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Priscilla Merrifield Spaulding was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on December 22, 1898 to Edwin Rufus Spaulding, foreman of the Springfield Printing and Binding Company and Mary Colburn Spaulding. She attended Central High School in Springfield before entering Mount Holyoke College in 1915. She majored in English, economics and sociology and graduated in 1919. From 1919-1923 she worked as Society Editor for the "Springfield Union" newspaper. On September 29, 1923 she married George B. Sheppard, an Assistant Superintendent of the Houston Gas and Fuel Company in Houston, Texas. The couple had three children. Between 1934-1956 she worked as a salesperson and assistant to Sheppard while he was the owner and manager of the Carolina Suburban Gas Company in Laurens, South Carolina. After her husband's death in 1956, she was the president of the company until 1961. She also gave violin lessons and played in the Spartanburg and Greenville Symphonies. In addition, she acted as Mount Holyoke College Class of 1919 president, 1980-1991. She died on May 7, 1991 at age ninety-two in Laurens, South Carolina.
The Priscilla Spaulding Sheppard Papers consist of a scrapbook, correspondence, memorabilia, a Mount Holyoke College pin, biographical information and photographs. Most of the material relates to her years as a Mount Holyoke student (1915-1919). The scrapbook is from her College years and her subsequent contacts with classmates. It includes tickets and programs for theatrical performances and musical concerts at Mount Holyoke and programs for performances given at other locations including the Court Square Theater (Springfield, Massachusetts) and on Broadway. Also in the scrapbook are letters, notes, Christmas cards, Valentines, postcards and invitations. There are also mementoes from other Mount Holyoke College related events and gatherings. Of note are two class schedules and a check labeled, "My First Pay Day, Jan. 19, 1916." The scrapbook also includes newspaper clippings about Mount Holyoke- related events and people. The photograph albums contain pictures taken at Mount Holyoke College and other Western Massachusetts locations during her time as a student at Mount Holyoke. Of note are photographs of the Mount Holyoke College traditions of May Day Pageants, Mountain Day, and senior top spinning and rope jumping. There are also photographs of the 1919 basketball team, seniors with their dates to the Senior Dance and of commencement activities (1919). Some of the photographs show students participating in the sports of skiing, tennis and field hockey. Photographs in the albums are primarily of her classmates and other students but there are also photographs of her parents, her housemother, Mount Holyoke trustees and Mount Holyoke faculty members Florence L. Adams, Mary Ashby Cheek, Cornelia M. Clapp, William Churchill Hammond, Ann Haven Morgan, Anna Pell and Christianna Smith and others. Also of note are photographs of groups of Chinese students at Mount Holyoke College. There are also photographs of College buildings and other views of the campus, including views from Prospect Hill and photographs taken after snowstorms. Some of the photographs were taken at surrounding locations including the Connecticut River and Mountain Park in Holyoke, Mass. There are two photographs relating to World War I. One shows the Armistice Day parade held in Holyoke, Massachusetts (November, 1918). Another photograph shows two students dressed in "Farmerettes" uniforms for doing farm work. The correspondence includes letters written by and to her in 1974, 1976 and 1979. The correspondence is primarily with her classmates but there are also two thank-you letters written for memory books she distributed to Mount Holyoke community members at her reunion in 1974. Also included are newspaper clippings about her, an obituary notice and a wedding announcement for her daughter.
This collection is organized into seven series:
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
Priscilla Spaulding Sheppard Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370 Email Reference Form: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm