Open main menu

Souvenir of Western Women 110 Helen F. Spalding.png

(Photographed in 1891)

Helen F. Spalding


A LIST of the educators of the state would not be complete without the name of Helen F. Spalding, and no record of the part that the women of the state have borne in its educational work would be complete without at least a brief mention of the part that she has had in it.

Miss Spalding was born in Chelmsford, Mass., and received her first instruction in the matchless public schools of that state in the days of Horace Mann. At an early age she began teaching. She alternated this work with attendance upon private schools under eminent instructors, and when about 20 years of age she graduated at Westbrook Seminary, Maine. Upon completing her course she was chosen head of the woman's department at Westbrook Seminary, a position that she filled successfully and acceptably for six years. She went from there to Fitchburg, Mass., where for some time she was first assistant in the High School. On the opening of Buchtel College at Akron, Ohio, Miss Spalding was given the chair of English literature, a position which she held for three years. Her health becoming impaired by constant application to the duties of her profession, she asked and obtained leave of absence, and improved the opportunity thus given to visit her brothers in Portland, Oregon. Finding the climate beneficial to her health, she later resigned the chair of literature at Buchtel College and accepted a similar position in the Portland High School. With this work Miss Spalding was identified for a period of thirteen years, during which time she laid a shaping hand upon the lives of hundreds of the young men and women of the state. For obvious reasons the true record of this endeavor must forever remain unwritten except as it is recorded in the character and attainments of those who as the years went on passed out of school into the active duties and responsibilities of life.

Careful investment of her earnings grew with the growth of the city into business interests that required her personal attention, and in 18—Miss Spalding reluctantly resigned her position in the Portland High School and retired from the profession to which she had devoted so many useful years.

Though Miss Spalding withdrew from the teachers' ranks, her active sympathies are still enlisted in the cause of education, and to this extent she has never dropped out of the work, but in a quiet, earnest, helpful way continues to promote its interests. A busy woman, active in good works and ever ready with good words, she is a dependable force in all lines in which true womanly endeavor is enlisted for the public weal. Active in the cause of liberal religion; a humanitarian who is always ready to voice the wrongs of the voiceless, she is passing gently down the sunset slope of life. And when at last its evening shadows enfold her she will gratefully be "remembered for what she has done."