Woman of the Century/Mary Mortimer
MORTIMER, Miss Mary, educator, born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, 2nd December, 1816, and died in Milwaukee, Wis., 14th July, 1877. Her parents came to the United States when she was five years old. When she was twelve, her father and mother died within a single week. Her education was received in the Geneva, N. Y., Seminary, where she completed her course of study in 1839. She then taught for several years in Geneva Seminary, in Brockport Collegiate Institute, and in Le Roy Seminary, now known as Ingham University. In 1848 she went to the new State of Wisconsin on a visit, and in 1849 she taught a private school in Ottawa, III. Miss Catherine Beecher, then on an educational tour in the West, became acquainted with her very remarkable power as a teacher, met her in Ottawa, laid great educational plans before her, and persuaded her to take up work as a helper in the carrying out of those plans. She began the work in 1850, in Milwaukee, Wis., in a school which Miss Beecher had adopted and adapted to her plans, afterwards named Milwaukee College. Remarkable success was attained by the faculty of that school, among whom Miss Mortimer was foremost. She spent four-and-a-half years, from 1859 to 1863, in the Baraboo Seminary, Wisconsin, there graduating three classes from a course identical with that of Milwaukee College, and, after a time spent in Boston, Mass., returned to Milwaukee College, in 1866, where she was principal until her resignation, in 1874. In 1871 she traveled extensively in Europe. Her home, "Willow Glen," in the suburbs of Milwaukee, was in her later years an ideal retreat. She gave courses of lectures on art and history to classes of women in Milwaukee and Baraboo, Wis , in Elmira, N. Y., Auburndale, Mass., and St. Louis. Mo. She was instrumental in founding an industrial school for girls in Milwaukee, and she was a leading spirit in originating the Woman's Club of Milwaukee. Her chief monument is Milwaukee College, to which she devoted the prime of her life. The Mary Mortimer Library in Milwaukee College and her Memoir by Mrs. M. B. Norton are among the tributes of pupils to the life and character 01 that remarkable woman.