NAME: Belle Sherwin
DATE OF BIRTH: March 20, 1869
PLACE OF BIRTH: Cleveland, Ohio
DATE OF DEATH: July 9, 1955
PLACE OF DEATH: Cleveland, Ohio
FAMILY HISTORY: Belle Sherwin was the daughter of Henry Alden Sherwin, founder of the Sherwin-Williams Company and Frances Mary Smith. She never married.
EDUCATION: Belle Sherwin graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College in 1890 with a B.S. degree and then attended Oxford University to study history for one year from 1894-95. Western Reserve University granted her an honorary degree in 1930; Denison University gave her an honorary degree in 1931 and Oberlin College granted her one in 1937.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: After Oxford, she taught history for four years at St. Margaret's and Miss Hersey's School for Girls, a private school in Boston. After teaching in Boston, Belle returned to Cleveland in 1900 and became the first President of the Consumers League of Ohio. Prior to World War I, Sherwin was active in various social welfare groups such as the Visiting Nurses Association and the Federation for Charity and Philanthropy and the Council for Social Agencies. After World War I, Sherwin became the director of the Cleveland Welfare Federation. Next she became the Vice President of the National League of Women Voters from 1921-24 and became its President from 1924-34, the position which earned her much of her reputation as a dedicated suffragist leader. She was also on the board of the National Urban League, founded in 1918.
Sherwin, Belle. Among the Pillars of Society: Address of the President, Miss Belle Sherwin at the Meeting of the General Council of the National League of Women Voters, Washington, D.C. April 14, 1931. Washington, D.C.: National League of Women Voters, 1931. [Cleveland Public Library]
Knapp, Betsy. The Awkward Age in Civil Service. Washington, D.C.: National League of Women Voters, 1940. [Cleveland Public Library]
National League of Women Voters (U.S.). Ten Years of Growth; Address of the President, Miss Belle Sherwin, to the Tenth Anniversary Convention of the National League of Women Voters, Louisville, Kentucky, April 28-May 3, 1930. Supplemented by a chronology and by charts. Washington, D.C.: 1930.
Sherwin, Henry Alden. Bibliotheca Piscatoria; the Library of the Late Henry Alden Sherwin, Cleveland, Ohio, Sold By Order of Miss Belle Sherwin and Mrs. O. W. Prescott, Executrixes of His State. New York: Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., 1946.
WEB SITES :
Belle Sherwin - Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
Photo - American Memory, Library of Congress
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