Regents' Proceedings 302
Intense prejudice against wom en faculty members is blamed by some for an anomalous situation in which one of the country's leading microscopists, important enough to be listed in Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography in 1888 and later in Who's Who in America, was denied official membership on the University's faculty. Since the death recently of Mrs. Louise Reed Sto well, one of Michigan's most dis tinguished woman graduates and teachers, it has been discovered that, during the twelve years of her ten ure on the faculty, she was never ac corded recognition beyond that of Assistant in Microscopical Botany.
Because of the fact that Assistants are not actually members of the teaching faculty their names are not listed in the faculty directory in the Alumni Catalogue of the University. And for that reason Mrs. Stowell, who actually taught classes for many years, often was among the missing when faculty membership was recognized.
Besides being Michigan's first woman teacher, Mrs. Stowell was really the originator of the activity which today is expressed in the Michigan League. In the late '70's she inaugurated meetings of the few women then on the Campus and frequently was hostess to these first co-eds at her home. At a time when women had no place on the Campus where they could rest or meet in groups, she secured permission for the use of a room at the east end of the University Hall main floor corridor and furnished the room with a couch and chairs from her own home. This rest room is being used today by woman students. Agile-minded, a capable scientist, and an admirable personality, she was quick to become an inspiration to the group. Long after she left Ann Arbor in 1889, her name was recalled with reverence and respect by those with whom she had associated.
Louise Marie Reed was born in Grand Blanc, Mich igan, December 23, 1850, the daughter of the distinguished Methodist Minister, Asa Reed, a trustee of Albion College. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in the Class of 1876, one of the first graduating classes in which women were included. The following year she was awarded a Master of Science degree upon examination. In September 1877, she became Assistant in Microscopical Botany, and such she remained officially for twelve years. On July 10, 1878, she was married to Charles Henry Stowell, '72m, who at that time was Instructor in the Physiological Lab oratory and who subsequently became Professor of Histology and Microscopy.
In 1889, Mr. and Mrs. Stowell went to Washington, D. C. where both continued their scientific work, she as a research worker in one of the principal bureaus of the Federal Department of Agriculture, and he as special medical practitioner and editor of a medical journal. While in the Capitol City Mrs. Stowell also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the public schools of the district and, by presidential ap pointment, as Trustee of the Girls Reform School of the District of Columbia. In 1882, she was elected to the Microscopical Society of Eng land and in later years she was admitted to many other scientific or ganizations of national and interna tional importance. Her research and writings and her identification with significant woman's movements brought her prominence and wealth equal to those of her husband. In recent years they had resided in Lowell, Massachusetts, where Dr. Stowell, until his death in September of 1928, was General Manager and Treasurer of the J. C. Ayer Company, manufacturers of medical supplies.
Mrs. Stowell died in Tucson, Arizona, on February 2, shortly after celebrating her eighty-first birthday. In compliance with a request in her will, her remains, as well as those of her husband who had been interred in a cemetery in Lowell, were brought to Ann Arbor for burial in the Beal lot in Forest Hill cemetery.