Saturday, February 2, 2008

Higher Education - Roberts Family

It appears that Joel came from a progressive family background that endorsed education for women. Higher education for women was a bit unusual but not unheard of during this period but there’s no telling where girls seeking education might have gone or been sent. The South was in financial ruin in the 1870’s, so if girls were even sent to college, oftentimes those schools were in New England or the Midwest. After the Civil War, Daisy Pillans went to Massachusetts to a co-educational school. Daisy boarded with Mrs. William Ward and Mrs. Hammond Whitney, both widows living together with their children. According to Daisy, “My cousin, Anna Whitney, was head of the girls’ department.”[i]

Palmer Clarkson Hamilton, commenting on the status of higher education for woman, stated, “My great aunt Laura Edith Pillans went to Salem in North Carolina briefly but didn’t like it.” Daisy Pillans’ memoirs corroborate Laura’s attendance in Salem circa the 1890’s and allude to the aspirations of her daughter. “Laura did not care for society and wanted to teach.” As Daisy Pillans noted, “Schooling was too hard for Laura and she soon gave up on academics and took a job at McGowin-Lyons Hardware Company.” The possibility exists that Laura also studied stenography at Salem although no one can corroborate this information for sure. [ii] Laura was a second cousin to Joel Ninde.
[i] Ibid. “p.14.
[ii] Ibid

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