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Crown Hill
March 2022
Crown Hill

Women's History, Part II

For this second newsletter of Women's History Month 2022, we are highlighting women who have contributed to a variety of fields, one of them literally in a field of daffodils. One is getting renewed attention for the mid-century modern homes she designed, another was herself a historian. One wrote a book about Crown Hill Cemetery after a long career as a journalist while another broke several gender barriers at Indiana University. Here are the stories of five more of Crown Hill's remarkable women.

Avriel Christie Shull
(February 9, 1931 – March 6, 1976)
Credit: Indyencyclopedia
Avriel Joy Christie was born in Carmel, Indiana during the Great Depression. She was recognized as gifted while still very young and was able to develop her design talents with the support of her parents. At age 15, her life was nearly cut short during an attempt to drive a boyfriend’s car that ended in a serious crash. Ms. Christie suffered a damaged pancreas and having never fully recovered, her injuries led to her untimely death three decades later.
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Helen Essie Kegerreis Link
(August 24, 1912 – November 30, 2002)
Credit: Marty Davis (Daffodils)
Born in northern Indiana near Elkhart, Helen Kegerreis graduated from Indiana University and the Methodist School of Nursing and then worked as a surgical nurse from 1932 to 1937. She resigned to marry a doctor, Goethe Link, M.D. (1879-1981), one of the founders of the IU School of Medicine and himself a practicing surgeon until almost 90 years old. Dr. Link bought his wife a bushel of daffodil bulbs one day in the 1940s, thinking they would be a welcome addition to their 50-acre home high on a hill south of Mooresville. The property was also the home to a full-size observatory Dr. Link built himself in the 1930s and shared with the Indiana University Astronomy Department.
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Emma Lou Thornbrough
(January 24, 1913 – December 19, 1994)
Credit: Indyencyclopedia
It seems fitting to mark Women’s History Month with a female historian. Emma Lou Thornbrough was born in Indianapolis and attended Shortridge High School, just east of Crown Hill’s 34th St. entrance. She received an undergraduate degree in 1934 and a master's degree in 1936 from Butler University and began a career teaching history at Indianapolis's George Washington High School. In 1946, she earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan and returned to Indianapolis to teach at Butler.
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Sarah Parke Morrison
(September 7, 1833 – September 9, 1919)
Credit: Indiana Historical Society
Sarah Morrison was the first female to attend classes and graduate from Indiana University. Education was important to the Morrison family and at the age of 34, with years of education behind her at both the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary and Vassar College, Ms. Morrison was persuaded by her father, a former president of the Indiana University Trustee Board and the State Treasurer, to appeal to the university to allow women to attend. After a review, the trustees voted to become just the fourth public university in the country to allow women.
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Anna Nicholas
(1849 – January 29, 1929)
Born and raised in Meadville, Pennsylvania, but a longtime Indianapolis citizen, Ms. Nicholas published two works of fiction, including An Idyll of the Wabash (1898), a collection of short stories set in Indiana shortly after the Civil War, and The Making of Thomas Barton (1913). But her main career achievement was her half-century of newspaper work for both the Indianapolis Journal and the Indianapolis Star. Her newspaper work as an editor, book reviewer and feature writer led to her being chosen to write the book-length Story of Crown Hill, which was published by The Crown Hill Association in 1928.
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