Helen Robina Foote, age 12, c. 1875


Description
Creator:
Photographer unknown, Photographer
Media Type:
Image
Item Type:
Photographs
Description:
Helen Robina Foote, age 12, from an old tintype photograph, location unknown.

Helen was the daughter of Dr. Henry Solomon Foote (1840-1884) and Harriet Eliza Clarke (dates unknown). Because Eliza died when Helen was very young and her father was away in Texas, she was raised in Whitby by her grandparents, Dr. Jonathan Foote and Robina (Dow) Foote. Although Anglican, she attended Loretto Abbey in Lindsay where she received a gold medal in 1883 for "good conduct and honourable distinction in English Grammar, Literature and Composition." She was likely encouraged by the owner of the Lindsay Victoria Warder, Sir Sam Hughes, to write and publish poetry and did so under the nom de plume of Mizpah. She became a public school teacher and after the death of her grandparents moved to Huntsville, Ontario, in 1889 to teach. There she met and married Hugh McGrandle, a Dominion Land Surveyor, and had three children. She died after a short illness in 1902 and is buried in St. Andrew's Cemetery, Huntsville.
Date of Original:
ca. 1875
Date Of Event:
ca. 1875
Subject(s):
Collection:
Community Snapshots
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.95012 Longitude: -78.94957
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.33341 Longitude: -79.21632
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.35012 Longitude: -78.73286
Contact
Whitby Public Library
Email
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

405 Dundas Street West, Whitby, Ontario L1N 6A1

For inquires about any newspaper content please contact askreference@whitbylibrary.ca

Full Text

Helen Robina (Foote) McGrandle was my maternal great grandmother. After her death, her children: Bill (my grandfather), Hugh Jr. and Nora stayed with Foote relatives in Toronto and then joined their father in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, where he worked much of the time as a land surveyor. I have a book of Helen Robina Foote's poetry published in November 1888 which begins: "Dear Readers, At the earnest request of several friends, I send forth this little book, not for criticism, friendly or unfriendly, not because I have any faith or any great belief in its merits, not for these, but merely that in so doing I am, I believe, giving pleasure to those whom I love best." A poem called "In Memoriam" deals with three rapid deaths at home when her grandmother, unmarried aunt Helen, and grandfather all died between September 1884 and January 1885. "No more on earth her voice she'll raise/In the songs she loved to sing/Nor ever again from ivory keys/Sweet strains of music bring."

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Helen Robina Foote, age 12, c. 1875


Helen Robina Foote, age 12, from an old tintype photograph, location unknown.

Helen was the daughter of Dr. Henry Solomon Foote (1840-1884) and Harriet Eliza Clarke (dates unknown). Because Eliza died when Helen was very young and her father was away in Texas, she was raised in Whitby by her grandparents, Dr. Jonathan Foote and Robina (Dow) Foote. Although Anglican, she attended Loretto Abbey in Lindsay where she received a gold medal in 1883 for "good conduct and honourable distinction in English Grammar, Literature and Composition." She was likely encouraged by the owner of the Lindsay Victoria Warder, Sir Sam Hughes, to write and publish poetry and did so under the nom de plume of Mizpah. She became a public school teacher and after the death of her grandparents moved to Huntsville, Ontario, in 1889 to teach. There she met and married Hugh McGrandle, a Dominion Land Surveyor, and had three children. She died after a short illness in 1902 and is buried in St. Andrew's Cemetery, Huntsville.