Biographical / Historical
Helen M. Tarbell, born April 17, 1841, attended the Emma Willard School in Troy, NY. From Troy, Tarbell travelled to South Carolina, near Beaufort, around 1862, where she worked as a governenss for the family of Lieut. Col. Thomas H. Johnson. Health issues ended her employ with the Johnsons and she returned to Randolph, Vermont, to live with her father, Gilman Tarbell, in 1864. She eventually settled in Quincey, MA, where she lived the remainder of her life. She established her own private school in her home in Quincy, MA in the 1880's. Helen Tarbell married John Wade around 1891, near the age of 50, and was married for 25 years until widowed, roughly 1916. At Wade's death in 1927, her letters became the property of her sister, Mary F. Tarbell. The letters eventually passed to Mary Tarbell's grand-niece, Elizabeth Bean, when Tarbell died in 1956.