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ⓘ Mary S. Caswell




Mary S. Caswell
                                     

ⓘ Mary S. Caswell

Mary S. Deering was born in Paris, Maine in 1847 some sources give 1850, the daughter of Mark Deering and Alice Bailey Deering. She had two sisters, Georgianna and Sarah. She was quite young when her parents died, and she was educated at various schools, including the Freehold Young Ladies Seminary in New Jersey. Her Deering cousins in Maine founded the Deering Harvester Company, which was a precursor of International Harvester.

                                     

1. Career

Caswell founded a girls school in Portland, Maine in 1883, and sold it in 1888, to move to southern California, for her daughters health and her own prospects. She founded and ran the Marlborough School in Los Angeles, a private school for girls. "There are absolutely no rules at Marlborough," noted a 1902 report, "but at the beginning of each year the principal makes known to the twenty-five girls in the family their privileges and their obligations; explains to them certain laws of cause and effect," and "shows them that she will do all in her power to help them."

While still in Maine, Caswell published several books, including Loring, Short & Harmons illustrated guide book for Portland and vicinity 1873, An Average Boys Vacation 1876, Phil, Rob, and Louis, or Haps and Mishaps of Three Average Boys 1878, and Letters to Hetty Heedless and Others 1880. She co-wrote The Marlborough Course in Art History 1919 with Anna McConnell Beckley.

In Los Angeles, she was vocal in her "vehement" opposition to womens suffrage, saying the vote would "rob women of privileges they currently enjoyed and impose responsibilities they did not want." She also lectured on art history to community groups.

                                     

2. Personal life

Mary Deering married George A. Caswell in 1878; he died in 1880. Caswell died in California in 1924, in her seventies. Her grave is in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Her daughter, Georgia Caswell Overton, was headmistress of the Marlborough from 1948 to 1962. The Marlborough School still exists, and is the oldest independent girls school in Southern California.

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