Page:Frances Wood Shimer 1826-1901.djvu/27

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which attended the settlement of his estate. In referring to her own life and work, Mrs. Shimer never overestimated or boasted of attainments. She frequently expressed regret that she had not been able to accomplish more, satisfaction in having been useful, and grief that she had been misunderstood and misjudged. The success of pupils was to her a never-ending source of pride; their expressions of gratitude and appreciation, the evidence that their Alma Mater was revered and remembered, were ample reward for her effort and sacrifice.

Her remains were interred amid the scenes of her work and achievements. They rest in the quiet cemetery which overlooks the Academy and the intervening town. A monument of granite marks the spot; but the real monument of her life is on the opposite eminence, where towers the creation of her hands, heart, and brain. She has yet another memorial, an invisible one, whose inscription is written in “minds made better by her presence.” What structure of stone or bronze, which seasons waste and time corrodes, can equal the imperishable monument of her influence! Of the thousands of young persons who were to any degree molded by the influence of the school, now dwelling in every state of the union, and some across the seas, each is a part of her memorial. Each in her own experience can trace the lines of light that connect her life with the shrine of her Alma Mater. Many, looking back over victories achieved because of contact with a strong, intense, helpful life, may say, as did Charles Kingsley when questioned how he was able to accomplish so much, “I had a friend.” One pupil, speaking for herself, yet speaking truthfully for scores of others, said: “I wish I were able to find expression for my gratitude to Mrs. Shimer. She will stand among a few others who have given me the highest view of human life and its possibilities.”

Her work was nobly done, an honor to the womanhood of our country. To a few only is a public memory vouchsafed; but so long as this school exists, Mrs. Shimer will live

“In minds made better by her influence,
In pulses stirred to generosity,
In deeds of daring rectitude, in triumph
Over ignoble aims that end in self.”