The Triumfeminate, 1918

One of the unexpected pleasures of retirement is that I now have time to follow up on questions raised in the comments. Richard Schafer quite reasonably noted after Friday’s post that if Elsbeth Rowe was a member of a triumfeminate there must have been two others lurking about somewhere. Indeed there were and the three were quite a formidable crew by the looks of it. I did some poking around and had the good fortune to come across a book prepared by members of the class of 1918 on the occasion of their fortieth reunion in 1958 and two of them, Elsbeth Rowe and Mary Jane Stratford had included updates on their lives. First up is Stratford, whose mother Sarah was hired as Dr. Lovett’s secretary in 1911, then became Dean of Women at Rice in (I think) 1914:

Next we have the scrumptious Elspeth Rowe, who from what I can tell spent a year at Vassar after she graduated from Rice:
The third member of the triumfeminate is the one I found most interesting. Helen Barber, “the Library Queen,” was a non-participant in the reunion updates, as I would also have been. After she left Rice she taught a bit at MacMurray College in Illinois, then went off to Cornell where in the spring of 1927 she received her doctorate in history. On Christmas day that year she married fellow Cornell graduate student Glenn Gray. (He finished in 1928.) She would spend most of her life in Lincoln, Nebraska, where her husband had a long career as a professor of English history and the two of them would build a personal library of some distinction. I like her.

I’ve got one more tidbit about this for next time. Hang on!

Bonus: Bookstore, with distancing.


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5 Responses to The Triumfeminate, 1918

  1. Richard Schafer says:

    That’s wonderful. Thanks for the update. Now if only we knew how they came to be known as the triumfeminate conservatives. I look forward to your next tidbit.

  2. Matthew Noall says:

    The bookstore has changed a whole lot from when it was located in the RMC bssent!

  3. Galloway Hudson - Wiess '60 says:

    I remember when the bookstore3 was in the basement of Fondren. No telling where it was before that.

  4. Lou Ann Montana says:

    I’m enchanted by the nicknames and descriptions given to these three ladies by their classmates. Can you remind us of the size of the student body at that time, Melissa? Many thanks!

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