Biographical / Historical
Eleanor Stabler Clarke (1896-1995) was the daughter of Charles M. and Ida Palmer Stabler. A birthright Quaker, she had a lifelong interest in family genealogy as well as a deep commitment to Quaker organizations, especially the American Friends Service Committee. She served on the Swarthmore College Board of Managers from 1935 to 1971, and many members of her family are College alumni. Her family belonged to the Society of Friends for generations.
Her father taught at the George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania, and Eleanor Stabler was born on the George School campus. After her father's death, the family moved to Sandy Spring, Montgomery, Md., where her mother became principal of the Sherwood Friends' School. Eleanor Stabler graduated from Swarthmore College, Class of 1918, and in 1918 she married William Anderson Clarke, Sr., (1896-1965), also a graduate of Swarthmore College and president of the W.A. Clarke Mortgage Company, Philadelphia. In 1928 they built "Crumwald," designed by R. Brognard Okie in Wallingford, on property adjacent to Swarthmore College. Mrs. Clarke gave the house and property to Swarthmore College in January 1971; it was used as a college guest house and presently is rented to members of the Swarthmore College community.
The three albums in this collection were compiled by Eleanor Stabler Clarke in 1950-1951 for her family. They include photographs and stories as well as family genealogy for the Stabler and Palmer and collateral lines.
Also part of the gift are two manuscripts by Eleanor Stabler Clarke's sister, Cornelia Stabler Gillam (1898-1979). Known professionally as Cornelia Stabler, Cornelia Gillam was born at the George School and graduated from Swarthmore College, Class of 1920. In 1921 she married Clifford R. Gillam, who became the manager of the Inn at Buck Hill Falls, Pa. She was the author of radio plays and dramas and directed the Buck Hill Players. In 1945-1946, she participated in U.S.O. tours. Her accounts of "European and Veterans Hospitals Via U.S.O." were first read at the Foxhowe Lecture Series at the Inn of Buck Hill Falls.
Cornelia Stabler was well-known for character monologues which she performed across the country, including at the White House for President and Mrs. Roosevelt in 1939. Her play Where's the Fire was published circa 1937. Along with a second copy of "European and Veterans Hospitals," this gift includes her dramatic biography of Charlotte Bronte, which she first performed in 1957 and was copyrighted in 1958.
Portions of Cornelia Stabler Gillam's accounts of her USO experience were published in the George School Quarterly.