Biographical / Historical
Joanna Wharton Lippincott was born on December 16, 1858, to Joseph Wharton and Anna Lovering Wharton. Joseph Wharton (1826-1909) was a prominent businessman and philanthropist in Philadelphia. He was a founder of Swarthmore College and established the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Joanna was the eldest of three daughters. Her sisters were Anna W. Morris, who married Harris S. Morris, and Mary L. Wharton. Joanna Lippincott served on the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College from 1894 to 1933 and spent most of her life in Pennsylvania.
She married Joshua Bertram Lippincott in 1885. He was born on August 24, 1857, and worked with Joseph Wharton. He also inherited J.B. Lippincott Company, a Philadelphia publishing house founded by his father, Joshua Lippincott, and became president of the firm in 1911. Joshua Lippincott was a close friend of Joseph Wharton and was involved in the establishment of Swarthmore College and served as a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. J. Bertram Lippincott died on January 19, 1940. The couple had four children: Joseph Wharton Lippincott (1887-1976), Marianna Lippincott O'Neill (1890-1949), Sarah Lippincott Biddle (1894-1962), and Bertram Lippincott (1897-1985). Joanna Wharton Lippincott died on May 16, 1938 and is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Her younger sister, Mary Lovering Wharton, was born on September 27, 1862. She was sickly as a child and suffered a nervous breakdown at the age of nineteen from which she never fully recovered. She lived with her parents and became the beloved Aunt Polly to her nieces and nephews. She died on July 22, 1923, and is buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery.