Taylor, Barbara Howland

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Barbara Southworth Howland was born on November 14, 1889 in Guadalajara, Mexico to missionary parents John Howland and Sarah Southworth Howland. She attended Northfield Seminary in Northfield, Massachusetts and graduated in 1908. After spending a year in Mexico, Howland returned to Massachusetts and attended Mount Holyoke College from 1909-1913 and received a B.A. in English literature. She taught at the Bradford Academy in Bradford, Massachusetts until 1916, and then went to Columbia University Teachers' College in New York. She spent several years in Danielson, Connecticut and married the Reverend Harold H. Barber there in 1918. They moved to Mazatlán, Mexico, where he was a missionary; he died one day before the birth of their son John Howland Barber in 1919. In 1922 she married Walter Clyde Taylor, who was the General Secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association in Mexico City. In 1936 she received her Ph.D. and became the first United States woman to receive a doctorate from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. While in Mexico she tutored students in a variety of subjects and continued to read and research Spanish and Nahuatl. Throughout her adult life she had a strong interest in botany and gardening. She was also quite interested in Mexican customs and published a book in 1969 entitled, "Mexico: Her Daily and Festive Breads." After the death of her husband in 1957, she moved to Claremont, California. She died there on January 27, 1975 at the age of eighty-five.

From the guide to the Taylor papers MS 0797., 1908-1975., (Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Taylor papers MS 0797., 1908-1975. Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Barber, John Howland, 1919- person
associatedWith Bradford Academy - History - Sources. corporateBody
associatedWith Mount Holyoke College. - Class of 1913 - Photographs. corporateBody
associatedWith Mount Holyoke College - Traditions. corporateBody
associatedWith Northfield Seminary - History - Sources. corporateBody
associatedWith Porter Hall (South Hadley, Mass.) - Photographs. corporateBody
associatedWith Young Women's Christian Association (Mount Holyoke College). corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Mountain Day - 1913
Student activities--Massachusetts--South Hadley
Women college students--Massachusetts
Mexican literature
College students--Massachusetts
Nahuatl literature
Women scholars--Mexico
Spanish language--Study and teaching (Higher) - Mexico
Mountain Day--Massachusetts--South Hadley


Birth 1889-11-14

Death 1975-01-27


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