Hannah Perkins Dodge|
(Barnabus, Jacob, William, Richard, Richard),
The Littleton Historical Society of Massachusetts had an exhibit last year on Hannah Perkins Dodge, who was born in Littleton on Feburary 16, 1821, and died there on January 11, 1896. That sounds like a small town girl's life, but between those two dates, Hannah was quite an unusual woman. The oldest of eight children of Barnabas and Sarah Dodge, Hannah was good at her studies and at the age of 13 she won an essay prize from the Littleton Lyceum (the oldest continuous lyceum in the US, still active today). From the North School in Littleton, Hannah moved on to teach in nearby Townsend, then in Norfolk, Virginia; Boston, Worcester and Dorchester, Massachusetts; Kalamazoo, Michigan; and New London, New Hampshire. She finished her career in education as the first woman Superintendent of Schools in Littleton from 1878 to 1882. An artist and a poet, she also traveled to Europe just before the American Civil War. She was a trustee and secretary
of the board of the Reuben Hoar Library, among other civic posts.
The Littleton Historical Society's Hannah Dodge display took place in the Houghton Memorial Building, which at the time of Hannah's service was the Reuben Hoar Library. Educational tools like slates and readers were on display along with some of Hannah's art work. Curiously, Hannah was not in favor of woman suffrage.
Submitted by: Jeanne Munn Bracken, formerly a trustee (and secretary of the board) of the Reuben Hoar Library.
Note: [NI03528] In addition to school superintendent Hannah was founder of Codman Hill School in Dorchester, MA, principal of Townsend MA Female Seminary and Oread Institute in Worcester, MA. She also taught at what is now Colby- Sawyer in NH, in Kalamazoo, MI and in Virginia. When she returned to Littleton, she was active in community affairs as secretary of the board of trustees of the "new" library, member of the Baptist Church Board of Trustees, as a member of the Baptist women's group and I believe, as a member of an "Improvement Society".