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Woman of the Century/Harriett Ellen Grannis Arey

HARRIETT ELLEN GRANNIS AREY.jpgHARRIETT ELLEN GRANNIS AREY. AREY, Mrs. Harriett Ellen Grannis, author and editor, born in Cavendish, Vt., 14th April, 1819. Her father's family had settled in New Haven, Conn., previous to 1655, among the earlier immigrants to New England. A hundred years later her grandfather removed from New Haven to Claremont. N. H., taking up a section of land included between the Connecticut and Sugar rivers and the township boundary on the north. There he married a daughter of Dr. William Sumner, who had removed thither from Boston. The seventh child of this family was the father of Harriet E. Grannis. Being of a studious turn of mind, he was destined for the Church, and while his studies were in progress, the older brothers engaged in extensive business enterprises. The war of 1812 came with its ruinous effects upon the country, followed from 1815 by the two or three cold seasons so well remembered in New England, in which crops were cut off. The business of the country had been unsettled since the first demonstrations of war, and her father was called from his studies to assist in saving the crippled business in which his brothers were engaged. The last blow of ruined crops brought about a disastrous failure, so that Harriett first saw the light in the midst of a depression quite as serious, probably, as that which followed the War of the Revolution. When she was three years of age, her father removed to Woodstock, Vt., and a year or two later to Charleston in the township of Hatley, Province of Quebec. In her fifteenth year she had the misfortune to lose her mother. Through this loss the family became separated, her father being at the time a member of the Provincial Parliament and obliged to be in Quebec a portion of the year, and the young girl was under the care of relatives in Claremont for the next three or four years. At the end of that time she joined her father at Oberlin, Ohio, whither he had removed when released from his official duties. There she resumed the school work that had been laid by and spent some years in uninterrupted study, at the close of which time she found a position as teacher in a ladies' school in Cleveland, Ohio, and from that place she removed, on her marriage, to Buffalo, N. Y. She had been from early girlhood a contributor to various papers and magazines, and not long after her marriage, she became editor of the "Youth's Casket " and the "Home Monthly." Active as she was in sound movements for reform, this work prospered in her hands, until, under the double burden of a growing family and her editorial responsibilities, her health failed, and it had to be given up. Soon afterwards her husband, who had charge of the central high school in Buffalo, was called to the principalship of the State Normal School in Albany, N. Y., and they removed to that city, where she spent a few pleasant years. A serious illness and a railroad accident following close upon it had prostrated her husband, and he was obliged to give up active duties for a year or more. When his health began to improve, he accepted the principalship of the State Normal School, then opening in Whitewater, Wis. Thinking that with his frail health her duty was at his side, Mrs. Arey went into the school with him, holding the position of lady principal. That occupation was congenial to her, and for nine or ten years she enjoyed the work. A few years later she found herself in her old home in Cleveland, where for some years she edited a monthly devoted to charitable work, at the same time holding a position on the board of the Woman's Christian Association. She was one of the founders and still holds her position as first president of the Ohio Woman's State Press Association. She has been for many years president of an active literary and social club. Her principal writings are "Household Songs and Other Poems" (New York, 1854).