Barnett, Louise Fruen,
Manuscript Collection: MS 0771
Agency History/Biographical note:
Louise Eleanor Fruen was born on August 9, 1927 in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. Her parents were Arthur B. Fruen, President of Fruen
Milling Company, and Reba M. Watson Fruen. She graduated from West
High School in Minneapolis then attended Mount Holyoke College from
1945-1949 and majored in American Culture. She later received a B.S.
in Education from the University of Minnesota and a M.L.S. from Kent
State University. On November 28, 1952 she married Richard E.
Barnett, a graduate of Middlebury College. They had four children.
She worked as teacher, a telephone sales representative for Uniited
Airlines, and a housewife and has also done volunteer work. The
Barnetts have lived in California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Calgary,
Canada, New Jersey, New York, Akron, Ohio for 24 years, and North
Scope and Content:
The Louise Eleanor Fruen Barnett Papers contain letters written
during her freshman year at Mount Holyoke College (September 17,
1945-April 30, 1946). Letters were addressed to her parents and
other family members and chiefly reflect her social and academic
activities. She discusses her courses and teachers, especially
introductory English and philosophy classes with Constance Meadnis
Saintonge and Roger W. Holmes and physiology laboratories with
Charlotte Haywood. She also mentions Mount Holyoke President Roswell
Gray Ham, classmates, and an "extremely boring talk" at the College
by Eleanor Roosevelt (October 20, 1945). Many letters discuss food,
dating, dances, her expenses, and her job in a campus kitchen. There
are also descriptions of a trip to the Outing Club Cabin (November 2,
1945), bicycle trips to Amherst, Massachusetts and visits to Smith
College. Also of note is a reference to "8 or 10 Negro students"
(September 24, 1945) a mention of writing to President Harry Truman
about making "the atomic secret known to the other countries"
(November 2, 1945), and a description of her volunteer work at a
settlement house in Holyoke, Massachusetts (April 7, 1946). In
addition, the letters describe Mount Holyoke traditions such as
Mountain Day, College songs, hazing, May Day, Founder's Day and
Cite as: Louise Fruen Barnett Papers, Mount Holyoke
College, Archives and Special Collections, South
Access Restrictions: Unrestricted