A debutante who grew up to encompass the world in her concern, Georgiana Farr Sibley, was selected as the American Mother of 1945. From Rochester, New York, her grandfather was the founder of a Philadelphia newspaper and had been an intimate friend of Abraham Lincoln. Georgiana was born in New York City, grew up there and in West Orange, New Jersey. Shortly after her graduation from the exclusive Miss Spence’s School, she was presented to New York society.
Georgiana’s marriage to Harper Sibley, a young banker with an interest in agriculture, was a happy one. For many years he was president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At the request of President Roosevelt, he organized the U.S.O. A loyal churchman, Harper was chairman of the Church Committee for Overseas Relief and Reconstruction during the war. Georgiana went with him on a world tour in connection with the Layman’s Missionary Council. The international enthusiasm must have been contagious since their eldest son, Hiram, served with UNNRA in Greece.
Six children were quite a responsibility and Georgiana Sibley gave each one her loving attention. As the children grew up, Georgiana had more time for community activities. As the only woman member of the Executive Committee on Post-War Planning in her home city of Rochester, she exerted an influence for the establishment of a higher order of community life in the years to come.
She served on the National Board of the YWCA, the Executive Committee of the U.S.O., the Northfield League, the World Service Council, Genessee Hospital, the American Mission to Lepers, and President of the United Council of Church Women. She also served on the Board of Trustees of Hobart College in Geneva, New York and also that of Central China College. She was a religious advisor on the women’s campus of the University of Rochester.
Georgiana Sibley was diligent in her church, civic and international affairs. It was said of her -“in simplicity and in sincerity, she ministers equally to the great and to the humble…”