Museum Notes 2-20-2020

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MUSEUM NOTES: FEBRUARY 20, 2020



RUTH LEIGH HUDSON
Elizabeth Escamilla has been doing a fabulous job pulling photographs to share with our Facebook and Instagram followers. She was drawn to this particular photograph because she liked the lady’s matching fur hat and coat. Written on the photograph was “Ruth Hudson teacher.” Elizabeth searched for her on the Portal to Texas History and found that Ruth was a teacher in Canadian in 1919. Ruth was mentioned in an article about the Texas Consolidated Institute meeting in Canadian, which I believe was an early version of a teachers union, in the Canadian Record on December 4, 1919. Ruth was chosen as a speaker for the program and her speech was titled “Prospects fir [sic] Eighth Grade English.” Honestly, how hilarious is that! The article mistakenly used fir instead of for about an English program!

After that one article, Ruth’s paper trail went cold. She wasn’t listed in the Canadian Record again nor found in the census records. We looked through the Hemphill County History book too, but found nothing. On a whim, I searched our files and found an Oswell Hudson. Maybe there was a connection? Sure enough, there was! Oswell came to Canadian in March 1906. His first employment was with the Johnson Mercantile Company. He later became the soda dispenser at J.L. Jennings’ pharmacy. From that position, he decided he wanted to be a pharmacist. He left to earn his pharmacy license and returned to Canadian to open the Hudson Drug Company. When I searched for Oswell on findagrave.com, he was the only Oswell Hudson in their database, and listed as a sibling was Ruth Leigh Hudson. He was her brother! The Hudson family is buried in Paris, Texas. With that new bit of information, I then turned to newspapers.com and found Ruth’s life. Ruth was the first assistant dean of the Paris Junior College. She later joined the University of Wyoming’s English Department. In 1934, Ruth took a yearlong sabbatical to earn her doctorate at the University of Virginia. Her thesis for her degree was on Edgar Allan Poe. After graduating in 1935, Dr. Ruth Hudson returned to Laramie and became the longtime head of the University of Wyoming’s English Department. Upon her death in 1960, her family started a memorial fund in her honor at the university. Her memorial fund is still active! Listed on the University of Wyoming’s English Department webpage, the Ruth Hudson Memorial Fund is available to English Majors with a preference given to women who apply. What a fascinating journey and permanent mark Ruth made in her life!

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MICHAEL LONGHOFER
Coming next month is Michael Longhofer’s art show. On March 13, from 5pm-7pm, the museum will host an artist reception for Michael. His portfolio includes cityscapes, portraiture, figurative, and mural work. His eclectic collection chronicles the people and places he has seen and/or has imagined. We hope you will make time on that Friday the 13th to come meet Michael and enjoy his art. His work will be on display until May 8th.

 

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