Woman of the Century/Kate Douglas Wiggin
WIGGIN, Mrs. Kate Douglas, philanthropist and author, was born in Philadelphia, Pa. She is of Puritan descent, and her ancestors were prominent in the church, in politics and in the law. She was educated in New England, after which she removed to California, where she studied the kindergarten methods for a year. After that she taught for a year in a college in Santa Barbara, and was then called upon to organize the first free kindergarten in San Francisco. KATE DOUGLAS WIGGIN. For a time she worked alone in the school, after which she interested Mrs. Sarah B. Cooper in the subject, and together they have made a notable success of kindergartens in that city, Miss Nora Smith, Mrs. Wiggin's sister, also laboring with them. From that opening have branched out over fifty other kindergartens tor the poor in that city and in Oakland. Cal., beside many others upon the Pacific coast. Upon becoming the wife of Samuel Bradley Wiggin, a brilliant young lawyer, she gave up her kindergarten teaching, but continued to talk to the training class twice a week, besides visiting all the kindergartens regularly, telling the children those stories which have since been published to a wide circle of readers. Her first story was a short serial, entitled "Half-a-Dozen Housekeepers." which appeared in "St. Nicholas." For many years she wrote no more for publication, except in connection with kindergarten work. Her "Story of Patsy" was written and printed for the benefit of the school. Three-thousand copies were sold without its appearance in a book store. In 1888 Mr. and Mrs. Wiggin removed to New York. The separation from her kindergartens left so much leisure work on her hands that she again began her literary labors. Some of her works are: "The Birds' Christmas Carol," "A Summerin a Canon" and "Timothy's Quest." "The Story Hour" was written in conjunction with her sister Nora. Mrs. Wiggin has given many parlor readings for charity, which show that she ts also an elocutionist of merit. She is an excellent musician, possessing a beautiful voice, and has composed some very fine instrumental settings for her favorite poems, notably her accompaniment to "Lend Me Thy Fillet, Love," and of Ibsen's "Butterfly Song." She has published a book of children's songs and games, entitled "Kindergarten Chimes." The death of her husband, in 1889, was a grievous blow, from which she bravely rallied, and returning to California, again took up her beloved work in a large normal school for the training of kindergarten teachers, of which she is the head.