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Collection of Correspondence and Memorabilia of Clara Wallower, Wellesley College, Class of 1902. .Wellesley, MA.1896-1936
 Collection of Correspondence and Memorabilia of Clara Wallower, Wellesley College, Class of 1902. .Wellesley, MA.1896-1936


 
Price: $325.00

Product Code: 27011201

Description
 
This collection centers around Clara Wallower's time at Wellesley. The majority of the collection consists of correspondence addressed to Clara, starting in 1896 when she was attending Dana Hall. In total there are over forty (40) letters. The early letters are mostly from her friends or family in Pennsylvania. Two of these early letters express concern over how much Clara is fretting over her school work. As these letters were written in, or around the time of Clara's grandmothers death in 1896 it is likely that they were worried about how Clara's grief was affecting her. Two letters are from the same friend, Rowena Millar, who writes, in great detail, about a disagreement the two had. Some of the letters are addressed to "Taddie", an apparent nickname for Clara. One such letter is from March 1900, sent by her father. He was visiting Joplin, checking on the progress of his various business ventures there while staying at the hotel he owned, the Keystone Hotel. In the letter he discusses a banquet he will be attending that will benefit the Joplin branch of the YMCA. Additionally, he also sent and discusses a newspaper clipping that announced Rockefeller's gift of $100,000 to Wellesley. In 1897, Clara and her parents took a trip to Europe. After she returned home, one of her fellow traveling partners, Mary, who had continued on with her European tour, wrote to Clara of her experiences. The letter consists of Mary's time in Germany in August/September of 1897. She was present when the King of Siam, King Chulalongkorn, otherwise known as Rama V, visited Germany on his grand European tour. She saw him two times, first while visiting the Charlottenburg Palace and the tomb of Queen Louise of Prussia, where he was touring there with Prince Albert. Apparently both their carriages left at the same time, and Mary's carriage was able to drive side-by-side with the King’s for several minutes. According to Mary, the King smiled and bowed to them. The second time Mary saw him was during a parade held in his honor in Berlin. She describes the parade as "thirty to forty thousand troops, all finely dressed, marched by and the Kaiser and Kaiserin on horseback." Mary concludes the letter discussing various gifts she purchased, such as a seal fur coat, and how she developed the film she had taken on the trip. Clara received three letters from an Olive Wells, who was also on a world tour at the time. The first letter in July 1897 describes her trip to China. Olive was not impressed at all by China, and was horrified by several of the things she saw there. She describes how Chinese woman would have their feet bound and are therefore unable to walk without the help of a maid. She describes how disturbed she was to see dead rats for sale on the streets and how she was called 'foreign devil'. She appears to have gotten along better on a small island she stopped on, during her passage from Hong Kong to Sydney, Australia. Her second letter is from October 1897 when she has already reached Italy. She talks briefly about her time in Italy and the cities she plans to visit, before discussing the classes she would like to take back at Wellesley and where she might stay when she returns. Her last letter is from January 1898, when she has returned to her home in Brooklyn, NY. In this letter, she is responding to some relationship drama between one of their common friends, Carrie, and her ex-fiance Don. Don had written Clara (letter is included in collection) asking her to talk with Carrie and report back to him. Clara, unsure of what to do, had turned to Olive for advice. Most of the remaining correspondences are either invites between Clara and other Wellesley girls, inviting each other to lunch, or courtship correspondence. For instance in 1897 she received two letters from a suitor, W. M. Murdock, who requests the pleasure of her presence at a Yale vs Harvard game. There is another letter from an Edward Moore, begging Clara's forgiveness for missing their date due to illness. There are a dozen or so other courtship invites that don't mention Clara by name, but appear to either be invites for groups of people to dances at an unnamed country club or hotel in Pennsylvania.                               In addition to the correspondence, there are also various items of memorabilia relating to Clara's time at Wellesley. First is Clara's formal acceptance letter to Wellesley, as well as her academic transcript that she would have needed to present to the school's Secretary upon her arrival. There are two programs from Wellesley Tree Day, dated 1897 and 1899. There is a program from 1896's Float Day. On the back inside cover of this program is a list of who she went with, which includes Olive and Mary. The last couple of programs in this collection are from the Glee and Mandolin Club Concert for the years 1897 and 1899. The collection also includes various invites either to or from Clara to a variety of clubs or activities at Wellesley. The first of which is the Agora of Wellesley, which is a political society that would meet to debate the various important worldly issues. There are two invites, the first of which is from 1897 to discuss the 'Cuban question', and the second is from 1900 to discuss the 'Transvaal question'. The second society Clara appears to have been a member of is the Tau Zeta Epsilon Society, whose goals are to further the study of arts in a scholarly fashion. The invite 'requests the pleasure of your company at The Barn'. It is dated April 23rd, with no year, but as it also mentions the day of the week (Monday), it is most likely form 1900. The next few items also lack a year, however it has been deduced by the day of the week. The first is invitation is from the "Faculty of Stone Hall" from 1899. The second is an invitation from the class of 1899 to meet the class of 1898 from June 1898. The last two are replies from two girls in 1899, who are accepting the invitation of the class of 1902. One of these replies comes with an envelope address to Clara, so it would appear as though she played some role in hosting this event. The last two items of the collection are a bit of outliers. The first is an original song composed by 'Elizabeth' in 1900. The relationship between Clara and Elizabeth is unknown. The last item dates to 1936. It is a typed copy of an address given by Albertine Reichle (Class of 1939) in memory of "Norumbega's founder." As Norumbega is a building on the campus, it appears that it was meant to honor Alice Freeman Palmer, the president of Wellesley college when it was built. The guest of honor was then Wellesley President Ellen Fitz Pendleton, who would die later that year. Taken as a whole  this collection of over 55 items provides a great window into the life of a Wellesley girl at the turn of the 19th century. To view this collection, please click on the following link: https://goo.gl/photos/7tkUCSU17pfsqNVN6. Clara Wallower was born on April 16, 1880 to Elias Zollinger Wallower and Maria Dorothy Hoover Wallower in Harrisburg, PA. Her father was a prominent business man who owned the Harrisburg Star Independent newspaper and was also member of a group of Harrisburg investors who were financing mining operations in the mineral district of southwestern Missouri. He took great personal interest in the growth of Joplin, Missouri, investing much of his own personal wealth in the city, and even eventually building the Keystone Hotel in downtown Joplin. Due to her father's financial success, Clara grew up in wealth and privilege. She attended the Dana Hall School, which is an independent boarding and day school for girls located in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The school served as Wellesley College's unofficial preparatory program, and indeed Clara was admitted into the freshman class of 1898-1899 at Wellesley. She would eventually graduate in 1902 and settle back down in Harrisburg, PA and marry Horace Montgomery Witman. Horace was a graduate of Gettysburg College and the Yale Divinity School. He worked with his father and brother in a wholesale grocery business in Harrisburg. Together, Horace and Clara would have three children, Harriet Hoover Witman, William Witman II, and Barbara Carmony Witman. Her son William would become a Foreign Service Officer, eventually becoming the U.S. Ambassador to Togo. Both her daughters, Harriet and Barbara, would attend Wellesley College. Clara died in 1964.