Elizabeth Greenleaf was an early settler in Evanston. She and her husband Luther Greenleaf moved to the town in 1862 and quickly became involved in many of the early philanthropic endeavors of the community. They were big supporters of the public library, and were especially interested in women’s education. Elizabeth Greenleaf served as president of the board of the Evanston College for Ladies and her husband was a financial supporter of the college as well.
When the Great Chicago Fire wiped out their finances in 1871, the Greenleafs did not easily recover. They left Evanston for Beloit, WI and lived there for the remainder of their lives.