Women’s Who’s Who of America . A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women in the United States & Canada Ruth Wicks . 1914-1915
My Grandmother Ruth Wicks & Daughter of William S. Wicks, photo courtesy of Wicks Great granddaughter Elizabeth Hopkins Wittemann. I love this photo, it captures the essence of a grounded sense of self & place in the world, frivolous or pretentious persona is non-existent. She graduated from Smith College with an A.B Degree, what we would now call either a B.A or B.S, I think. My mother told me that Ruth was a Horticulturist, but I haven’t been able to find records for her field of study.
So, what is next? From the Alumnae Department – “Smith College Monthly” – Vol 16 – 1910: Ruth E. Wicks, after Feb. 1, will travel with Martha Weed in Europe taking the Mediterranean Trip.
I always wondered who she traveled with, but had not heard of Miss Weed before! This trip was captured by a collection of postcards that Ruth used as a series for daily entries, which were addressed for the most part to her father noting museums, activities, culture and characteristics of the landscape. It looks like she sent them in a package, or saved them until she arrived back home. I have quite a few of these cards, saved for over a hundred years by some miracle.
Bon Voyage – Luxury Liner – The George Washington – part of her trip on the European Tour
With her education completed and the European Tour over, what did a young woman like Ruth do? Society, sports, charitable and scholarly endeavors were de rigueur and the life she knew … which all sounds so very nice. With the entry and information found in “Who’s Who of America” I have a better understanding of who my Grandmother was as a young women in a traditional, yet changing world. What a wonderful life had been designed by her loving and enlightened parents.
Born in Trenton, New York, October 5, 1884
Ruth attended the Elmwood School, the oldest independent, private non sectarian all girls school, also known as the Buffalo Seminary:
(Above photo is courtesy of the “Buffalo Rising” website .)
Ruth received her A.B. Degree from Smith College . 1908
She was a Unitarian, her Uncle Howard Brown, Minister of King’s Chapel, Boston
Ruth belonged to the Peace and Arbitration Society of Buffalo, the Graduate Association of Buffalo Seminary, the Alumnae Association of Smith College and a member of the Unity Club. For recreation: farming, golf and tennis …. it is noted that she favors Women’s suffrage. When I was a little girl, she just loved being around me and never brought her past forward, what wonderful stories she must have had. This was my grandmother – it gives me chills – that’s all I can say.
The publication is rather interesting as it addresses the folly and the necessity of creating this record of women in a changing world. It is a rather lengthy diatribe, but I like this excerpt, in part: “…and all the many ways in which women are working in and influencing the movements for progress, for higher ideals, for better living or cleaner politics and for social, educational and religious uplift …”
While William S Wicks was completely engaged in designing a new America, he cherished his little girls & gave them a beautiful life in every way. Nothing better can be accomplished in a lifetime and that is why I continue to remember Wicks,
and wonder what that kind of life must be like …
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