Julia Scott Quinby entered Westbrook Seminary in March 1859 at age 14.
She graduated from Westbrook Seminary and Female Collegiate Institute in 1863, "the first class 'under the amendment to the charter giving power to confer degrees.'"
Born December 28, 1844 in Fryeburg to Nancy (Foster) and Edwin F. Quinby, she had an older brother, Edwin, and two younger sisters Mary Ella and Myra Jane.
In 1852 when she was eight years old, her father died.
In 1859 Julia enrolled in Westbrook Seminary's "highest English and Languages" course, and her studies included Latin, French, Greek and algebra.
She attended three terms out of the four at a cost of $7 tuition each term.
During the early 1860s Westbrook Seminary closed briefly.
In June 1861, trustees informed the Maine Universalist Convention that the Seminary was "unfurnished with teachers," probably as a result of male teachers in the North enlisting in Civil War regiments.
In February 1862 a committee was charged with appointing a principal and board of instruction "for opening as soon as possible."
The Rev. S. H. McCollester was appointed principal, his wife was appointed assistant, and Charles S. Fobes, a recent Westbrook Seminary and Tufts graduate, was appointed associate principal.
Two women teachers were hired -- a preceptress and teacher of music, and a teacher of ornamental branches.
In the spring of 1862 Julia Quinby resumed her studies at Westbrook Seminary serving as an "assistant pupil."
She remained through the next six terms with tuition costs per term ranging from $5 to $6.
She attended classes at the Seminary Building and devotional exercises at the chapel.
Julia boarded in Stevens Plains with the Levi and Charles E. Morrill family, although Goddard Hall had opened in 1858 and was divided by a brick wall from cellar to attic to separate males and females.
Dr. J. William Daniels and Westbrook Seminary geometry class, Portland, 1876
Item 29178 info
Abplanalp Library, UNE
In 1863 the state granted to the seminary the right to "prescribe a course of study for young ladies equivalent to that of any female college in New England" and "to confer upon all who shall satisfactorily complete such course, the collegiate honors and degrees that are generally granted by female colleges."
The original Westbrook Seminary charter of 1831 covered higher learning, and it permitted co-education, so the authorization in 1863 was a re-enforcement of the earlier purpose with a new emphasis on the education of women, specifically in a college course.
Julia S. Quinby and Ella M. Morrill became the first two recipients of "Lady of Liberal Learning" degrees bestowed by Westbrook Seminary and Female Collegiate Institute in 1863.
The L.L.L., or "Lady of Liberal Learning," and the L.E.L., "Lady of English Learning" degrees became laureate degrees two years later.
Though no charter name change had been authorized, the name of the collegiate department became "Westbrook Female Collegiate Institute."
For the next three years, Julia S. Quinby was a member of the Board of Instruction at the school, teaching French, Latin and English.
In 1871 at the age of 27, Julia Quinby married Portland physician Dr. John F. Boothby, and moved to Massachusetts.
In 1893 her husband died in Malden. The Boothbys had no children. She died at the age of 82 in 1926.
"The Messenger" reported in 1892, "We note the death of Dr. John Boothby of Newton, Massachusetts, husband of Julia S. Quinby, class of '63, the first class 'under the amendment to the charter giving power to confer degrees.'
"Those who attended the school the three following years will recall her as 'Miss Quinby' as she returned to the school as teacher after her graduation."
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