Note    H00066         Index
1/99 Katherine Russell notes - Was electrician - in the military - Coast
Guard and attended Cal Tech University.


Note    H00067         Index
Hill City Times, Hill City, Kansas March 30, 1950. Obituary

"Martha Joanna Worcester, the daughter of Rosanna and Leverette Worcester, was born in Broadhead, Wisconsin, April 12, 1859, and died January 18, 1947, aged 87 years. She came to Graham county with her parents in 1878. The strong, undying interest of Miss Mattie Worcester's long useful life was in schools and education. She was a teacher in the pioneer days of Graham county; was the second county superintendent elected in this county. She held this office for two terms and part of a third. She visited the country schools on horseback, when most of them were held in sod houses, from 1884 to 1891. She attended State Teachers College at Emporia, and then for 12 years was a member of the faculty as professor of English. She was a good friend of the William Allen White family and he mentioned this friendship in one of his books. She came back to Graham county to care for her invalid mother.

Her advise and counsel are sought in all school matters. She helped organize the high school district; and served on both the grade and high school boards as long as her strength permitted. She was on the board when the new high school building was built. She promoted the city park before the trees were planted and gave several lots for that purpose. She was untiring in her work for all civic affairs; Red Cross, WCTU and church work. She joined the Baptist church at an early age, and always contributed generously to every church in the community, after her own church was disorganized.

She was a popular speaker and toastmistress at many public affairs, and her clever wit is well remembered by the older generation. she was a kind, sympathetic neighbor and friend. She built well a useful life. She lived with all worth causes and invested her life in good substantial things. She acquired considerable property, was a pioneer business and professional woman,when it was a new thing for women to accomplish. She has many friends all over Kansas. Her college students often called to see her when passing through Hill City. She was one of our ablest and best-known citizens, a woman of culture and vision."

Ms. Worcester's father, Leverette Downs Worcester, was of English descent. He was born and lived until marriage in New York. His wife, Rosanna Woodard, was a French-Canadian, born in Canada. Miss Woodard went to New York where she met Leverette Downs. The couple were married and moved to Broadhead, Wisconsin, where they reared a family of six: Mattie Worcester, Mary Dezell, Grace Clark, Eugene Worcester, Essie Blackburn and Lester Worcester.

Miss Worcester was very witty. When she was four years old, the family decided to visit a stingy neighbor who had a producing apple tree in his yard. Martha, called Mattie, had been warned not to beg for a single apple. After the family arrived and had talked for a while, Mattie exclaimed, "I smell apples ".

The entertaining neighbor replied, "yes, I was canning apples this morning."

"Yes, but I smell whole apples", was the unexpected comeback.

Before much arguing, Mattie got all the apples she wanted.

Miss Worcester graduated from both grade and high school in Broadway, (SP?) Wisconsin.

In the year 1874, when she was nineteen years old, the family homesteaded on the farm now known as Vernon Worcester's. Mattie taught several years in the county before becoming County Superintendent in 1886. In 1886 she was elected to that office. In 1890 she was appointed to take Mr. and Mrs. Flynn's place after both husband and wife had died in office. As the duty of every County Superintendent, Miss Worcester visited every school in the county. The only means of traveling was by horse. Miss Worcester had a white pony which she would saddle at morn and travel on. Many times when she went on such duties she would not return before a week. Whenever night fell, the superintendent would stop
at the nearest house to dine and sleep. Many times, Mattie stayed in dug-outs and adobes.

After serving as County Superintendent, Miss Worcester went to college at Kansas State Normal now known as Emporia State College. In 1896, Miss Worcester received a gold medal as the best essay writer in the college.

After she was graduated, Miss Worcester taught English for years under Louise M. Jones, head of the Department of English at Emporia. Miss Worcester would have taught longer if it had not been for her father's sickness. She was called home and never left his bedside until his death.

After her father's death, Miss Worcester was elected as a member of the grade school Board of Education. Later, she served three terms on the high school board and gave the Dedication address when the Memorial High School was completed in 1922. She brought the Memorial High School up to
college standards. Looking ahead, the board saw the need of an athletic field. The board then bought the football field.

Miss Worcester taught in the Teachers Institute in the county.

Mattie was so interested in politics she ran for State Superintendent on the Bullmoose Ticket when Theodore Roosevelt was president.

William Alan White, one of Miss Worcester's close friends, always sent her a card authorizing every poem he wrote.

Miss Worcester collected a very large library of books during her lifetime. Many of the books she collected from such famous people as William Allen White, Henry J. Allen, etc.

Miss Worcester was a great church, especially in the Baptist church, the church she original joined. She donated equally to each church in Hill City.

Schools and education were Miss Worcester's main interests. She donated the use of her land to build the manual training room on.