Downey, June E. (June Etta), 1875-1932

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June Etta Downey was born on July 13, 1875, in Laramie, Wyoming. She graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1895. She accepted a fellowship in psychology at the University of Chicago, completing her doctoral study in 1907 with a dissertation on "Control Processes in Modified Handwriting." Downey was appointed a professor of philosophy and psychology at the University of Wyoming and she became head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology in 1915 until her death in 1932. Downey was noted for her pioneering work in the field of personality testing. She expanded the accepted method of using mental aptitude as the sole measure of personality and sought to define graphology and describe more accurately what could be learned about a person from handwriting. She studied handwriting, types of dextrality, and inherited traits like color blindness. Downey was a prolific writer. Her Individual "Will-Temperament Test" was published in 1919, and her book, "The Will Temperament and its Testing", was published in 1923. She wrote six other monographs, published seventy articles for professional journals, book reviews, and popular articles on psychology. Downey died on October 11, 1932, of cancer, while visiting in New Jersey.

From the description of June E. Downey papers, 1887-1950. (University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center). WorldCat record id: 67773701

June Etta Downey was born on July 13, 1875, in Laramie, Wyoming. Her father, Stephen W. Downey, was a prominent Laramie attorney and was instrumental in the founding of the University of Wyoming in 1887. June was among one of its first classes, entering the University in 1891. She studied Greek and Latin and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1895.

After teaching in the Laramie public school system, Downey enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1896. There she studied philosophy, psychology, and Greek and received a Master of Arts degree in 1898. Downey then returned to Laramie and taught English and philosophy courses for the University of Wyoming until 1902. At that time, she accepted a fellowship in psychology at the University of Chicago. She completed her doctoral study in 1907 with a dissertation on “Control Processes in Modified Handwriting.”

Downey was appointed a professor of philosophy and psychology at the University of Wyoming after the completion of her doctoral degree, and she became head of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology in 1915. She retained this position until her death in 1932. She was regarded as a fine instructor capable of stimulating the curiosity of all of her students.

In addition to her teaching skills, Downey was noted for her pioneering work in the field of personality testing. She sought to develop testing procedures that assessed more than mental aptitude. To this end, she studied handwriting, types of dextrality, and inherited traits like color blindness.

Downey was a prolific writer. Her Individual Will-Temperament Test was published in 1919, and her book, The Will Temperament and its Testing, was published in 1923. She wrote six other monographs, published seventy articles for professional journals, and penned numerous book reviews and popular articles on psychology. She considered herself to be artistically talented, writing poetry and plays. She was the author of the University of Wyoming Alma Mater song. Downey died on October 11, 1932, of cancer, while visiting New Jersey.

From the guide to the June E. Downey papers, 1887-1950, 1913-1932, (University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Corbett, John, Mrs., 1871-1945. A Wyoming episode : [dance and pantomime] / prologue and verses, June E. Downey ; music, Mrs. John Corbett. University of Wyoming, William R. Coe Library
creatorOf Downey, June E. (June Etta), 1875-1932. June E. Downey papers, 1887-1950. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
referencedIn Downey Family papers, 1866-1997 University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
creatorOf Downey Family. Downey family papers, 1866-1997. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
creatorOf University of Wyoming. Dept. of Psychology. Records, 1910-1987. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
referencedIn Abraham Aaron Roback papers, 1909-1965. Houghton Library
creatorOf June E. Downey papers, 1887-1950, 1913-1932 University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Corbett, John, Mrs., 1871-1945. person
associatedWith Downey Family family
associatedWith Downey Family. family
associatedWith Downey, June E., person
correspondedWith Roback, A. A. (Abraham Aaron), 1890-1965 person
associatedWith University of Wyoming corporateBody
associatedWith University of Wyoming. Dept. of Psychology. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Wyoming. Dept. of Psychology. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Wyoming
Laramie (Wyo.)
Wyoming
Laramie (Wyo.)
Subject
Personality tests
Ability--Testing
Graphology
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1875

Death 1932

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