Woman of the Century/Katharine Lee Bates

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BATES, Miss Katharine Lee, author and educator, born in Falmouth, Mass., 12th August, 1859. Her father was Rev. William Bates of the Congregational denomination; his father was the Rev. Joshua Bates of the same denomination, and also president of Middlebury College, Vermont. Her mother was Cornelia Lee, daughter of Samuel Lee, tinsmith, Northampton, Mass. Her father died in 1859, within three weeks of her birth, leaving four children. The family remained in Falmouth until 1871, removing then to the neighborhood of Boston. Miss Bates was educated in the Falmouth primary and grammar schools; the Needham high school, graduating in 1874; the more advanced Newton high school, graduating in 1876; and Wellesley College, graduating in 1880, having been throughout the course president of her class. After graduation she taught mathematics, classics and English in the Natick high school, and then for four years mathematics and classics, gradually concentrating her work on Latin, in the leading preparatory school for Wellesley, Dana Hall. In 1885 she was called to the college as instructor in English literature, in 1888 was made associate professor, and in 1891 professor in charge. In 1890 she went abroad for rest, travel and study. In connection with educational work, she has edited Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner" (Boston, 1889), and a collection of "Ballads" (Boston, 1890), published by an educational firm in their series of English classics. Her general literary-work has been always subordinate to the demands of a life closely busied with educational concerns. She has published prose and verse from her under-graduate days to the present time, but irregularly and often too hastily. In prose she wrote stories and sketches as an undergraduate for the Springfield "Republican" and a few other papers, and has since contributed to the "Chautauquan," "Independent." "Christian Union," "Congregationalism" " Youth's Companion," and other publications. She took the first prize, $700, offered by the Congregational Publishing Society for a young people’s story, to be published in book form, with "Rose and Thorn" (Boston, 1889). This volume was followed by another juvenile story, "Hermit Island*' (Boston, 1890). In verse she took a college prize for a Latin boat-song, another for an English poem, was class poet, and has since served as commencement poet. Outside of college she took a prize offered by the Congregational Publishing Society for the children's poem, "Sunshine," since issued as an illustrated booklet (Boston, 1887). The same publishers have since issued her two similar booklets, "Santa Claus' Riddle "and "Goody Santa Claus." Her first book venture was a compilation known as the "Wedding Day Rook" (Boston, 1882). In 1889 she won a prize of $30 for a quatrain contributed to the "Magazine Of Poetry." She has published verses in the "Century,* "Atlantic, "Independent," "New England Magazine," "Wide-Awake" and many other publications, and has issued two small volumes for private sale in aid of one of the college funds which is under the control of the Wellesley alumna.