Name: Lucy Salome FURMAN
Given Name: Lucy Salome
Birth: 7 Jun 1869 in Henderson, Kentucky
Death: 28 Aug 1958 in 26 Holly Street,, Cranford, NJ
Photo in 1898
Book author, settlement school educator and advocate against cruelty to animals. She worked as court stenographer in Evansville, IN early in her career.
For a brief autobiographical sketch click here.
Click for other documents and photos.
Biographical notes by Gary S. Collins:
She taught for many years at the Hindman Settlement School, Hindman, Knott County, Kentucky, starting about 1906. An article written by her early on about life at the school is reproduced from The Herald, Lexington, KY at http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~garyscottcollins/. The Hindman Settlement School is a fairly unique institution devoted to providing educational opportunities for isolate, rural folk. An excellent history of the school is available in the book "Challenge and Change in Appalachia: The Story of Hindman Settlement School", by Jess Stoddart (The University Press of Kentucky, 2002) ISBN 0-8131-2250-3. The book incisively informs the attitudes that motivated persons like Lucy Furman to become teachers in a small, rural school. The school has a web site at http://www.hindmansettlement.org/.
She was author of novels about Kentucky mountian folk. Author of "The Quare Women". She was awarded the George Fort Milton Award in 1932 as Southern woman writer accomplishing the most for her sex. She wrote stories for the "Ladies Home Journal", such as "The Slip-in", in 19xx. Also wrote "The Glass Window", "Mothering on Perilous" and "The Lonesome Road".
The Louisville Courier on 1 Dec 1940 had a two-page feature about her entitled "The 'Steel-Trap' Woman has a heart of gold", concerning long-standing efforts of her to promote humane treatment of animals, for example in the ways animal traps are designed. Nature Magazine, February 1942 had an article on her entitled "Ninety Pounds of Fight", about her wars against inhuman traps for animals. Nature Magazine, issue of February 1946 contained an article by her entitled "A Modern Infamy", concerning inhumane treatment of trapped animals.
Second version of biographical notes by Gary S. Collins:
My great aunt, Lucy Salome Furman, wrote maybe ten books. Her first books in the 1890s were a sensation because she communicated attitudes and world views of peoples living in the backwoods (or boonies) of Appalachia in their own vernacular, something completely new at the time. She was one of a generation of women in the late 19th century who committed their lives to the betterment of humanity. They eschewed marriage because of the constraints on social action that it placed on women at the time. Marriage in the late 19th century, or any time before, doomed almost all women to a levell of domestic servitude that prevented any political activity for the common good. Like many of these women, Lucy was very active in the World Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), which strongly opposed consumption of alcohol--based on the deleterious effects that they felt it had on families and, more generally, on society.
Grounded in this progressive late 19th Century world view, Lucy Furman sought and took a position teaching at a settlement school in rural eastern Kentucky: the Hindman Settlement School. Hindman was (and remains) in the remote hinterland of mountainous Eastern Kentucky. Back then, there were hardly any roads into the area. The school intended to provide a basic level of education to children in the region, who would come and board at the school during the year. A really wonderful and scholarly book written about this is "Challenge and Change in Appalachia: The Story of Hindman Settlement School", by Jess Stoddart (University of Kentucky Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8131-2250-3. Check it out to learn more!.
If you read Lucy's chronicles, it is clear that most of her "boys" had had no previous experience living with others outside their own families, and therefore, had to be socialized starting from scratch. And she was house mother to a bunch of completely uncivilized ~10-year-olds. She taught at the Hindman Settlement School for roughly ten years between about 1900 and 1910. But she gained many indebted "graduates" of the school. For example, she lived in my house in her last years, in the late 1950's, while I was growing up. I recall that one of her students from about 1910, Troy, bacame very successful financially and would annually send a huge bushel basket of oranges from Florida, where he lived, out of respect for her mothering. She had hundreds of "boys" who were devoted to her.
In the 1880's and 1890's she lived in Evansville, IN as reporter, and also in Frankfort, KY.
1880 US Census, living in household of uncle John Donald Gunn in Kansas (see his entry) at a young age following death of her mother.
1900 US census, Absecon Town, Absecon, Atlantic Co., NJ, enumerated 12 Jun 1900:
Anna Fleming, head, widowed, b Aug 1851, age 48, 0/0 children, b/fb/mb:NJ, boarding house keeper
Lucy S. Furman, boarder, single, b June 1869, age 30, b:KY,fb:GA,mb:KY
Rosalie A. Furman, boarder, single, b Oct 1874, age 25, b:KY,fb:GA,mb:KY
[Also a servant and other boarder; see full entry under Ann Collins (m. Fleming)]
[Lucy and her sister Rosalie were vacationing on the ocean-cooled resort coast of New Jersey, not far from modern Atlantic City, but much nicer in that era. Boarding house keeper Anna Fleming (nee Anna Collins), was aunt of D.C. Newman Collins, whom Lucy's sister Rosalie eventually married in 1911. Rosalie and Newman apparently met while Rosalie and Lucy were summering on the coast of southern New Jersey.]
Lucy Salome Furman wrote the novel "The Glass Window", published in 1923 or 1925. The Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung published a translated excerpt in their section "Feuilleton" on Wednesday, 24 December 1958 (Nr. 298, Seite 11), with permission, entitled "Das Glasfenster", subtitled "Eine Weihnach serz'hlung von Lucy Furman". There exists correspondence between the Zeitung and her nephew J. Dillard Collins, Lucy's executor, about the excerpt since Lucy had died in the previous year.
1930 US census, Lucy is vacationing with second cousin Orville W. Collins in Miami, Florida (see his entry).
Probably named after paternal grandmother Lucinda (Lucy) Barnard Williams.
Father: Williams Barnard FURMAN b: 4 May 1845 in Camden Co., Georgia
Mother: Jessie Paralee COLLINS b: 13 May 1849 in Madisonville, KY