Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Women in the Theater


Nellie Brown Pond 1858 ~
Born May 7, 1858, in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her maiden name was Nellie Frank Brown. Mrs. Pond stands in the front rank of the women of America who have made their mark upon the platform. Her father was Doctor Enoch Brown, an eminent physician of Springfield, Massachusetts. The family moved to New York City, where her father died when Mrs. Pond was quite young. Later they became residents of Boston, and it was here that Mrs. Pond's dramatic talent became known when through friends she was induced to become a member of the Park Dramatic Company, and appeared for the first time as Margaret Elmore in "Love's Sacrifice," achieving an immediate success. She remained with the company during that season, her great dramatic talent securing for her extensive popularity, and winning recognition from many prominent professionals. Mrs. Thomas Barry, then leading lady of the Boston Theatre, became greatly interested in her and through her exertions, Mrs. Pond appeared upon the Lyceum platform, and for many years she continued her dramatic readings. In 1880 she became the wife of Ozias W. Pond, of Boston, the well-known manager of musical and literary celebrities.

Ellen Spencer Mussey 1850 ~ 1936
Born at Geneva, Ohio, in 1850. Was the daughter of Piatt R. Spencer, (the author of the Spencerian system of writing,) and Persis Duty Spencer. She read law in the office of her husband. General Mussey, whom she married June 14, 1871. She established the Washington College of Law for Women in 1899. In 1893 she was first admitted to the bar and practiced law even before her husband's death. Was counsel for some of the foreign legations, and several national, patriotic, and labor organizations. She secured the passage of the bill through Congress giving mothers in the District of Columbia the same right to their children as their fathers and giving married women the right to do business and to control their own earnings, and also an appropriation for the first public kindergarten in the District of Columbia. She was one of the founders of the National Red Cross a member of the Legion of Loyal Women, ex-vice-president-general Daughters of the American Revolution, and is now a member of the Board of Education of Washington, District of Columbia.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


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