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Helen McDowell

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Information about Helen McDowell

Profile image of Helen McDowell

Interview Date

July 30, 2003

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Lodging Entrepreneur
High School English Teacher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Bread
Favorite Time of Year:
Birthday
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California
Favorite Quote:
If a task is once begun, never leave it till it's done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.

Birthplace

Born:
9/28/1903
Birth Location:
Abingdon, Virginia

Interview Date

July 30, 2003

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Lodging Entrepreneur
High School English Teacher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Bread
Favorite Time of Year:
Birthday
Favorite Vacation Spot:
California
Favorite Quote:
If a task is once begun, never leave it till it's done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.

Birthplace

Born:
9/28/1903
Birth Location:
Abingdon
See how Helen McDowell is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born on September 28, 1903, in Abingdon, Virginia, Helen Newberry McDowell was the fourth of fourteen children. Her mother, Caroline, was orphaned in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised by her uncle Frank Donahue in Abingdon, where her mother met her father, Samuel.

McDowell attended Morristown Industrial School, where her mother taught, and went on to Bennett College. Graduating in 1924, she attended Teacher's College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. McDowell then attended Howard University from 1928 to 1931, earning her M.A. in education.

McDowell began teaching in 1925, and after earning her M.A. went on to teach at Morgan State University in Baltimore. In the 1940s, McDowell bought six houses in Washington, D.C., and converted them into rooming houses for students. These buildings became known as the Newberry House and from 1949 to 1973, was the home to hundreds of students from Howard University's School of Religion. McDowell also ran a wedding salon out of Newberry House. McDowell began teaching at Phelps Vocational High School in Washington, D.C., in 1950, and taught English there until her retirement in 1973. She then moved to California with her husband but relocated to Washington D.C. in 1993. McDowell continues to teach






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