Her Stories

The Her Stories project began in 2000 when the State College Branch of AAUW provided funding for research to learn more about the role of women in the development of Centre County. As this work is an ongoing project, additional information about currently featured Her Stories will be added as will new Her Stories. We invite you to contact the Centre County Historical Society with suggestions for future research and with additional information on the women featured here. Our thanks to the AAUW for their support in helping us make known the lives of these women.

  • In 1894, Fanny Atherton’s love of learning and dedication to community well being merged in her interest to establish a Woman’s Literary Club for State College. She wanted to improve the lives of State College women by providing them with […]

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  • A Penn Stater through and through, Mary Louisa Willard was born on campus in the Moffat Cottage, presently the location of the West Wing of Pattee Library. Willard’s father, Joseph Moody Willard, is the professor for whom Willard Building is […]

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  • (b. 1872)

    The Centre County Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was organized in 1884, and Rebecca Rhoads, president of the organization from 1915-1926, brought much to the vitality of its cause. A native of Bellefonte and a major leader behind […]

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  • (1752 – 1832)

    Jane Davis Patton, the wife of Centre Furnace ironmaster John Patton, was born in Philadelphia in 1752. He was a prominent Philadelphian, a Revolutionary War officer, and a member of George Washington’s Life Guard. He also was […]

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  • (b. 1836)

    Mary Harris Morris, daughter of ironmaster Joseph Harris and Jane Stalker Miller, was born at the Howard Iron Works on August 5, 1836. She was the granddaughter of Ann Dunlop Harris, daughter and wife of the founders of […]

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  • (1742 – 1797)

    Catherine Wister Miles, the wife of Centre Furnace co-owner Samuel Miles, was born into a prominent Philadelphia area family in 1742. In 1761 she married Colonel Miles. He was a military officer and political figure who served […]

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  • (1881 – 1958)

    Myrtle Magargel of Pleasant Gap was one of several correspondents to the State College Times before it became a daily newspaper in 1934. She handled the Pleasant Gap personals and community news items. Magargel is certainly better […]

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  • (1889 – 1943)

    Anna Wagner Keichline, born in Bellefonte in 1889, was Pennsylvania’s first registered woman architect. Her first architectural project was the design of a schoolhouse in Milesburg. Not only can one find her building projects in central Pennsylvania, […]

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  • A curious, yet intriguing story found in John Blair Linn’s 1883 History of Centre and Clinton Counties, tells the tale of a beautiful young aeronaut named Lizzie Ihling, and her celebrated visit to Centre County. Linn’s story includes Miss Ihling’s […]

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  • (1765 – 1844)

    Ann Dunlop Harris was a woman of paramount importance in the development of the community of Bellefonte. Born in Shippensburg, Cumberland County, on March 14, 1765, Harris was the daughter and the wife of the town’s two […]

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  • (1875 – 1963)

    Sarah Lucinda Hall, better known as Lucy Hall, was a Bellefonte woman who made her own memorable contributions to the American war effort during World War II. Hall did this by seeing off hundreds of Centre County […]

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  • (1900 – 1996)

    The small Centre County community of Snow Shoe has very fond memories of Vivian David. David spent her childhood there and then returned each summer as an adult. In 1988 she made a generous gift to the […]

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  • Susanna CarsonFrom the Bellefonte Patriot
    March, 1818

    Caution:
    “Whereas my wife Susanna, having left my bed and board, without any just cause; this is therefore to forewarn all persons from trusting her on my account, as I am determined […]

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  • Sylvia Beach
    (1887 – 1962)

    The 1920s were the great vintage years for American writers. There was a tremendous amount of talent in Paris then, and my shop seemed to be a gathering place for most of it. There […]

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