Women's Educational and Industrial Union letter
Scope and Contents
Letter from Margaret Cox to the president of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union (presumably Harriet Townsend), regarding the transfer of the Union’s building at Niagara Square.
There were two Townsend Halls in UB's history. The first was located on Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo. The name was later transferred to the second Townsend Hall on the University's South Campus on Main and Bailey Streets.
The original Townsend Hall on Niagara Square (where the City Court Building stands today) in Buffalo was donated to the University's infant College of Arts and Sciences program by the Women's Educational and Industrial Union of Buffalo in 1915 provided that the University raised $100,000 towards a future endowment. On February 22, 1916, Grace Millard Knox donated $250,000 in memory of her late husband, Seymour H. Knox. This was more than enough to assure the future of the growing institution. The conditions of the gift also required that the building be named "Townsend Hall" and that "if said premises be sold by the University of Buffalo, this name shall be perpetuated by the University." In 1922 the College of Arts and Sciences moved to Foster Hall on the University's new campus on Main Street and Townsend Hall on Niagara Square was used for the University's Millard Fillmore College.
In 1954, after the building on Niagara Square was vacated by the University, the Townsend name was transferred to the Biology Building on the Main Street Campus.
Note: The verso of the letter contains 3 pasted items: 2 newspaper clippings concerning Mrs. Henry Altman, president of the Federation of Women's Clubs, and an invitation to a party honoring the Mother's Club, dated April 20, 1912.
- Women’s Educational and Industrial Union (Buffalo, N.Y.) (Organization)
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Women's Educational and Industrial Union letter is open for research.
Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and University Archives before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.
Townsend Hall is named for Harriet A. Townsend (1839-1916) founder of the Women's Educational and Industrial Union of Buffalo in 1884. The organization was dedicated to promoting "the material, moral and intellectual welfare of the women of our city," and did so with lectures, classes and vocational training at the original Townsend Hall on Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo.
Chancellor Charles P. Norton was a strong advocate for a college of arts and sciences and the expansion of UB to the Main Street Campus. Harriet A. Townsend was founder of the Buffalo Women’s Educational and Industrial Union (WEIU). When the WEIU folded, the members offered their building to UB on the condition that the University raise a $100,000 endowment fund by February 22, 1916 for the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). The goal was met by a donation from Grace M. Knox and CAS was based at Townsend Hall for the following seven years. Until Knox’s gift for the College of Arts and Sciences, UB was an unendowed institution.
The date of this letter shows the negotiation to gift the building to UB began some years prior to its eventual transfer.
.1 Linear Feet (1 envelope)
Language of Materials
March 9, 1905 letter from Margaret Cox to Harriet Townsend, President of the Women’s Educational and Industrial Union in Buffalo, New York. The letter concerns turning over the Union's building to the University of Buffalo.
The Women's Educational and Industrial Union letter was transferred to University Archives in an unrecorded accession. The letter was previously a part of the University Archives vertical files, and was removed to form its own collection in April 2019.
Accruals and Additions
No further accruals are expected.
Processed by Amy Vilz, April 2019; finding aid encoded by Amy Vilz, April 2019.
- University Archives (Repository, Organization)
- Women's History in Buffalo and Western New York Collection (State University of New York at Buffalo) (Organization)
- Finding Aid for the Women's Educational and Industrial Union letter
- Finding aid prepared by Amy Vilz.
- 22 April 2019
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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