Woman of the Century/Katharine A. O'Keeffe
O'KEEFFE, Miss Katharine A., educator and lecturer, born in Kilkenny, Ireland. Her parents came to the United States in her infancy and settled in Methuen, Mass., removing later to Lawrence. Katharine attended for several years the school of the Sisters of Notre Dame, and later she took the course in the Lawrence high school, graduating with the highest honors of her class in 1873. She has taught in the Lawrence high school since 1875, and now fills the position of teacher of history, rhetoric and elocution. At an early age she manifested unusual cleverness in recitations, and, from the beginning of her career as a teacher, a forcible and lucid way of setting forth her subject She is, probably, the first Irish- American woman, at least in New England, to venture in the role of lecturer. She began to come into prominence in the old Land League days, and made her first public appearance in Boston at the time of a visit to KATHERINE A. O'KEEFFE. that city of the lamented poet and patriot, Fanny Parnell. She has since made a satisfactory development as a lecturer, gaining steadily in strength and versatility, as well as in popularity. Among her lectures are "A Trip to Ireland," "Landmarks of English History," "Mary, Queen of Scots," "An Evening With Longfellow. "An Evening With Moore, "Catholic and Irish Pages of American History," "An Evening With Milton," "An Evening With Dante." "History of the United States " "The Passion Play," and "Scenes and Events in the Life and Writings of John Boyle O'Reilly." Some of those lectures have been given before large audiences in the cities and towns of New England. In 1892 she delivered the Memorial Day oration before the Grand Army of the Republic in Newburyport, Mass. She was one of the evening lecturers in the Catholic Summer School, New London, Conn., in the summer of 1892. She is patriotic and public-spirited. She has a keen sense of humor, dramatic instinct and a self-possession not common in women. She has found time to do some excellent work as an original writer and compiler, and has published a "Longfellow Night" and a series of school readings. She furnishes local correspondence to the "Sacred Heart Review," of Boston and Cambridge, and is an associate member of the New England Woman's Press Association.