Woman of the Century/Mabelle Biggart

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BIGGART, Miss Mabelle, educator and dramatic reader, born in New York City. 22nd February, 1861. She comes of Scotch and English ancestry and is descended from a long line of teachers, authors and collegians Her great-grandmother on her father's side was named Porter, and was a sister of Commodore Porter, of Revolutionary fame, and a cousin of Jane Porter, the author of "Scottish Chiefs." Her great-grandfather married into the clan of McKies. Thomas Carlyle and Jane Welsh Carlyle were closely related. Her grandfather on her mother's side was Sir Richard Bond. of London. England. Her father was born in Glasgow. Scotland, and her mother was a native of New York. Miss Biggart took a preparatory college course in the State Normal School in Fredonia, N. Y., and an oratorical and literary course in Philadelphia. Her professional education has been mainly in Philadelphia and New York, and she is still a constant student of dramatic elocution and of languages. Her parents died when she was only a child, and her life has been varied and eventful. She is of an intense, highly strung nature, and not robust, and her close application to her profession and her studies has more than once forced her to rest. She has held several important positions in colleges and seminaries, and for five years she had charge of rhetoric and elocution in the West high school, Cleveland, Ohio. A bronchial trouble sent her to Denver, Col., where she was instrumental in building up an institution called the Woman's Polytechnic Institute. She gave part of each week to that work, and the remainder was employed in the State College in Fort Collins, seventy-two miles from Denver. During the summer of 1891 she tilled a number of Chautauqua engagements in the East. For about two years the Colorado climate proved beneficial to her, but at length the high altitude caused extreme nervous troubles and necessitated another change. She entered upon a new line of dramatized readings from her own interpretations of French, German and English masterpieces. A tour of the United States was undertaken, accompanied by her friend. Miss Marie Louise Gumaer, contralto. Miss Biggart's literary productions are numerous, including a yet unpublished volume of miscellaneous poems and "Songs from the Rockies," short stories and sketches of western life, a book on "Educational Men and Women and Educational Institutions of the West," "Sketches of Popular Living American Authors," a series of "Supplementary Reading Leaflets." recently published, and a work of fiction, nearly completed. Some of her poems have been set to music.