Beard, Mary Ritter
- Nancy F. Cott
Beard, Mary Ritter (05 August 1876–14 August 1958), historian, was born and reared in comfort in Indianapolis, Indiana, the daughter of Eli Foster Ritter, a lawyer, and Narcissa Lockwood. Her parents, both from families that had migrated from the Upper South, were observant Methodists and well educated (her mother had briefly taught school). Mary Ritter did not warm to religion, but shone academically, graduating as high school valedictorian and going on—as did her five siblings, following their father—to Methodist-affiliated DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where she received the Ph.B. in 1897. At college she met fellow student ...