Harrodsburg woman focus of book

Published 7:47 pm Friday, March 29, 2019

Editor’s note: Anyone who wants to share  information or photographs of Annie Van Anglen with Deborah Day may email her at: dday11925@roadrunner.com

The life of a former Harrodsburg woman, Annie VanAnglen, is a primary character in a new book.

Deborah Day of Solana Beach, California, is co-author of the book on Hawaiian seminarians in pre-territorial Hawaii: “An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands: Letters of Carrie Prudence Winter, 1890-1893” (University of Hawaii Press, 2012).

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She is searching for photographs of Annie and any artifacts that might be used in the book.

After Annie’s death, some of her things, including artifacts probably of the Hawaiian period, were donated to the Boyle County Historical Society, which later disbanded. The materials were scattered or lost.

She was mentioned in the July 22, 1901 edition of The Advocate as librarian at the Harrodsburg Public Library. She had been appointed as a teacher in one of the first schools in Honolulu and left soon after to start her new job.

Annie headed the Dressmaking Department of Kawaiaha’o Female Seminary for a year in 1891 and returned to Honolulu in 1900-1901 as teacher in the Kamehameha School near the Palace, according to Deborah Day.

Both were boarding schools to educate children of Hawaiian women and girls during 1887-1898, when Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown and Hawaii became a territory of the United States.

Day said a great deal can be learned from letters, photographs and other materials saved by teachers at the seminary. Between 1890-1893 the seminary included between 135 and 150 Hawaiian girls taught by six American teachers including Annie.

Annie, a librarian, grew up in Mercer County with her family. Annie’s father, John, owned a store on the east side of Main Street.

Syche Suydam VanAnglen, a relative, owned a large farm adjacent to Captain James Harrod’s farm.

All the family left Kentucky between 1830 and 1836, except for John, his wife Ida and their daughter Annie.

Annie graduated from the Pratt Institute in New York City.

She was a world traveler and survived the Great San Francisco Earthquake/Fire.

Erik VanAnglen of Oklahoma has done extensive research at Harrodsburg Historical Society and found some information on the family, but did not find a photo of Annie or any of her collection of artifacts.

An article in The Advocate in November 1900 shows Annie gave a missionary tea at which she displayed “a quantity of photographs and curios from the Hawaiian Islands.”

“That material would be very useful to me and other scholars interested in the history of Hawaii,” said Day.

An article in the Nov. 19, 1989 Advocate mentions a photo album belonging to Annie Lee Woods, a second cousin and friend of Annie VanAnglen.

Born in Mercer

Annie was listed as 29 years old, a dressmaker and living with her father John, 75, in the 1880 census.

Her father was born in New Jersey.

Annie lived on Main Street in a rented place in 1910, according to census records.

She was 47 years old and a lodger and teacher in 1900 Mercer County Census.

She was married in later years to Freeborn C. Alger of Bristol, Connecticut.

She was born in 1851 in Kentucky and died in 1928. She is buried in the Harrodsburg cemetery.