Guide to the Cora Watson Lewis Memoir, ca. 1934
Collection number: MS 233
About Cora Watson Lewis
Cora Watson Lewis – the Mother Lewis who is the author of the memoir – was born in Concord, N.H. on November 26, 1858. At age 20, on the death of her mother, she joined her father in Washington, D.C., where he was doing work for former N.H. Governor N.G. Ordway, and took up teaching primary school in the house of the family she boarded with. After two years teaching privately, she took courses in Kindergarten Normal Training and moved to Fort Collins in Colorado, where she discovered that she was the only person to have been so trained and became the first kindergarten teacher west of the Missouri. Her first job was in a one-room schoolhouse ten miles outside of town where she taught all grades. After a spell teaching in Fort Collins, she returned to Washington to teach and had Abraham Lincoln’s grandson, Abraham, nicknamed “Jack” as her pupil. For three years she took a job as bookkeeper in the Remington Typewriter office. She married Charlie Lewis in 1887 and had four children. Charlie died in February 1918 during the ‘flu epidemic.
About the Cora Watson Lewis Memoir, My Folks and Other Folks
Cora started writing the memoir My Folks and Other Folks at the beginning of 1931 when she was 72. This copy is inscribed to “Cousin Edith” and dated Christmas, 1934 and includes photographs inset into the work. On p.74 she describes teaching the “Lincoln children, Mary, Jack and Jessie,” the grandchildren of Abraham Lincoln, one summer while in Washington, D.C.
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Cora Watson Lewis Memoir, 1934, MS 233, Milne Special
Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.
Purchase, Carr Books, March 28, 1979 (Accession number: 7838)