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WEBEXTRA'S :: Oberlin Roots

Concerning "Family Tree, Oberlin Roots"
(Alumni Magazine, Spring 2003), my family's history at Oberlin dates to the early 1900's. My paternal grandfather, John Angle, was a member of the class of 1904, I believe; while a student, he met Myrna Morrison who was in the kindergarten primary program. She became my grandmother. My father, Donald Angle, was born in Oberlin, but did not attend the college, however, he spent summer vacations there and spoke fondly of Oberlin. He persuaded me to attend Oberlin, which I did, graduating in 1958. While at Oberlin, at his request, I made Sunday afternoon visits to one of my grandfather's friends, Frank C. Van Cleef. Mr. Van Cleef was very hospitable, and told me that his family had roots at Oberlin going back many years. My father said that Mr. Van Cleef was "the kindest man I ever met." Lest I forget, I need to mention my brother, Burr Angle, Oberlin Class of 1963. Following his graduation he spent two years in the Peace Corps, and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Jean Angle Williams ’58
Ocala, Fla.


Gentle Ones: For what it's worth, here is the story of my Oberlin family connections. My grandmother, Adele Matthews, attended Buchtel College in Akron for four years, but decided that her true calling was in music, so enrolled in Oberlin Conservatory in 1889. I still have her tuition receipts. (I think I gave a photocopy of one to the Archives.) At age 24, she did not live in a dormitory for girls but rented a room in a "new" house on Elm St. (still standing). She studied piano and voice; Prof. Rice and his wife were teachers of hers. In 1892 she went to Berlin to study voice there. She finally received her Bachelor of Music degree in 1906. By this time she was the mother of four children. Her two oldest, both boys, attended Oberlin Academy. Thereon Matthews was thrilled to be an underclassman and was allowed to take a room in the new Men's Building. His brother, Gerald, was in the last class to matriculate before the Academy folded. The two youngest were girls, the older one my mother, Lillian. They were only one year apart in age, so they entered school at the same time, and entered Oberlin together, too. Her sister Helen, however, was deemed to be the one with musical talent, and so the plan was to see her through graduation with a music degree, while my mother would be allowed to attend as long as there was money. Lillian picked out all the courses that appealed to her---music, drama, art---and avoided those that did not, since she had no burden of graduation requirements. In the end, she did attend for four years. She was a protege of P. D. Sherman of Oberlin Dramatic Association, who urged her to consider the professional stage, but she went instead for a director's job with the John B. Rogers Company, which traveled the U.S. and Canada putting on amateur theatricals in small towns which otherwise would have had no opportunity to experience live theater. Shift now to my family. My older brother James entered Oberlin in the post-war years 1947-1951, being one of the few who initiated the radio station WOBC. He broadcast Oberlin's baseball games, and favored playing jazz records. I tried hard to be independent and not be swept into the Oberlin current, but in the end, it had the twin programs I was looking for: harp instruction and an education major. My mother thought I should go into Music Education, but that did not appeal to me. As to the fourth generation, only my brother's son Chris entered Oberlin, but he found his love in journalism and transferred to Northwestern University to pursue a degree there. I'm not sure what benefit legacy students are to the college, but to me it means a shared experience, even with those members of the family I never knew. By the way, I have a photo of my grandmother with friends taken while at Oberlin.
Sincerely yours,
Ann-Adele Lloyd ’57
Asheville, N.C.


I have been reading the latest OAM and the article on Oberlin roots. There you asked for other contributions to the Oberlin legacy and so I am adding our part. So far the Dart family has had six generations attend Oberlin. Here is a summary of what I know: My great-grandmother, Maretta O. Whedon, was an Oberlin graduate of the class of 1847 (156 years ago) when the college was only 14 years old. Two years later she married Hervey Leonard. Two of their children, David and Mary (my grandmother) went to Oberlin College; David in 1870-73 and Mary in the Conservatory 1869-70 and college 1872-77. My grandfather, Francis Henry Dart (who married Mary Leonard) was an Oberlin graduate of the class of 1868. He had two brothers, Benjamin W. Dart and Sidney Kellogg Dart who attended Oberlin in the 1870s. My grandparents were married in 1880 and had two children: my father, F. Sidney Dart, class of 1910 and my aunt, Helen Maretta Dart, class of 1912. Then came my generation (the fourth at Oberlin) three of whom graduated from Oberlin. My sister, Ruth, graduated in 1936, my brother, Francis, in 1937 and I in 1940. In the next generation (the fifth) one of our four children, Mary, went to Oberlin (class of 1966), although her cousin, Helen Dart, (Francis' daughter) also went there (class of 1967) and Sidney Smith (Ruth Dart Smith's son) attended for one year. In the sixth generation Beth (our son David's daughter) went to Oberlin and graduated in 1995. Tess Coppieters (our daughter Sarah's daughter) has been attending Oberlin but has taken a leave just now. I hope that this will be helpful in keeping up to date. We have other roots to the town of Oberlin but the above is what relates to the college. If you have any questions about this please feel free to ask.
Leonard Dart ’40
Claremont, Calif.