Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Working on Wednesday: Opal May Slater (1890 - 1973) Part 1

Christine and I have already shared images of this maternal great aunt including posts showing a 1902 group portrait of Severy, Kansas, grammar school graduates with Opal and her brother Harry* sitting in the front row; a high school group photograph, also in Severy; a picture of the 1908 Severy girls' basketball team; a 1912 newspaper clipping about the Aesthetic Dance movement in Boulder; a late 1930s photo with her mother Rufina and a friend; and a 1954 snapshot of her and her brother Harry's wife and youngest son and his new bride Washington, D.C. But Opal, who I've been told had a great influence on my mother Alta, certainly deserves a closer look at her many achievements.

Here's a picture of her at the time of her high school graduation, probably in 1908.

[Detail of graduation group portrait. Courtesy of Olive Slater-Kennedy]

She went on to graduate from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1915, a year later than her younger brother Cecil, and she continued the teaching career she'd begun in Kansas before the family moved to Colorado.

Here are the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census listings for Opal (the yellow lines), first in Kansas and then in Colorado.

[Year: 1910; Census Place: Twin Groves, Greenwood, Kansas; Roll: T624_441; Page: 11A;
Enumeration District: 0037; FHL microfilm: 1374454. Source:]

[Year: 1920; Census Place: Boulder Ward 3, Boulder, Colorado; Roll: T625_156; Page: 10B;
Enumeration District: 51; Image: 466.Source:]

But Opal wasn't done with her education and she set her sights high, becoming one of the first group of women to be awarded a Harvard degree from their School of Education** in 1921. (Yes, THAT Harvard!)

Come back next week for more about this amazing woman.

*My grandfather.
**M. Edu. according to a newspaper report.

© 2017 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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