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Ada Simpson Sherwood Papers



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

College Archive Record Group 9.43

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Ada Simpson Sherwood Papers | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: Ada Simpson Sherwood PapersAdd to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1912-1952

ID: RG 09/9.43

Primary Creator: Sherwood, Ada Simpson -- 1861-

Extent: 2.0 MS boxes


Arrangement of the collection is by series:

1.  Published Writings, and 2. ManuscriptsPersonal/Biographical

Subjects: American poetry., Berea College, Berea College -- Faculty, Oberlin College., Sherwood, Ada Simpson -- 1861-

Languages: English


Ada Simpson was born on January 25, 1861 in Carlton, New York but spent most of her early life in rural Michigan.  At the age of sixteen, she obtained a teacher’s certificate and became a rural school teacher while at the same time working toward the high school diploma. She married Alva Sherwood in 1888.

In 1905 she was tragically widowed; this event marked the next phase of Sherwood’s career during which she would begin her life-long dream of higher education.  Along with her son and daughter she attended Oberlin College and graduated there in 1914--she was 53--with Phi Beta Kappa honors.  A year later she obtained her Master’s degree from the same institution.  Sherwood finished in 1919 at Boston University where she earned a Masters in Religious Education.  One year later she would move to Berea, Kentucky, and begin her teaching career at Berea College.

Sherwood taught Bible courses at the Berea College Normal School for eleven years and retired in 1931 at the age of 71.  Throughout her life and teaching career Ms. Sherwood continued to devote time to writing.  She contributed many poems, articles, and prose pieces to many well-known publications.  She wrote play pageants, “peace plays,” and operettas for children to perform as well as Christmas songs, religious hymns, and patriotic songs.  She composed the Berea College Normal School class of 1931 song and in 1947 published a book of poetry entitled Hungering For The Hills.  Two manuscripts for novels were completed but never published.

Dubbed the grand old lady of Berea, Ms. Sherwood spent the rest of her life there, staying involved with the Congregationalist Church, W.C.T.U., community women’s organizations and Berea College events.  Ms. Sherwood was well-known and respected throughout the state, her writing appearing occasionally in the Courier Journal, the Herald Leader, and the Berea Citizen.  She remained busy until the end of her life and maintained “Never think you are too old to undertake your cherished dreams ... travel hopefully, clear to the end of the journey.”  Ada Simpson Sherwood died in Berea on March 7, 1959.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

These are the personal and published papers of Ada Simpson Sherwood, former Berea College Professor of Religion.  This collection includes Sherwood’s published material, typed manuscripts, poems, songs, and plays.  Included in the collection is biographical information, one personal journal, and three scrapbooks.

Subject/Index Terms

American poetry.
Berea College
Berea College -- Faculty
Oberlin College.
Sherwood, Ada Simpson -- 1861-

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

Access Restrictions: Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Use Restrictions: There are no restrictions on use of this material other than federal copyright regulations.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Ada Simpson Sherwood Papers, Special Collections & Archives, Berea College, Berea, KY.

Processing Information: Finding aid updated 2016.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by College Archive Record Group:

[College Archive Record Group 9.43],

College Archive Record Group 9.43Add to your cart.
Series 1: Published Writings and ManuscriptsAdd to your cart.
Consists of copies of Sherwood's magazine and newspaper contributions.  Copies of songs, hymns, religious plays and operattas written for children to perform are inlcuded in this series as well as a copy of her patriotic play-pageant Your Land and Mine. Two groups of typed manuscripts are also included.  Arranged chronologically.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Published Prose Material 1912-1955Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Published Poems 1888-1952Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Songs and Hymns 1912-1931Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Plays 1932-1942Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Typed Prose Manuscripts n.d.Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Typed Manuscripts (Plays) n.d.Add to your cart.
Series 2: Biographical/PersonalAdd to your cart.
Series consists of biographical information, handwritten records of Oberlin College,  three scrapbooks, and a personal journal of poetry.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Biographical Information 1861-1959Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Personal Journal 1889-1914Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Scrapbook #1Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Scrapbook #2Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Scrapbook #3Add to your cart.
Folder 6: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.

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