Kate Englesby Norcross

A.B. Colby 1881, A.M., Colby 1888.

Kate Norcross was born in Burlington, Vermont on October 16, 1856. Her family later moved to Charleston, Maine in 1857. She was the daughter of Henry Hale Norcross and Martha Phipps Holbrook. She attended Somerville High School and Coburn Classical Institute; and graduated from Colby in 1881, along with Sophia May Hanson and Jennie Merrilees Smith. Her mother died of pneumonia while she was at Colby. She cared for her father after graduation and taught music; during this time she organized a Ladies Orchestra (she named it “Englesbian,” taken from her middle name) and became both the pianist and business manager. Her father died suddenly of pneumonia on Christmas Day, 1890. Tragically, Norcross died in Somerville, Massachusetts, about a year later on October 6, 1891, at age 35, also of pneumonia, on the same day that she was married to Louis Rollins. She had only been sick for 5 days, and when it was determined that she would not recover, she and Louis decided to be married that very day. They were married at 3 A.M. and Norcross passed away at 1:30 P.M. that day, according to a letter from Alice Foss (see below).

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