Pittsburgh Female College Association Records 1854-1993

Chatham University

Summary Information

Repository
Chatham University
Title
Pittsburgh Female College Association Records
Creator
Pittsburgh Female College Association.
Collection Number
MSS.2009.001
Date [inclusive]
1854-1993
Extent
2.0 linear feet
Abstract
This collection documents the activities of the Pittsburgh Female College Association (PFCA), an organization formed in 1905 to preserve the memory of the Pittsburgh Female College (PFC).  The PFC was an educational institution located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that enrolled female students from 1855 to 1896.

Preferred Citation:

Pittsburgh Female College Association Records, MSS.2009.001, Chatham University Archives & Special Collections.

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Historical Note:

In 1854, Bishop Matthew Simpson received a charter from the Pennsylvania Legislature for the Pittsburgh Female College, the first Pennsylvania institution dedicated to the education of women and permitted to confer degrees. Under the patronage of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the charter stipulated that the college would accept students of all religious denominations. Following the resignation of the first president of the school, Reverend Israel C. Pershing was elected president and remained until 1886 when he was accused of defrauding the Methodist Church. Dr. Allen H. Norcross was president until 1895. Dr. Nicholas Howell Holmes was president from 1895 to 1896. Dr. Pershing’s daughter, Lizzie Pershing was the school’s vice president for 1877 – 1886, leaving the school at the same time as her father. Among the notable the Pittsburgh Female College alumni are Frances E. Willard, Edith Darlington Ammon, and Helen E. Pelletreau, a later president of the Pennsylvania College for Women.

The Pittsburgh Female College was first located in downtown Pittsburgh, on present day 8 th Street between Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Penn Avenue. Fires at this location in 1891 and 1893 forced the college to lease a property in the East End of Pittsburgh on Homewood Avenue called “Fahnestock Place.” In 1896 the Pittsburgh Female College merged with the Beaver College in Beaver, Pennsylvania under the supervision of the Pittsburgh Conference of Methodist Episcopal Church. Pittsburgh Female College assets were transferred to Beaver College and many students and faculty continued study there. Beaver College merged with the Beechwood School for Girls in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania and severed ties with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1925. Beaver College was renamed Arcadia University in 2001.

The Pittsburgh Female College Association was formed in Pittsburgh 1905 by Miss Nataline M. Crumpton, a Pittsburgh Female College alumna who wished to perpetuate the memory of the school and its culture with the object of promoting education for women. Throughout the early years of the association, several memorial events were produced by the organization. In 1908, the PFCA began a scholarship program that awarded tuition to a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Margaret Morrison College, Carnegie Technical Institute, and the Pennsylvania College for Women. The organization also made regular contributions to organizations, including the College Club, the War Library Fund, and donations to musical concerts and cultural events in Pittsburgh. Miss Helen Pershing was the treasurer of the PFCA for many years.

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Administrative History:

In 1854, Bishop Matthew Simpson received a charter from the Pennsylvania Legislature for the Pittsburgh Female College, the first Pennsylvania institution dedicated to the education of women and permitted to confer degrees. Under the patronage of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the charter stipulated that the college would accept students of all religious denominations.  Following the resignation of the first president of the school, Reverend Israel C. Pershing was elected president and remained until 1886 when he was accused of defrauding the Methodist Church.  Dr. Allen H. Norcross was president until 1895.  Dr. Nicholas Howell Holmes was president from 1895 to 1896.  Dr. Pershing’s daughter, Lizzie Pershing was the school’s vice president for 1877 – 1886, leaving the school at the same time as her father.  Among the notable the Pittsburgh Female College alumni are Frances E. Willard, Edith Darlington Ammon, and Helen E. Pelletreau, a later president of the Pennsylvania College for Women.

The Pittsburgh Female College was first located in downtown Pittsburgh, on present day 8 th Street between Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Penn Avenue.  Fires at this location in 1891 and 1893 forced the college to lease a property in the East End of Pittsburgh on Homewood Avenue called “Fahnestock Place.”  In 1896 the Pittsburgh Female College merged with the Beaver College in Beaver, Pennsylvania under the supervision of the Pittsburgh Conference of Methodist Episcopal Church.  Pittsburgh Female College assets were transferred to Beaver College and many students and faculty continued study there.  Beaver College merged with the Beechwood School for Girls in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania and severed ties with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1925.  Beaver College was renamed Arcadia University in 2001.

The Pittsburgh Female College Association was formed in Pittsburgh 1905 by Miss Nataline M. Crumpton, a Pittsburgh Female College alumna who wished to perpetuate the memory of the school and its culture with the object of promoting education for women. Throughout the early years of the association, several memorial events were produced by the organization.  In 1908, the PFCA began a scholarship program that awarded tuition to a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Margaret Morrison College, Carnegie Technical Institute, and the Pennsylvania College for Women.  The organization also made regular contributions to organizations, including the College Club, the War Library Fund, and donations to musical concerts and cultural events in Pittsburgh.  Miss Helen Pershing was the treasurer of the PFCA for many years.

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Scope and Contents

This collection documents the activities of the Pittsburgh Female College Association (PFCA), an organization formed in 1905 to preserve the memory of the Pittsburgh Female College (PFC).  The PFC was an educational institution located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that enrolled female students from 1855 to 1896. 

