Monday, May 8, 2017

Ethel Morgan-Dunham (1880-1960)

Née Edna Ethel Morgan
Author, Artist, Teacher, School Principal
Born December 12, 1880, Shreve, Ohio
Died September 14, 1960, Fairhope, Alabama

Edna Ethel Morgan was born on December 12, 1880, the seventh daughter of Hugh Morgan, a farmer, and Sarah (Weiker) Morgan, his wife. Edna graduated high school and continued her education with two years at a college unknown to me. In 1900, calling herself by then Ethel, she lived far from home, in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, at a place called Raceland.

Still in existence, Raceland is an old stagecoach tavern converted to a home for an old Virginia family. Originally called Rice's Tavern and built circa 1750 (more information at this link), Raceland was once owned by William "Racer Billy" Wynn (1784-1853), an owner and breeder of racehorses. There was a racetrack at Raceland (and slave quarters, too). Racer Billy passed the house on to his son, Marshall Ambler Moncure (1841-1900), once of the Ninth Virginia Cavalry, C.S.A. In 1900, when Ethel Morgan was living there, the head of the household was Elizabeth Imogene "Bettie" (Wynn) Moncure, widow of Marshall A. Moncure. Also in the house was Bettie's son, Ambler B. Moncure (1868-1933), and Ambler's wife, Rhoda (Morgan) Moncure (1875-1946), older sister of Ethel Morgan.

Ethel Morgan taught in the public schools of Iowa for many years. In 1910, she was at Stanton, Iowa, and in 1915, at Dunkerton. In 1921, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, she married Leroy A. Dunham (1886-1977), a U.S. Army veteran of World War I (1886-1977). By 1930, the couple were in Elgin, Iowa, where Dunham was a school superintendent and his wife was a school principal. The two shared a birthday, December 12. Upon his death in 1977, Dunham was buried at Biloxi National Cemetery in Mississippi.

The Dunhams moved to Alabama in the early 1930s. In 1935 and 1940, they were at Loxley in Baldwin County, Alabama. Ethel Morgan-Dunham had one poem in Weird Tales, "Magic Carpets," from July 1934. She preceded her husband in death, passing away at age seventy-nine on September 14, 1960. Ethel Dunham was buried at Colony Cemetery in Fairhope, Alabama, a place founded more than half a century before by Iowans.

Ethel Morgan Dunham's Poem in Weird Tales
"Magic Carpets" (July 1934)

Further Reading
There is much to read on Raceland and the Wynn-Moncure families. If you have access to, you can read a little more on Ethel Morgan-Dunham and see a few images of her or related to her life, including the self-portrait shown below.

Ethel Morgan-Dunham (1880-1960), a self-portrait. Uploaded by a user of

Text copyright 2017 Terence E. Hanley

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