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Mary Katherine Keemle

1 October 1838–19 May 1896

Born 1 Oct. 1838 at St. Louis.[1] Daughter of Joseph Field and Eliza Lapsely Riddle.[2] Published her first poem, “A Child’s Muse,” at age nine in the St. Louis Reveille, the newspaper her father edited.[3] Traveled to Europe with her uncle and aunt, Milton T. and Cordelia Riddle Sanford, 1859–1861.[4] Pursued a career as an author, critic, and political correspondent for a variety of newspapers.[5] Recognized author and authority on Charles Dickens.[6] Organized the first woman’s club in the U.S. with a focus on literature and art.[7] Visited Utah Territory with a letter of recommendation addressed to church president John Taylor.[8] Met with EBW, who introduced her to prominent figures in Salt Lake City and furnished material for her inquiries on Latter-day Saints.[9] Lectured during her extended stay in Salt Lake City, including at an event organized by EBW to benefit Deseret Hospital.[10] Wrote many articles critical of the church; lectured on the “Mormon Monster,” 1884, in Boston.[11] Moved to Washington DC to lobby against polygamy and Utah statehood.[12] Participated in antipolygamy subcommittee meetings of the House Judiciary Committee for several months; EBW testified also.[13] Taking opposite sides, she and EBW spoke to the Senate Education Committee about the Utah education system.[14] Gave her “Mormon Monster” lecture in Salt Lake City; assessed the effect of the Edmunds Tucker Act.[15] Published a weekly newspaper, Kate Field’s Washington, 1890–1895.[16] Participated in the National Council of Women triennial meeting.[17] In Salt Lake City, lectured on Alaska and Utah and attended the International League of Press Clubs.[18] Lectured at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; EBW attended.[19] Visited Salt Lake City on her way to Honolulu; resumed friendship with EBW.[20] Died 19 May 1896 in Honolulu.[21]

 

[1] Gary Scharnhorst, Kate Field: The Many Lives of a Nineteenth-Century American Journalist (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2008), 3. 1855 Massachusetts State Census, Southborough, Worcester, MA, 11, Catherine Field. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 22 Jan. 2020), Mary Katherine Keemle Field (MZPB-CSF).

[2] “The Late Mrs. J. M. Field,” New York Tribune, 19 June 1871, 5. Lilian Whiting, Kate Field: A Record (Boston: Little, Brown, 1899), 6.

[3] Gary Scharnhorst, Kate Field: The Many Lives of a Nineteenth-Century American Journalist (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2008), 10. Charles S. Watson, “Joseph M. Field,” Encyclopedia of Alabama (http://www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-2339, accessed 29 May 2019).

[4] Lilian Whiting, Kate Field: A Record (Boston: Little, Brown, 1899), 6, 84–86, 90, 92, 95, 147. Gary Scharnhorst, Kate Field: The Many Lives of a Nineteenth-Century American Journalist (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press), 30–34.

[5] Gary Scharnhorst, Kate Field: The Many Lives of a Nineteenth-Century American Journalist (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2008). Kate Field, Hap-Hazar (Boston: James R. Osgood, 1873). Kate Field, Ten Days in Spain (Boston: James R. Osgood, 1875). Kate Field, The Drama of Glass (Libbey Glass).

[6] Gary Scharnhorst, Kate Field: The Many Lives of a Nineteenth-Century American Journalist (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2008), 55. Kate Field, Pen Photographs of Charles Dicken’s Readings, Taken from Life (Boston: James R. Osgood, 1871).

[7] Gary Scharnhorst, Kate Field: The Many Lives of a Nineteenth-Century American Journalist (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press), 56–57.

[8] F. C. Nims, First Presidency (John Taylor) Correspondence, 1877–1887, p. 42, CR1180, CHL. “Hotel Arrivals,” Salt Lake Herald, 16 Oct. 1883, 5.

[9] Madsen Carol Cornwall, An Advocate for Women: The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870–1920 (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 2006), 214. “Miss Kate Field,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, 19 June 1884, 9.

[10] “Kate Field’s Lecture,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, 29 Dec. 1883, 8. “Kate Field’s Lecture,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, 6 Jan. 1884, 12. “Acknowledgment,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, 11 Jan. 1884, 8. “Kate Field and Her Lecture,” Woman’s Exponent, 2 Jan. 1884, 130.

[11] “Miss Kate Field on Mormonism,” Boston Daily Globe, 14 Nov. 1884, 6. “The Mormon Monster,” Boston Daily Globe, 19 Nov. 1884, 8. “Mormonism,” Boston Post, 21 Nov. 1884, 1. “Kate Field’s Work among the Mormons,” Boston Daily Globe, 23 Nov. 1884, 13. “Notes and Extracts,” Boston Weekly Globe, 11 Dec. 1883, 4.

[12] “Kate Field on Mormonism,” Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Feb. 1885, 4.  “Kate Field’s Hobby,” Salt Lake Herald, 19 Feb. 1885, 4. “Kate Field and Cleveland,” Salt Lake Democrat, 10 Mar. 1886, 2. “The Edmunds Bill,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, 2 May 1886, 7. “Baskin,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, 4 May 1886, 1. “Baskin’s Bombast,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, 16 May 1886, 12. “Mormons Versus Gentiles,” Boston Post, 22 Dec. 1886, 5.

[13] “On Utah Affairs,” Salt Lake Daily Herald, 9 May 1886, 15. “A Word for Mormondom,” Salt Lake Herald, 10 Mar. 1886, 5.

[14] “In Washington,” Salt Daily Lake Herald, 30 May 1886, 12.

[15] “Personals,” Salt Lake Democrat, 24 Feb. 1887, 4. “Kate Field Coming,” Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Mar. 1887, 2. “Miss Kate Field,” Salt Lake Daily Tribune, 20 Apr. 1887, 2. “The Mormon Monster: Kate Field Gives Her Views and Editor Goodwin Talks on the Subject,” National Republican, 7 Apr. 1887.

[16] “Kate Field’s Washington,” Evening Gazette (Sterling, IL), 14 Dec. 1889, 3. To Subscribers to Kate Field’s Washington (Washington DC: n.p., 25 Apr. 1895).

[17] “National Council of Women,” Salt Lake Times, 16 Feb. 1891, 8.

[18] EBW, Diary, 1 Nov. 1891. “Cold as Alaska,” Salt Lake Herald, 1 Nov. 1891, 8. “Our Visitors,” Salt Lake Times, 11 Jan. 1892, 5.

[19] EBW, Diary, 26 May 1893. Mary Kavanaugh Oldham Eagle, The Congress of Women: Held in the Woman’s Building, World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, U.S.A. 1893 (Chicago: Monarch Book, 1894), 77–79.

[20] EBW, Diary, 8 July 1895; 2, 5, 28, 31 Oct. 1895. “Kate Field’s Opinion,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 May 1895, 261. “Kate Field’s Junket,” Logan (UT) Journal, 29 Aug. 1895, 6. “New Champion of Annexation,” Hawaiian Gazette, 24 Sept. 1895, 6; “Kate Field’s Opinion,” Hawaiian Gazette, 24 Sept. 1895, 2.

[21] Honolulu Death Registers, 1876–1903, and Indexes, 1886–1897, p. 24, Kate Field, 19 May 1896, microfilm 1027539, DGS 7579412, image 316/607, FHL. “Death of a Noted American Writer,” Hawaiian Gazette, 22 May 1896, 1.