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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

BEECHER, Catharine Esther

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BEECHER, Catharine Esther. (East Hampton, NY, Sept. 6, 1800-Elmira, NY, May 12, 1878). Beecher founded several women's colleges in the Midwest including the DUBUQUE FEMALE COLLEGE. While visiting Dubuque in February 1853, Beecher promised four teachers $20,000 in cash and $1,000 for books and equipment if local residents guaranteed a certain enrollment in the school.

Beecher, sister of the famous Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher, grew up in an atmosphere of education but was denied opportunities to seek higher education herself because of her sex. She established the Hartford Female Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1824 and introduced calisthenics as part of a physical education course. Her writing did much to introduce domestic science into schools of her era.