Women of Rockford College circa 1915
                                                                                                         10 February 2012

At a recent flea market I found a Rockford Women’s College photo album (c. 1915) belonging to Naomi J Glover.  Unfortunately, none of the 162 photos are labeled, but six women’s names and addresses are listed as friends of Naomi. 

The photos show their personal living spaces, sports activities, costumed theater actors, 

I spent the weekend researching and getting to know these interesting women.   Some of the women were easily traceable, some not so much.

Naomi J Glover, was born 16 February 1896 in New Richmond, St. Croix, Wisconsin.  She was the daughter of Ezra A. and Ada “Addie” Lou (    ) Severe Glover.  Her father owned a clothing store.

Christel  Etta Runner, was born 12 October 1894 in Indiana.  The only child of Morton Runner and Flora Wilson,   Christel married  Ross M. Halgren on 08 September 1917 in Benton County, Indiana.  Christel graduated from Rockford College, in Illinois. She owned the land Isaac Runner bought from the government.   Ross was the son of Mangus Peter Halgren and Minerva Jane Ross. He graduated from Wabash College and was an insurance agent in Indianapolis.

Lucy Adele Whitsel, was born May 1896 in Decatur, Illinois, the daughter of Allen Travis Whitsel and Henrietta Stafford.  After graduating from Rockford College, Lucy received both an  A.M. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Lucy was the head of the Department of the Classics at Marshall College, in Huntington, West Virginia.  She authored many papers on the Classics and at least two books:   The sentence of Tacitus' Germania which deals with the origin of the name Germani  (1926) and Studies in the grouping of words in Roman comedy ( 1932). Lucy never married and died in 1967 in Cabell, West Virginia.

Olive Adams was born 11 Dec 1893 in Dubuque, Iowa.  Olive was the daughter of Herbert and Elsie Adams. Herbert and his brother Eugene owned The Adams Company in Dubuque.  Herbert’s mother was Mary Newbury Adams who was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1981.  Mary Adams was an active member of the Transcendentalist movement; traveled and lectured on reform topics, woman suffrage and human potential. In her later years, Mary studied theosophy--a mixture of science, philosophy, and spirituality.  Through her grandmother, Mary Newbury Adams, Olive's royal ancestry is documented to William I., King of England and Hugh Capet, King of France. Olive never married and served as president of the Dubuque County Board of Trustees to administer the library.  Olive died 12 September 1982.

Margaret Frances Sabin, was born 27 December 1893, in Belvidere, Illinois.  She was the daughter of Sidney Avery Sabin (Sabin Bros. Dry Goods) and Stella Eva Palmer. Margaret applied for her first passport in 1922. Over the next twenty years she, embarked on many trips to study, and traveled in England, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Hawaii. Margaret’s ancestry is traceable on the Palmer side in "Brown genealogy of many of the descendants of Thomas, John, and Eleazer Brown."  Her Sabin side is listed in William Sabin and his descendants, 1609-2000, Volume 1.
Margaret’s brother, H. Palmer Sabin, as he was known professionally, is considered one of Southern California’s leading architects of the late 1920’s through the 1930’s. Margaret died on 8 August 1984 in Los Angeles, California.

Gertrude Johnson c. 1913, La Grange, Illinois

Esther Elizabeth Waite was born 17 Aug 1895 in Oberlin, Ohio.  She was the daughter of George W. Waite and Delia Skinner.  Esther married Alvin Collins Brightman on 8 September 1917 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Alvin was seventeen years her senior and taught at Western Reserve Law School. Alvin died of a heart attack 9 May 1932 in Dayton, Ohio.  Esther died 11 December 1985 in Cleveland, Ohio.  She did not remarry and worked in newspaper publishing and printing. It is likely she is the Esther Brightman who is described in the article The Power of the Press by Mary K. Whitmer, the Bar Journal of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, May 2010.  

Elizabeth Ethel Morrison was born 13 June 1897 in Berwyn, Illinois.  She was the daughter of Frederick W. Morrison and Caroline Esther Dodd.  Frederick operated a pharmacy at the corner of Oak Park and Windsor Avenues in the suburban village of Berwyn.  Elizabeth was a public school teacher at the time of her death, 22 October 1919 in Chatsfield, Fillmore County, Minnesota.

Additional sources: A Rockford Girl (1905)

The symbol below is displayed on a pillow in a dorm room.  I haven't found a clue as to its meaning.

Drop me a note if you have questions or answers!  anne@rootslocator.com

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