Baer, Clara Gregory
- Janice A. Beran
Baer, Clara Gregory (27 August 1863–19 January 1938), physical educator, was born in Algiers, Louisiana, the daughter of Hamilton John Baer, a broker/flour merchant, and Ellen Douglas Riley. Algiers, located across the Mississippi River from New Orleans, was undergoing a prolonged Union siege at the time of Clara’s birth. She was quickly given “Dixie” as a nickname, perhaps in defiance of the North’s aggression. Following her mother’s death in 1868, she and her siblings were cared for by their maternal grandmother. Baer was one of a small number of children who attended the few schools in Louisiana during the Reconstruction period. As there were no public Louisiana secondary schools before 1880, she was sent to Louisville, Kentucky, for high school. Following high school she studied first in the late 1880s under S. S. Curry at the Boston School of Expression, then at the Emerson School of Oratory in Boston, and in 1890 at the Posse Normal School of Physical Education in Boston....