Thursday, May 19, 2016

Byrd - Houlehan Story

Ruby Byrd on her way to Indiana University in 1906
     In honor of the end of another school year, let’s go back in time for a moment and take a glimpse of Ruby Ethyl Byrd, a former Willson School teacher and resident of Crawfordsville, and her husband Arthur Earl Houlehan, also a former local resident as well as a chemist and inventor.  

Their story starts so very sweet, but sadly ends too soon. Ruby and Arthur both graduated together in the class of 1904 from Crawfordsville High School. Miss Byrd went on to Indiana University, and then became a teacher at Willson School in Crawfordsville. She taught there from 1909 until 1912, the year she married Dr. Arthur Houlehan. 
"Willson School class of mine" (Ruby Byrd)
Arthur attended and graduated from Wabash College and went on to Cornell University in New York to get his PhD in Chemistry. After securing his job as a chemist with a corporation called DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware, Houlehan came back to Montgomery County to marry Ruby and whisk her away. 

Their intimate family ceremony took place on August 28, 1912 at the bride's parent's house. 
The couple, then, immediately traveled to and took residence in Wilmington, Delaware.  
In 1917 Arthur and Ruby had a baby girl, Louise Elizabeth Houlehan. This particular collection includes many photos, most of them of Miss Louise. We are able to know that she was their pride and joy if only because we can almost watch her grow through the pages of pictures of their beautiful little girl. 

In 1924 Mr. Houlehan came down with pneumonia and, unfortunately, did not survive. Shortly thereafter, Ruby packed up with her daughter and moved back to Montgomery County to be around family. She became very active socially in the community, as well as volunteering for the Red Cross and several benefit drives. Mrs. Houlehan passed away at age 83 in Warren, Indiana, in 1968. 

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