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Woman of the Century/Helen M. Davis Brownell

BROWNELL, Mrs. Helen M. Davis, educator, born in Ossian, N. Y., 31st January, 1836. Her childhood was spent in a Christian home. At an early age she manifested an eager desire for knowledge, using with avidity the means within reach to fit herself for the position of teacher. She became a prominent educator in the public schools of Bloomfield, Lima and Geneseo, N. Y. Having attained success as an instructor in English branches, she entered the seminary in Lima, that she might fit herself for more advanced work in her profession. For some years she continued her studies in school. There she met her future husband, W. A. Brownell, then a student in Genesee college. On the completion of his college course they were married, in July, 1865. In September, 1865, her husband became principal of Red Creek Seminary, N. Y. and she became preceptress. Later, her hus*band was called to the chair of Latin in Falley Seminary, N. Y., where she again took the position of preceptress and teacher of French. At that time Falley Seminary stood in the front rank of collegiate preparatory schools. Upon the call of her husband to the principalship of Fairfield Seminary, N. Y., she discontinued teaching, and during their three years' residence there her first son was born. In 1871, her husband having accepted a position in the high school in Syracuse, N. Y., they removed to that city, and there they still reside. Mrs. Brownell gave herself heartily to the making of a home, meanwhile carrying on with enthusiasm her studies in general literature and natural history, particularly in the department of botany. Her home has been not only a safe retreat for her husband and children, but its doors have always been open to receive to its sheltering care young men and women who were HELEN M. DAVIS BROWNELL.jpgHELEN M. DAVIS BROWNELL. struggling to prepare for life's duties. To these young people she has given advice, inspiring and inciting them to the highest aspirations, and aiding and directing them in their studies. She has enjoyed the advantages of travel, both in America and Europe. Within the last few years, since her household duties have been less imperative, she ha« given herself zealously to the work of the Woman's Home Missionary Society, speaking often in various conventions and conferences.