Bacon, Grace Mabel.
Manuscript Collection: MS 0611
Agency History/Biographical note:
Grace Mabel Bacon was born on April 27, 1878 in Northampton,
Massachusetts to Charles E. Bacon, a grocer, and Georgiana T. Leach
Bacon. After attending high school in Springfield, Massachusetts,
she went to Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in German with
minors in Latin and history. She graduated in 1901, then received
her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She studied at
the University of Berlin, at Munich and at Freiburg, and did summer
work at Harvard, Columbia and the Sorbonne. She taught briefly at
Franklin High School in New Hampshire and Ypsilanti High School in
Michigan. In 1906 she returned to Mount Holyoke to teach German and
became associate professor in 1914. From September 1918 to June 1919
Bacon worked in Europe during World War I. She originally worked for
the Red Cross in France in 1918 and from 1918-1919 she organized and
taught German classes for the Army Education Corps of the American
Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.), an organization created by the Young
Men's Christian Association (YMCA) for American soldiers occupying
different parts of Europe after World War I. From 1924-1925 Bacon
was head of the French department at Walnut Hill School in Natick,
Massachusetts. For the next three years she was professor and head
of the German Department at Allegheny College in Meadville,
Pennsylvania. In 1928 Bacon rejoined the Mount Holyoke faculty,
becoming a professor in 1931. She travelled throughout Germany and
conducted student tours in Europe. In 1943 she retired, residing in
South Hadley, Massachusetts until her death on September 21, 1967, at
the age of eighty-nine.
Scope and Content:
The Grace Mabel Bacon Papers consist of letters and other writings by
her, biographical information, and several photographs of her. Of
note are excerpts of letters that she wrote while serving with the
American Red Cross in France near the end of World War I in 1918.
These letters discuss her voyage to France aboard the ship "Vestris"
in 1918 during which there was an outbreak of influenza. Ruth
MacGregor, Mount Holyoke College Class of 1910, died on board. Bacon
also describes her experiences in St. Nazaire, France, working with
Belle Mead, Mount Holyoke College Class of 1900, for the American Red
Cross. The two women cared for local children and German prisoners
of war working for them. They provided thousands of refugees with
food and clothing. The excerpts also describe Bacon's work after the
war in Coblenz, Germany, where she taught German to American soldiers
for the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) Army Educational
Commission of the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F). Bacon's
writings include newspaper articles, a syllabus for the German
classes Bacon taught for the A.E.F, and an obituary for Mount Holyoke
College Professor Ellen C. Hinsdale. One article describes her
experience in Munich, Germany at the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
Two 1919 articles describe her work teaching German for the A.E.F.
after the war. Biographical information includes newspaper
clippings, biographical notes, obituaries, and a tribute. The
obituaries include ones for Bacon's siblings, Ruth Grey Bacon, George
A. Bacon, and Frances Gertrude Bacon Ruggles. Obituaries for Grace
Mabel Bacon herself are also included. The tribute is by Anna L.
Bates, Mount Holyoke College Class of 1901. The photographs consists
of formal portraits and snapshots dating from about 1900 to 1943.
These images include what is probably her senior photograph as a
Mount Holyoke student, a photograph of Bacon in her Red Cross uniform
and a snapshot of Bacon with her dog, probably taken in 1943.
Cite as: Grace Mabel Bacon Papers, Mount Holyoke College
Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley,
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted
, 1918, 1927, 1943
, 1 folder
, 1914, 1919, 1960
, 1 folder
- Biographical Information
, ca. 1919-1967
, 1 folder
, ca. 1901-ca.1943
, 1 folder