Dexheimer, Florence Chambers, 1866-1925 / Sketches of Wisconsin pioneer women
Burnham, Ellen B.
Miss Mary Mortimer, pp. 75-77 PDF (569.6 KB)
the interior of the state. At the age of twelve years, she was left an orphan. In spite of many obstacles, she succeeded in acquiring a finished education and taught successfully in eastern schools. The name of Miss Mary Mortimer became known as an educator and in the year 1849 two members of the Ladies' Educational Associa- tion, Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe and Miss Catherine Beecher, using their personal influence, prevailed upon Miss Mortimer to go to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to as- sist in the work of conducting a college, recently es- tablished for the better and higher education of women, and the spring of 1850 found her located in that city. The trials, disappointments and discouragements which were encountered and nobly struggled against in this undertaking could only be appreciated by her pupils and associate teachers of those early days and by the noble and far-seeing men and women residents of the city, who gave to this little band of women both moral and financial support. The ultimate success of those strenuous efforts may be realized as one lookv back through the annuals of the institution, which in its earliest infancy, bore the name of Milwaukee Female Seminary, and which has evolved step by step through various changes and under various names until it has emerged as that splendid in- stitution of learning of which all Wisconsin is justly proud-Milwaukee Downer College. Miss Mortimer remained with the college, then lo- cated on Milwaukee Street until the spring of 1857. Later we read of her as head of a Seminary at Baraboo, Wis- consin, where she remained for several years. In 1866, as president, she again joined the forces of the Milwaukee institution and remained until the year 1874, when, through failing health, she severed her connection with the college and was succeeded by Prof. Farrar, of Vassar. Through the sunset of her life, in her quiet surburban home, Miss Mortimer was still busy. She commenced a post graduate course in instruction for women and in 76
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