Florence E. Ward

Education Faculty

Rites Held for Florence Ward

Miss Florence Ward, professor in charge of Kindergarten work at Teachers College from 1906 to 1914, died in Garfield Hospital, Washington, D. C., on February 23, 1934, a victim of double pneumonia.  She was sixty years of age at the time of her death.

About the middle of the month, Miss Ward attended the dedication of a home economics hall at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, a memorial to Martha Van Rensselaer, a pioneer extension service worker.  Other Washington personages in attendance were Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mrs. Henry Morgenthau.

On this trip Miss Ward contracted a cold which developed into pneumonia, and the end came after two days of illness.  She was a native of Wisconsin and was graduated from the National Kindergarten College, Chicago, in 1903.

During the latter part of her work in Cedar Falls, she went abroad under the auspices of the National Civic League to study problems of women and new developments in the care of children, taking special work with Madame Maria Montessori in Italy.  Upon her return she wrote the book, “The Montessori Method and the American School.”

She left Teachers College to become professor of vocational education at the State College at Pullman, Washington, and a year or so afterward, became a regional agent in extension work with the Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.  She continued in this field until the time of her death.

She built herself a lovely home, “Sunward,” at Alexandria, Virginia, one of the suburbs of Washington, and here gathered many celebrities of Washington, former Iowans, and countless others, drawn by the charming personality of its gracious hostess.

She was a leading member of the Women’s City Club in Washington, the national Women’s Country Club, A. A. U. W., League of American Pen Women, American Child Health Association, Zonta Club, American Home Economics Association, and other organizations.

Miss Ward possessed unusual personal magnetism, which was felt not only by those who came in close contact with her, but by those who heard her in her frequent addresses before women’s clubs, teachers’ conventions, and other organizations, where she was in great demand.  Miss Ward’s friends are legion, for she had a real interest in people and a keen sense of humor which endeared her to all.

Her untimely death brings sorrow to us all, but her inspiration and high courage will live in our hearts always.

From an article in The Alumnus, April 1934, page 20, by Lou A. Shepherd, B. A. ’19, and Edith Riland Cross, KG. ’11, who were critic teachers in training under Florence Ward in 1912-1913.

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