'Belle' Forfar Shippam.

Published in the Crag & Canyon Newspaper
Banff, Alberta
November 28, 1930

Dr. Cora Johnstone Best, internationally known lecturer, mountain climber and huntress, died Wednesday (Nov. 19) at her home, 4535 East Lake Harriet Boulevard (Minneapolis) following an illness that began several years ago while she was travelling in Switzerland. She was 38.

Dr. Best, who was known throughout the United States as a conservationist and leading exponent of outdoor life, was a member of the Canadian Alpine Club, the Japanese Alpine Club and the Swiss Alpine Club. During the last 12 years she divided her him between exploring expeditions, which took her from the Arctic Circle to the tropics, and writing and lecturing on her experiences.

She was one of the first women in Minnesota to promote physical education as a necessary part of public school training. During the last ten years she lectured extensively in all parts of the country under auspices of the bureau of commercial economics of Washington.

Educated as a physician, she practiced medicine for a time, but dropped that in the interests of furthering the appreciation of outdoor life in the United States. She scaled several mountains in climbs never before attempted by a woman.

In 1924 she set a record by climbing Mount Robson, highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, in 14 hours. In 1925 she and a companion Audrey Shippam, risked their lives in a 200 mile canoe trip around the big bend of the Columbia River.

Dr. Best began writing about the outdoors and animal life at an early age. While she was still very young her first story, "The Autobiography of a Cat," was published. She wrote at length for magazines devoted to the interests of conservation and animal life, and also wrote a number of poems.

One of her most dangerous expeditions was in Manchuria, China, in 1927, where she traveled at times with a revolver strapped to her belt because her life was threatened by natives. During the expedition she became ill and lay concealed in the bottom of a boat on a mud bank while Mrs. Shippam nursed her back to health. She took motion pictures of many of the odd places she visited on her travels.

Dr. Best is survived by her husband, Dr. Robert Best. Funeral services were held at the home on Friday, Nov. 21.
Lakewood Cemetery
Hennepin County
Minnesota, USA
Created by: Erice Wilcox
Record added: Dec 08, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32045161
Dr Cora May <i>Johnstone</i> Best
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Added by: cw
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