Young, Alla Frances

A member of the Short Winter Course at Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1901, Alla Frances Young is one of the least known but most intriguing women to attend the college in the early years of “coeducation.”

Raised in a home that emphasized progressive values and a commitment to education, Young was born in Gloucester, Mass., on Jan. 28, 1849, the only daughter of Samuel Lane Young (1813-1893) and Emily Tarr. Young's father, a physician, had received both an BA (1840) and MA from Bowdoin College before earning his MD at Harvard in 1852, and he maintained a highly intellectual circle of associates that included the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and Transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker.

As a child, Alla lived in Bridgewater, Mass., where her father was employed as the physician at the State Hospital, and she was educated in local schools before receiving a teaching degree at the Normal School (now Bridgewater State University) in 1865. She was employed for many years thereafter as a high school teacher in Gloucester and, later, Charlestown, Mass.

Young's educational career, however, was not restricted to teaching. She studied phaenogamic botany in a summer course at Harvard in 1877 and chemistry in 1879, and in 1893-1894, she studied biology and public health as a special student at MIT. Her presence in the MAC Winter Course in 1901, then, is merely

Apparently never married, Young died in Rockport, Mass., on Dec. 10, 1910, at the age of 61.


  • Boyden, Albert G., History and alumni record of the State Normal School, Bridgewater, Mass., to July, 1876. Boston, 1876
  • Harvard University Catalog, 1877-78. Cambridge, Mass., 1877
  • Harvard University Catalog, 1879-80. Cambridge, Mass., 1879
  • Register of Former Students with an Account of the Alumni Associations. Cambridge, Mass., 1915
y/young_alla_frances.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/03 12:47 by
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