Katharine Frances Manierre (Newbury) (1878 - 1973)

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Nicknames: "Kath", "Madre", "Mum"
Birthplace: Jackson, Michigan, United States
Death: Died in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Cause of death: old age
Occupation: Graphic Designer (pre-marriage)
Managed by: Nancy Adams
Last Updated:

About Katharine Frances Manierre (Newbury)

Katharine Frances Manierre (Newbury) (1878-1973) was active in the movement for women's suffrage, and a painter in watercolor. Katharine graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1901, and pursued a career as a graphic designer, producing many letterheads and monograms so that her patrons could engrave them on silver or embroidered them on linens, and illustrated a cookbook for a gas company. Katharine also designed household objects, including wrought iron firedogs.

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Katharine Frances Newbury was born March 13, 1878, Detroit, MI, the daughter of Egbert Starr Newbury and Frances Kellogg Newbury.

Katharine was almost two when her father died of tuberculosis. Katharine’s family was taken care of by her mother’s parents. Her grandfather, George Kellogg built the family a cottage in Wequetonsing, a village near Travesrse City, Michigan, on a resort town on Lake Michigan. They summered in Wequetonsing, and wintered in Jackson, MI. Some in the family enjoyed this regimen because it provided relief from hay fever. Katharine and her siblings raised and sold vegetables. In the late 1990s Newbury descendants continued to occupy the cottage, and continued to when contacted in the 1990s.

Katharine graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1901. Katharine Newbury pursued a career as a graphic designer. She produced many letterheads and monograms (her patrons might have engraved them on silver or embroidered them on linens), and illustrated at least one book, a cookbook. She also designed household objects, including a pair of wrought iron firedogs; and she painted a number of pictures in watercolor. Among the drawings she produced is Bookplate for a Woman, c. 1904, ink on paper, Michael Delahunt collection. This bookplate bears the text,". OLD WOOD TO BURN . OLD BOOKS TO READ . OLD FRIENDS TO TRUST ."

Other relatives own various watercolor paintings and drawings Katharine produced. Nearly all of Katharine’s extant artworks predate the year of her marriage to George Manierre III. They wed on June 16, 1906, in Denver, CO, where she was living with her mother and brothers. (By an extraordinary coincidence, this is the very same day that your father’s other grandparents — Benjamin Delahunt and Julia Graves — were married in Milwaukee.) They moved to Milwaukee the same year.

Katharine was an avid collector of art. See photos of some of these objects, including a sculpture by H. Müller of Dusseldorf, Germany, in cast bronze, five inches tall, in the style of the European art movement called Symbolism. It presents a woman with a dreamy expression, who has poppies in her long, flowing hair. Opiates are derived from poppies. Their presence tells us this allegorical figure is symbolic of repose.

Katharine was active in the Woman’s Suffrage Society. She served on the Milwaukee Downer Seminary Board of Directors (Downer Seminary was a private school for young girls). She was a member and president of the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin. She became a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames as a result of her genealogical research, which had to show that she was a direct descendant of one of the original English colonists. She was president of this organization from 1925 to 1927.

Katharine loved to read, and she was particularly fond of reading in bed. Her husband noticed that she was frustrated by the challenges of holding her books comfortably, and of lighting them well, so George III invented a device to do both for her, and he called it the Readanrest. It is a family legend that in the 1920s he manufactured and marketed them to hospitals for the use of invalids, but that during the Depression he sold the patent rights and made no more. When Katharine’s possessions were distributed to her children and grandchildren, your father requested only one item: a Readanrest. It is one of only three that were in the family by then, and it’s the only one now. Katharine’s father-in-law, Wiliam Reid Manierre, owned a company that manufactured bicycles, and it is interesting that some bicycle technology can be seen in the design of the Readanrest.

Katharine inherited a fine white quilt, intricately stitched by her grandmother, Mary Jane Baxter. The technique with which the quilt was made is called trapunto, which originated in 16th century Italy, but traveled from England to America in the 17th century. Some elements in a trapunto quilt’s design are put into higher relief than others by filling them with extra batting. When one of Katharine’s daughters found the quilt in a box after her mother’s death, it had been carefully folded and stored in a box. A note in Katharine’s hand was pinned to the quilt: “My mother never used this quilt, saying that it was for posterity. Well I’m posterity, and I’m going to use it.” She never actually had used it! Suzanne Foote Hanks donated this quilt to the Stagecoach Inn Museum, Newbury Park, CA, where it is proudly displayed.

Katharine December 3, 1973, Milwaukee, WI, at 95 years.

Three pages of the book "The Newburys of Newbury Park" (2006) by Miriam Sprankling, are devoted entirely to Katharine Newbury Manierre.

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Katharine Newbury Manierre didn't spend a lot of time cooking. She had domestic help for that. She had several cooks over the years whose recipes became happily associated with her. One she had toward the end of her life, fondly remembered by her grandchildren, was a kindly old woman named Rose, whose pies — apple, rhubarb, cherry — were ALWAYS delicious. Here's how Rose made her pie crust. Those have followed this recipe typically say it is easy, fool-proof, and perfection itself.

Rose's Pie Crust

Makes four 9-inch diameter pie crusts.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 9 tablespoons ice-cold water

Procedure:

1) Mix the ingredients and divide into four parts.

2) Roll the dough to an even thickness, place into a 9-inch pan, shape the edge of the shell, and prick the bottom before baking.

3) Bake 8 - 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.

4) Thank Rose.

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Katharine Manierre (Newbury)'s Timeline

1878
March 13, 1878
Jackson, Michigan, United States
1906
June 16, 1906
Age 28
Denver, Colorado, United States
1908
May 19, 1908
Age 30
1909
January 10, 1909
Age 30
Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
1914
April 10, 1914
Age 36
Milwaukee, WI, USA
1916
May 10, 1916
Age 38
Milwaukee, WI, USA
1973
December 3, 1973
Age 95
Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
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Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States