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Semple, Ellen Churchilllocked

(08 January 1863–08 May 1932)
  • Allen D. Bushong


Semple, Ellen Churchill (08 January 1863–08 May 1932), geographer, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the daughter of Alexander Bonner Semple, a businessman, and Emerin Price. Semple was raised in comfortable upper-middle-class circumstances because of her father’s profitable business transactions with both northern and southern interests during the Civil War; this allowed her in later years a measure of freedom to pursue activities of her choosing. She lived in a predominantly female household owing to parental separation (though not divorce) and the departure from home of her oldest brother. Her mother presided firmly over the family, expecting from each of her children their best effort at whatever they undertook. Her uncompromising high standards were particularly influential on her scholarly and brilliant youngest daughter, whose professional work was always guided by those high expectations....

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