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From Library of Congress Name Authority File


us: Harris, Mary B. (Mary Belle)


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  • Fuller Name

    • Mary Belle
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  • Sources

    • found: I knew them in prison, 1942: title page (Mary B. Harris, Superintendent, Federal Industrial Institution for Women)
    • found: LC data base, 6 Dec. 1999 (Mary Belle Harris)
    • found: Kalidasa; poet of nature, 1936: title page (Mary B. Harris, Ph. D.) page 7 (the study of Kalidasa as a Poet of Nature was originally made as a thesis for the doctorate at the University of Chicago; M.B.H., Alderson, West Virginia, 1936)
    • found: Women in world history: a biographical encyclopedia, 2002 (Harris, Mary Belle (1874-1957); American prison administrator; born August 19, 1874 in Factoryville, Pennsylvania; died February 22, 1957 in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; the only daughter of John Howard and Mary Elizabeth (Mace) Harris; graduated from Bucknell University, A.B. in music, 1893, A.M. in Latin, 1894; earned a Ph. D. in Sanskrit and Indo-European comparative philology from the University of Chicago, 1900; between 1900 and 1910, Harris taught Latin in Chicago and at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, and studied archaeology and numismatics at Johns Hopkins University; in June 1912 she sailed for Europe to become a teacher-chaperone at the American Classical School in Rome and to study Roman coins in Italy and at the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin; when she returned to the United States in 1914, Katharine Davis offered her the newly created post of superintendent of women and deputy warden of the Workhouse on Blackwell Island; without prior corrections experience, she began on July 1, 1914 the career in prison administration that would bring her renown; Harris remained at the Workhouse for three and half years; she assumed the superintendency of the State Reformatory for Women at Clinton, N.J. in February 1918; in May 1919 she became superintendent of the State Home for Girls in Trenton, N.J.; she resigned from the Trenton institution at the end of 1924 and went to Washington, intending to become executive secretary of the International Policewoman's Association; instead, she was offered the opportunity to lead the newly authorized Federal Industrial Institution for Women in Alderson, W. Va.; she was sworn in as Alderson's first superintendent on March 12, 1925; she retired reluctantly from Alderson at the age of 66 in March 1941; returning to Pennsylvania, she served on the state Board of Parole until 1943; she then settled in Lewisburg, Pa. and served as a trustee of Bucknell University and of the First Baptist Church of Lewisburg and lecturing and writing about her penal work; in 1953 she embarked on an extended European and North African tour; she returned to Lewisburg in July 1954 and died there three years later of a heart attack at the age of 82)
  • Change Notes

    • 1999-12-06: new
    • 2016-04-15: revised
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