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Garrett, Mary Smith (1839–1925)

Garrett, Mary Smith (1839–1925)

American educator of the deaf. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 20, 1839; died in North Conway, New Hampshire, July 18, 1925; one of at least six children of Henry (businessman) and Caroline Rush (Cole) Garrett; older sister of Emma Garrett (c. 1846–1893); never married; no children.

Ran a private school in Philadelphia to teach deaf children to speak; closed school to join sister Emma in Scranton (1889); with Emma, established the Pennsylvania Home for the Training in Speech of Deaf Children Before They Are of School Age, which opened with 15 children in temporary quarters (later known as the Bala Home); following sister's death (1893), took over as principal at Bala Home and remained there for the next 30 years; through lobbying efforts, obtained passage of laws in 1899 and 1901 requiring the exclusive use of oral methods of instruction in all state institutions for the deaf.

See also Women in World History.

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