Who Was Sara Joslin?

In my December 7 post, I celebrated the 110th anniversary of two intramural basketball games between the junior and senior classes of Norwalk High School. Newspaper articles in The Evening Standard and The Daily Reflector gave detailed accounts of the games, and the names and exploits of members of the boys’ and girls’ teams that played. One name on the senior girls’ team stood out to me. One newspaper reported a Sara Joslin, another Laura Joslin. But neither name appears in the commencement photo of the Norwalk High School Class of 1907, nor in any newspaper accounts of the class. So who was she? In this post, I’ll explain how I solved this mystery, and how what it tells us about the institution of marriage, and the status of women, over a hundred years ago.

sara-joslin

Sara Joslin in the Junior/Senior Study Hall, Norwalk High School, Spring of 1906

I began this series on the Class of 1907 by posting a photo dated 1906 of the Norwalk High School Senior Junior study hall that I had found ten years ago, in my grandmother’s (Harriott Wickham) papers. I had assumed that this was from the 1906-1907 school year, but looking at it again, I see names I recognize from the previous year, (Sophia Harkness, President of the Class of 1906, for one), so it must have been taken in the spring of 1906. Sara Joslin is in that photo, seated in the back of the room. I zoomed in on what I think is her likeness, and have tagged it with an arrow. Who was Sara and why doesn’t she appear in the commencement photo for the class?

Ancestry.com to the rescue. it didn’t take much digging to discover

sarah-bennett-commencement-photo-1907

Sarah Barnett

that Sarah Joslin was actually Sarah Barnett. She lived with her mother, Laura Joslin (which explains why “Sara” became “Laura” in the Evening Standard account of the December 7 basketball game), and her sister Lelia at 117 West Main Street.

The more I dug into Sarah’s family history, the more interesting it became, especially the stories of her mother, Laura Joslin and her grandmother Calista Harris. To begin the story though, we need to go back to Sarah’s great-great-great-great grandfather Arad Tuttle, an early pioneer of northwestern Ohio. He will be the subject of my next post.

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Please like this post and let me know what you think in the comments. Thank you.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Barnett’s great-great-great-great grandfather Arad Tuttle , whom I introduced in my last post, was a contemporary of Platt Benedict, founder of Norwalk, Ohio in 1817. Their stories of […]

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  2. […] December 26, 2016: “Who was Sara Joslin?“ […]

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