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Foss, Sam Walter (19 June 1858–26 February 1911), poet and librarian, was born in Candia, New Hampshire, the son of Dyer Foss and Polly Hardy, farmers. Foss’s mother died when he was four. He attended public or “common” schools, graduating from Portsmouth High School in 1877. He then matriculated at New Hampshire Conference Seminary and Female College in Tilton, which later became Tilton Academy, for one year. There he converted to Methodist Episcopalianism and earned a scholarship to attend Brown University. Because he worked to support himself, he was prevented from deep involvement in college life; nevertheless, he was elected class poet and a member of the ...

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Plummer, Mary Wright (08 March 1856–21 September 1916), library educator and poet, was born in Richmond, Indiana, the daughter of Jonathan Wright Plummer, a businessman, and Hannah Bullard. She attended the Friends Academy, a Quaker school in Richmond, until 1873 when the family moved to Chicago, where her father was employed as a druggist. Except for a year spent at Wellesley College (1881–1882), she remained in Chicago with her family until 1887. In that year she left to attend the beginning class of the first library school in the United States, the School of Library Economy, organized by ...

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Spencer, Anne (06 February 1882–27 July 1975), poet, librarian, and teacher, was born Annie Bethel Scales Bannister in Henry County, near Danville, Virginia, the daughter of Joel Cephus Bannister, a former slave and saloon owner, and Sarah Louise Scales. The only child of divorced parents, at the age of eleven Annie was sent to Virginia Seminary in Lynchburg, where she excelled in literature and languages. After graduating in 1899 she taught for two years, then in 1901 married fellow student Edward Spencer and lived the rest of her life in Lynchburg....

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Ward, James Warner (05 June 1816–28 June 1897), librarian and author, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of William Ward and Sara Warner. Ward studied in the Boston Public Schools and then served for four years as freight checker in a shipping house in Salem, Massachusetts....