Woman of the Century/Florence Trail
TRAIL, Miss Florence, author, born in Frederick, Md., 1st September, 1854. She is the second daughter of Charles E. Trail and Ariana McElfresh. Always of a buoyant disposition, a severe illness at ten years of age did not check her exuberant spirits, though it left her with impaired hearing. That would have been a great obstacle to her contact with the world, but her wonderful quickness of perception and heroic efforts to divine what others meant to say caused them to forget, or not to realize, that her hearing was not equal to their own. She graduated first in her class in the Frederick Female Seminary, in 1872. and the following year she graduated with highest honors in Mt. Vernon Institute, Baltimore. Md. Blessed in an unusual decree with the gift for imparting knowledge and inspiring others to study, she took classes in the Frederick Female Seminary in mental and moral philosophy, evidences of Christianity, modern history, mythology, rhetoric and composition, and achieved marked success. After teaching there four years, she announced her intention of FLORENCE TRAIL. leaving home for a position in Daughters College, Harrodsburgh, Ky., where she afterwards taught Latin, French, art and music. In Harrodsburg, as well as in Tarboro, N. C, where she taught music in 1887 and 1888, and in Miss Hogarth's school, Goshen, N. Y., where she acted as substitute for some weeks in January, 1890, she made many devoted friends and did superior work as a teacher. In 1883 she visited Europe, and afterwards published an account of her travels under the title "My Journal in Foreign Lands" (New York, 1885). a bright and instructive little volume, which passed through two editions and has been of great service as a guide-book. Miss Trail has been a member of the Society to Encourage Studies at Home for fourteen years, five as a student of modern history, French literature, Shakespeare and art, and nine as a teacher of ancient history. Her essay on "Prehistoric Greece as we find it in the Poems of Homer " was read before that society at the annual reunion at Miss Ticknor's, in Boston, Mass , in June, 1883. Miss Trail is a brilliant musician, having studied music in the seminary in Frederick, in the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and in Chickering Hall, New York. She has often appeared in concerts with success. Though gifted in many ways, she will be best known as a writer Her crowning work, so far, is her last production, "Studies in Criticism" (New York, 1888). She has published over one-hundred articles in prose and verse, many without signature, in newspapers and magazines. Inheriting a taste for the languages, she is a fine translator and reads German, Italian, Latin and French.