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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

The Original Santa Claus Girls of Park Church

Miss Adriana VanDoorn is ably assisted by her loyal band of efficient teachers who are getting in touch with their little charges during the week and are anxious to bring the best possible thought and action to their work. This band is as follows;

Miss Martha Clay is a college graduate and a teacher in the local High school. She makes a deep, thorough study of every child in her class.

Miss Ruby Ferris is a graduate of Chicago Art Institute and a well known artist in the city. She is especially interested in children which is shown in the beautiful mural painting that she painted recently for the children’s ward of Butterworth Hospital. The study was in child life. Another recent painting which has brought her much communication is a life size oil painting of “Jack,” the five-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Millard Palmer.

Miss Helene Dudley is a popular young society girl, who has a deep interest in children and has been for years a member of the auxiliary of the Children’s home.

Miss Estelle Bennett is a close friend of Miss Dudley and also a member of the Children’s home auxiliary, and is a member of the corps of teachers, but at present she is traveling in the south with her mother.

In Miss Bennett’s absence her class is being taken care of by Miss Hazel Elliott, who is a popular young music teacher.

Miss Gertrude Mehrtens is another young society girl who is interested in philanthropic work and a member of the Children’s home auxiliary.

Miss Hazel Closterhouse who is one of last June’s High school graduates, shows marked interest in children and has taken some work at the Kindergarten Training school. She is planning to attend Pratt Institute next year.

Miss Clara Peck, who recently returned from a trip to Europe, is a member of the young ladies division of the Golden Rule Society.

Miss Corrine Ferris, who makes her home with her sister, Mrs. Perry Peck, has the advantage of first hand study of two interesting little nieces in her home life, and is fond of her class of little ones. She is in her senior year of High school.

Miss Anna Whitcomb is a diligent worker in the Sunday school work. She possesses a sweet soprano voice and is studying local music.

Excerpted from the Grand Rapids Herald, December 13, 1908

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