By Edith Guerrier
The tale of the lifestyles and a number of other careers of Edith Guerrier, who embodied the beliefs of the "New girls" in turn-of-the century the US
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Additional resources for An independent woman: the autobiography of Edith Guerrier
In 1922 she and Brown again visited Europe and, on their return, learned that during her absence Guerrier had become the supervisor of branch libraries, a post she held for the next eighteen years. But the years brought changes. Her uncle Walton died in 1923 and her beloved aunt Anna in 1929. In 1932 Edith Brown died. An obituary in the Boston Transcript, written by Guerrier, commended her old friend as "a master craftsman known ... " 34 Born in Nova Scotia in 1872, Edith Brown had come to Boston to attend the Museum School, from which she graduated in 1895, then stayed on to work as a teacher of drawing and design.
While she was in Pocasset her father received a transfer to Burlington, Iowa, and with little preamble snatched thirteen-year-old Edith from her Pocasset schoolroom to travel west with him. In the fall he enrolled her in boarding school in Burlington and went to see his brother Sam in Atchison, Kansas. By the end of her spring term (in 1885), Guerrier was managing a lumberyard his brother had recently opened in Kendall, a prairie town in western Kansas. He moved Edith from Burlington to Sam Guerrier's house in Atchison, where she remained while he went back to Kendall to build a house for her.
Both young women of native stock who migrated to the city from declining farms and young women immigrants from Nova Scotia and Europe found themselves on their own. They could not depend on families with limited incomes to support them, nor did they always see marriage as a viable economic solution. Thrown on their own with only a few careers open to them, they accepted the help of the women who came before them, who founded or supported such organizations as Boston's YWCA, Page xviii the North Bennet Street Industrial School, the Women's Educational and Industrial Union, the Women's Trade Union League, or Denison House.
An independent woman: the autobiography of Edith Guerrier by Edith Guerrier