Minnie Hartford Mathews was born in Waterville, Maine on February 12, 1859. She was one of five Mathews girls, three of whom pursued higher education at Colby at a time when co-education was an option for women. Prior to entering Colby in 1876, Mathews attended the Coburn Classical Institute in Waterville. After Colby she taught school in Georgetown, Colorado, and in Monmouth, Maine. In 1882, she married Reverend William G. Mann (Colby Class of 1878), and later went on to have 5 daughters (Lois, Helen, Gertrude, Anna, and Ruth), two of whom died in childhood (Anna and Ruth). She was the sixth woman to graduate from Colby, and the only one to graduate from the class of 1880. Her older sister, Elizabeth Mathews, graduated from Colby the year before Minnie; her other sister, Lenora, did not graduate but was with the class of 1882. Minnie was one of the first women to cast a ballot in a popular election, being a resident of Colorado when that state granted women the right to vote. She also assisted her daughters in founding Camp Kuhnawaumbek for girls near Convene, Maine. Minnie was a member of Sigma Kappa and her scholarship earned her a membership in Phi Beta Kappa. She died at age 93 (at the time, the oldest living alumni of Colby) in Waban, Massachusetts.
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