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Blaker, Eliza Ann Cooper (05 March 1854–04 December 1926), kindergarten and teacher educator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Jacob Cooper and Mary Jane Gore, shopkeepers. Her Pennsylvania German mother largely carried the burden of supporting the family, which included Eliza and two younger children. Her Quaker father was not a financial success and suffered from ill health after he was wounded during the Civil War. Soon after his death, Eliza enrolled in the Girls Normal School of Philadelphia. Graduating as valedictorian in 1874, she served as a primary and grammar school teacher in the Philadelphia schools. For a short period, she supplemented this work with teaching in an artisans’ night school....

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Bonner, Marita Odette (16 June 1898–06 December 1971), educator and author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the daughter of Joseph Bonner, a machinist and laborer, and Mary A. Nowell. Educated in the Brookline, Massachusetts, public schools, she applied to Radcliffe College at the urging of her high school faculty adviser and was one of the few African-American students accepted for admission. She majored in English and comparative literature and founded the Radcliffe chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, a black sorority. A gifted pianist and student of musical composition, she won the Radcliffe song competition in 1918 and 1922. Bonner also studied German, a language in which she became fluent. During her last year in college she taught English at a Cambridge high school. After graduating with a B.A. in 1922, she taught at the Bluefield Colored Institute in Bluefield, Virginia, until 1924 and at Armstrong High School in Washington, D.C., from 1924 to 1930, when she married William Almy Occomy, a Brown graduate. The couple moved to Chicago, where they raised three children....

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Cooper, Sarah Brown Ingersoll (12 December 1835–11 December 1896), educator, was born in Cazenovia, New York, the daughter of Samuel Clark Ingersoll, a mechanic, and Laura Case Hopkins. Sarah was only five years old when her mother died, and she and her two sisters were reared by a great aunt. When she was twelve years old, her first article was published in the ...

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Mitchell, Lucy Sprague (02 July 1878–15 October 1967), educator, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Otho Sprague and Lucia Atwood. Migrating from Vermont to Chicago with his young bride shortly after the Civil War, Otho Sprague and an older brother had opened a dry goods business that soon became the largest wholesale grocery in the world. Members of Chicago’s merchant elite, the Sprague brothers helped established many of Chicago’s leading cultural institutions; they were among the benefactors of Hull-House, the settlement led by ...

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Sharp, Zerna Addas (12 August 1889–17 June 1981), elementary teacher and principal and reading consultant, was born in Hillisburg, Indiana, the daughter of Charles Sharp, owner of a general store, and Charlotta E. Smith. At age five Sharp learned to read by herself and at sixteen graduated from high school. She took a summer course at Marion Normal College and passed the state teachers’ examination shortly thereafter. In 1905 she began teaching first grade in her hometown. The next year she taught in Circleville and Kirklin, both in Indiana. During this time she continued her education at Columbia University; however, she did not obtain a degree. Around 1920 Sharp became an elementary school principal in LaPorte, Indiana; she continued to teach as well....