By Hannah Spiegelman
Class of ‘60 Rhoda M. Dorsey Archives Associate, Goucher College
Dorothy Meldrum was born on April 9, 1896 in Franklin, Ohio to Fred and Zora Kinsey. She grew up in Germantown, Ohio with her grandmother, Mary Antrim, who was the head of the household, her parents, and her sister, Jane.
Dorothy began her studies at Goucher in 1914. Not much is known about her college career until February 3, 1917 when she joined the group of 29 other women from Goucher and students from twelve other area colleges in the College Day picket of the White House. The day was organized by the National Woman's Party (NWP). The NWP began picketing the White House daily on January 10, 1917 to exert pressure on President Woodrow Wilson to support a constitutional amendment for woman suffrage. Despite the disapproval of Goucher President William W. Guth, the young suffragists were inspired by the White House protests, according to a sympathetic Baltimore News article written on February 6, 1917. Mrs. Townsend Scott, the chairman of the Maryland branch of the Congressional Union explained that the picketing “strengthened [the women’s] resolve and, furthermore, would encourage others to join the movement.”
In 1918, Dorothy graduated from Goucher. She spent that summer as a student at the Vassar Training Camp for Nurses. The camp was part of the United States’ effort to assist its troops overseas. Vassar College saw there was a great need for nurses during the second year of the U.S. involvement in World War I and enrolled recent college graduates from 117 colleges across the country. Following the war’s end in November 1918, the Training Camp closed, bringing an end to Dorothy’s medical training.
In 1919, Dorothy became a statistician at Bell Telephone Company. She worked there until she married Douglas Grant Meldrum in Philadelphia on April 6, 1920. Douglas worked as an agent for Package and Container Corporation based in New York City. Because of Douglas’s work, the couple moved and traveled quite frequently. Dorothy’s firstborn, Jane, was born in London in 1922. Douglas Jr. and Ann were both born in San Francisco in 1925 and 1930, respectively. Dorothy also traveled to Canada in 1922, Hawaii in 1927, and Bermuda in 1935. The Meldrum family resided in London in 1935, but was back in the United States by 1940 where the Meldrums made a home in Evanston, Illinois.
Dorothy’s years at Goucher and information about her birthplace and family was found in her Individual Alumni Record (Special Collections and Archives, Goucher College Library). Information about the picket was found in The Suffragist and other parts of the National Woman’s Party Papers (Library of Congress), the Baltimore News (Enoch Pratt Library), and newspaper clippings from Public Relations Scrapbooks in Special Collections and Archives at Goucher College. Information about Dorothy’s life after Goucher can found in the Goucher College Alumni Directory, February 1929, Bulletin of Goucher College (Special Collections and Archives, Goucher College Library). Details about her family and her travels were found in FamilySearch.com and Ancestry.com.