Business records of the Pittsburgh Female College Association form a considerable portion of the collection and include financial records relating to PFCA meetings and annual luncheons, PFCA scholarships, and PFCA publications. These materials take the following documentary forms: daybooks, checking and mortgage account records, receipts, and Treasurer’s reports.  PFCA business records also include correspondence largely related to memorial scholarships founded at Margaret Morrison Carnegie College (later Carnegie-Mellon University), Carnegie Institute of Technology (later Carnegie-Mellon University), the University of Pittsburgh, and the Pennsylvania College for Women (later Chatham University).  Business correspondents of note include Cora Helen Coolidge, President of Chatham College, Mary Breed, President of Margaret Morrison College, and Thomas S. Baker, President of Carnegie Institute of Technology.

PFCA publications also form a portion of the collection and consist of association bylaws, registries of members, and assorted public activities. The collection has a small amount of meeting minutes as well as an annual luncheon invitation listing Pennsylvania College for Women President Cora Helen Coolidge as a guest speaker.

The collection contains material created by the Pittsburgh Female College, including a near complete collection of Annual Catalogues and a small amount of material documenting curricular and extra-curricular student activities.  The single carte de visite of Reverent I.C. Pershing, the PFC president from 1860 to 1886, comprise the faculty and administration records.

The collection also contains a small amount of correspondence and research material related to the donation of a lithograph of the Pittsburgh Female College to the Chatham University Archives.

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Arrangement of Materials:

Series I: Pittsburgh Female College Association 

Series II: Pittsburgh Female College

Series III: Donation

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Chatham University, November 2018

Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA, 15232
412-365-1212
jkmref@chatham.edu

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research use and may be accessed on-site from the Archives of Chatham University in the Jennie King Mellon Library.

Processing Information:

Processed by Molly Tighe under supervision of Rachel Grove Rohrbaugh

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh Female College.

Subject(s)

  • Scholarships -- Pennsylvania -- History -- Sources
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Women -- Education -- Pennsylvania -- History -- Sources
  • Women -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Women -- Scholarships, fellowships, etc. -- United States -- Pennsylvania -- History -- Sources
  • Women's colleges -- History
  • Women's colleges -- United States -- History -- Sources

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Pittsburgh Female College Association 

Subseries  1. Financial Records 

  BoxFolder
Day Books 1908-1925 11
  BoxFolder
Day Book 1925-1939 12
  BoxFolder
Statements of Accounts 13
  BoxFolder
Returned Checks 1935 - 1936 13

Returned checks from the First National Bank at Wilkinsburg, PA.

  BoxFolder
Statements of Accounts 14
  BoxFolder
Returned Checks 1937 - 1939 14
  BoxFolder
Check Stubs 1936-1939 14

Check stubs from the First National Bank at Wilkinsburg, PA.

  BoxFolder
Statements of Accounts 15
  BoxFolder
Returned Checks 1940-1943 15

Returned checks from the First National Bank at Wilkinsburg, PA and the Union Trust Company of Pittsburgh.

  BoxFolder
Mortgage Fund Statements 1935-1942 15

Mortgage fund statements from the Peoples-Pittsburgh Trust Company.

  BoxFolder
Account Balance Ledgers 1933-1941 16

Account balance ledgers from First National Bank of Wilkinsburg, PA.

  BoxFolder
Receipts 1937-1941 17
  BoxFolder
Report of the Treasurer June 1, 1940 – June 1, 1941 18

Treasurer's notes

Subseries  2. Business Correspondence 

  BoxFolder
Memorial Scholarship and Bequests 1927 - 1951, 1946 19

Subseries  3. Publications 

  BoxFolder
Publications 21
  BoxFolder
Bylaws of the Pittsburgh Female College Association undated 21
  BoxFolder
Bylaws of the Pittsburgh Female College Association May 19, 1941 21
  BoxFolder
History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association 1905-1917 21
  BoxFolder
History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association 1917 – 1922 21
  BoxFolder
History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association 1927 – 1932 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association October 1918 – October 1920 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association 1924 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association 1926 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association October 1928-1931 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association October 1934 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association October 1936 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association October 1938 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association October 1939 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association October 1940 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association October 1944 21
  BoxFolder
Supplement to the History of the Pittsburgh Female College Association October 1945 21
  BoxFolder
Annual listing of Pittsburgh Female College Association Officers, Committee, and Meetings 1947-1948, 1948-1949, 1949-1950 21
  BoxFolder
A History of the Pittsburgh Female College, by Elizabeth Phillips Hart 1854 - 1896 22

<p style="margin-left:.5in;"> Radio Talk given over WCAE on March 26, 1935 by Miss Helen R. Pershing<p style="margin-left:.5in;"> Memorial publication of writings of Lizzie Pershing Anderson, 1852 – 1938

Subseries  4. Meeting Minutes 

  BoxFolder
Meeting Minutes 1948-1949 23
  BoxFolder
Meeting Minutes September 1948 23
  BoxFolder
Meeting Minutes September 1949 23

Subseries  5. Members and Pittsburgh Female College Alumni 

  Folder
Luncheons and Correspondence 1910 - 1940 4

Luncheon, 1910, 1923, 1931 Correspondence 1912, 1919, 1940

Series  II. Pittsburgh Female College 

Subseries  1. Publications 

Box
2
  BoxFolder
Annual Catalogues 1857 – 1958, 1860-1864, 1865-1869 25
  BoxFolder
Annual Catalogues 1869-1877 26
  BoxFolder
Annual Catalogues 1877-1979, 1881-1885 27

Subseries  2. Student Life 

Box
2
  BoxFolder
Activities 28
  BoxFolder
Activities 29
  BoxFolder
Academic Records 210

Subseries  3. Faculty Photographs 

Box
2
  BoxFolder
Carte de visite of Reverend I. C. Pershing 211

Series  III. Miscellaneous 

  BoxFolder
Miscellaneous 212
  BoxFolder
Farewell Song titled This One Song More and Then We Part 31
  BoxFolder
Academic Records 32

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