Woman of the Century/Loraine Immen
IMMEN, Mrs. Loraine, elocutionist and club leader, born in Mount Clemens, Mich., 3rd August, 1840. Her mother's maiden name was Cook, and her ancestors were related to Captain Cook, the famous navigator. Her father, E. G. Pratt, was a native of Massachusetts, who settled in Michigan in the pioneer days, making his home in Mount Clemens. He was conspicuous in every movement that had for its object the development of the community and the State. The two daughters of the Pratt family enjoyed the advantages of a thorough education. Loraine became a teacher at the age of fourteen years, and she succeeded well in the arduous work of the school-room. She taught in Mount Clemens until 1860, when she became the wife of Frederick Immen. She continued her studies after marriage, and in 1880 she was graduated and received the first honor in a senior class contest of the National School of Elocution and Oratory in Philadelphia, Pa. LORAINE IMMEN. Returning to her home, she gave a public reading in the Mount Clemens opera house, giving the proceeds of the entertainment for the beginning of a fund to purchase a town clock. Appearing as a lecturer in Grand Rapids, her subject was "Paris," and the proceeds she gave to aid in erecting the soldier's monumental fountain in that city. Later, while in London, she gave readings and was made a life fellow of the Society of Science, Letters and Art. In Grand Rapids she has been connected with the St. Cecilia Society and the Ladies' Literary Club since their institution, and in 1890 she was president of the latter club, a society that numbers over five-hundred members. She is the founder of the Shakespeare Club and has been its president from the beginning. Besides her work in literary, elocutionary and social lines, she is an earnest worker in the Sunday-school, where her success has been quite as marked as in the other fields. Mrs. Immen is a most enthusiastic club woman. She is warm-hearted, generous, interested in all the great events of the day, and particularly alive to the doings of women in all fields of effort that are now open to them. The Ladies' Literary Club, in Grand Rapids, is a monument to her enthusiasm, her industry and her executive ability. In 1887 she and the other leaders of the club purchased a site for a club-house, and a beautiful building was finished and dedicated in January, 1888. It is now the center of intellectual activity among the women of Grand Rapids, and it has become a fountain of art, literature, history, science and education.