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Simkhovitch, Mary Kingsburylocked

(08 September 1867–15 November 1951)
  • John Recchiuti

Extract

Simkhovitch, Mary Kingsbury (08 September 1867–15 November 1951), social settlement leader and housing reformer, was born Mary Melinda Kingsbury in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, the older of two children of Laura Holmes and Isaac Franklin Kingsbury, both of whom came from well-established and politically engaged New England families. Her mother’s family had sheltered runaway slaves, and her father fought with the Thirty-Second Massachusetts Volunteers in the Civil War. Mary described her childhood as a happy one—surrounded by extended family and full of tales of the war—in which she played in fields and orchards, practiced piano, and read avidly. As a child, her family occupied the same pew in the local Congregational church that her father’s grandfather had, though the family joined the Episcopal Church when she was in her teens....

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