Woman of the Century/Rachel H. Shoemaker
SHOEMAKER, Mrs. Rachel H., dramatic elocutionist and Shakesperean reciter, born near Doylestown, Pa., 1st October, 1838. Her maiden name was Rachel Walter Hinkle. One of her ancestors on her father's side came to America with William Penn, with whom he was closely associated in the affairs of the colony of Pennsylvania. On her mother's side her ancestors were Hollanders. Her parents were farmers. Rachel lived on the homestead farm until she was twenty years old. She was the youngest of five children. RACHEL H. SHOEMAKER. In childhood she displayed a talent and liking for recitation. Her early education was such as the public schools gave in those days, and later she attended the State Normal School in Millersville, Pa., where, after graduation, she remained as a teacher of English and French. On 27th June, 1867. she became the wife of Professor I. W. Shoemaker. They made their home in Philadelphia, where, in 1875, they opened the National School of Elocution and Oratory and later commenced the publication of elocutionary books. Professor Shoemaker died in 1880. leaving his wife with two young children, a son and a daughter. Mrs. Shoemaker has always maintained a connection with the school in some capacity, acting as president when no one else was chosen. She has compiled a number of books for elocutionists, and she has studied and written much upon the subject. She has taught thousands of students and has read in many cities, including Philadelphia. New York, Cincinnati and Minneapolis in the United States, and Toronto. Hamilton and Montreal in Canada. The school founded by herself and her husband has prospered from the beginning and has trained some of the most successful readers of the day.