First Fifty Years of Cazenovia Seminary


Madison County

1840 Class

First Class in the Three Year's Course
Graduating - 1841

The first class graduating in the three years' course [established in 1839], as it appears from the records, was in 1841; the names are as follows Isabel J. Atwater, Harriet P. Bowen, Bertha W. Loring, Sarah A. Peacock, Adaline E. Biddlecome, Eliza A. Ervine,, Mary E. Molton, Ann Eliza Bowen, Margaretta Hicks, and Mary E. Paddock. One of the above has sent the following corrections of the foregoing list, namely: " Isabel J. Atwater was not a graduate, and the name of Esther E. Myrick should be added." Elizabeth G. Confort's name properly belongs to this class, but it appears in the class of. the following year. This resulted from her absence at the graduation in 1841 on account of sickness.

But here is a most strange omission in the catalogue. There was a small class graduated in 1840, and yet no mention is made of that class, nor the names of the graduates as such, in any of the published lists, so far as has been seen. Miss Ruth S. Ingalls and Miss Ursula Stevens were among the members of that class, and probably the only members of the class; and if there is honor in being the pioneer graduates, these ladies are entitled to that honor.

Miss Stevens was a native of Hardwick, Vermont. She was a woman of strong intellectual and religious character, a thorough teacher. She taught in academies, select and high schools in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois, Iowa, and Pennsylvania; everywhere exemplary and successful. She died at Hardwick, Vermont, October 22, 1867.

Miss R. S. Ingalls is still living. After graduation she opened a select school for young ladies in Gibson, Pennsylvania. She then went to Kingston, Pennsylvania, and there commenced a similar school. This was successful, and continued till the opening of Wyoming Seminary in 1844. She then entered the seminary as its first preceptress, taking with her several of her pupils. These constituted in part the beginning of that seminary. Miss Ingalls at the end of six months was obliged on account of ill health, occasioned by the climate, to resign her position, and for two years was unable to teach. Declining offers of position at Poultney, Vermont, and Albion, Michigan, she was led to open a seminary for young ladies in Binghamton, New York. This has been her life work. For twenty-two years she conducted a prosperous seminary, educating many young ladies who are now filling important positions. She was wont to take orphan children into her family and educate them as her own. The school was more than self-sustaining, yielding its founder and owner a competent support, and means of usefulness.

pp. 116-117.

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