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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

RAWSON, LOUISE R. BARRON - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

RAWSON, LOUISE R. BARRON (31 Jan. 1843-24 June 1920) spurred the kindergarten movement in Cleveland as the third president of the CLEVELAND DAY NURSERY AND FREE KINDERGARTEN ASSN., INC. (1885-1908). She directed efforts to establish a nursery for Italian mothers which evolved into ALTA HOUSE and served on its first board of trustees. Rawson also presided over the local WOMAN'S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION, NON-PARTISAN, OF CLEVELAND (1880). Born in Vermont to Eliza Carpenter Barron and William Barron, Rawson was raised by grandparents after her mother's death. She studied EDUCATION and accepted a teaching position at Cleveland's CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL (1866). Within the next few years, LINDA (LUCINDA THAYER) GUILFORD† hired her to teach at the second Cleveland Academy. One of her students was FLORA STONE MATHER†, later Rawson's close friend and associate. Rawson and fellow teacher Mary Ingersoll took an adminstrative role at the academy in 1871 while Guilford was overseas, after the accidental drowning of acting principal Julia Hopkins.

In 1872 Rawson left teaching to marry civil engineer Marius E. Rawson (d. 1919); the couple lived near what later became UNIVERSITY CIRCLE with one child, Willie. Rawson then became active in TEMPERANCE and education reform and worked to better conditions for CHILDREN AND YOUTH. During her tenure, the Day Nursery Association named one of its nurseries (formerly the Case Nursery) for her (the Louise Nursery); it also opened a pioneering kindergarten training school (1894) which drew prospective teachers from throughout the Midwest. Rawson was president of the Young Ladies' Branch of the Women's Christian Association (see YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSN. (YWCA)) and served as vice-president of the War Emergency Relief Board (1898) of the Daughters of the American Revolution during the SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR. She died in Yankton, SD, and is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.

Cleveland Day Nursery and Free Kindergarten Association Records, WRHS.

Last Modified: 13 May 1998 11:42:26 AM

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