Guide to the Jane Clarke-Owen Papers, 1869-1926
The Jane Clarke-Owen Papers consist primarily of Dr. Clarke-Owen's letters to her two daughters and other family members, and letters from each daughter to Dr. Clarke-Owen and other individuals. The bulk of the letters were written between 1886 and 1919 and document the domestic lives, financial difficulties, and relationships of the women in the Clarke family. The letters written by Dr. Clarke-Owen document her years as a medical student in Chicago, her struggles in the medical profession, and her domestic life. Therese Clarke's correspondence chronicles her life as a working actress in the early 20th century and her domestic life. The Laura Clarke letters are primarily concerned with domestic and financial matters and her prospects as a sales clerk for various shops and department stores on the east coast. Miscellaneous correspondence includes letters from family members and friends to all three women, and a small selection of the business correspondence of Thaddeus "Tom" Clarke. The collection also includes clippings and programs of the performances of Marguerite Urquhart, the stage name employed by Therese Clarke, and a photograph of Jane Clark-Owen from 1870. Miscellaneous papers in the collection include undated and unaddressed cards, notes, and letters.
The period of 1886 to 1890 is heavily documented by letters written by Jane Clarke-Owen while she was in medical school and corresponding regularly with her daughters. The period of 1901 to 1904 is also heavily documented by the letters sent from Therese and Laura Clarke to Jane Clarke-Owen. There are few letters written by Jane Clarke-Owen after 1901 available in the collection.
- Collection Number
- Jane Clarke-Owen papers
- Clarke-Owen, Jane
- 2.25 Linear Feet, 775 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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How to Cite
[Identification of item], Jane Clarke-Owen Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
The letters found in this Subseries document Jane Clarke-Owen's life from 1869-1914.The bulk of this Subseries consists of the letters from Jane Clarke-Owen to her two daughters, written while a student at Women's Medical College in Chicago between 1886-1889. Her descriptions of her lectures, clinical routines, and professors provide a vivid picture of her life as a medical student. She also routinely discusses family business and her social life in Chicago during this period. Her later correspondence discusses family business, financial matters, and her struggles in the medical profession. The collection also includes Clarke-Owen's letters to her mother, Marie Furlong, from the period of her life prior to attending medical school; letters to her sister in law, Mary Parks; and early letters to her first husband, Thaddeus Clarke.
The letters from Therese Clarke found in this collection were written primarily to Jane Clarke-Owen between 1893 and 1912. The bulk of the letters were written between 1900 and 1905, while she was working as an actress and traveling with various stock companies in the south and midwest. Therese Clarke often signed these letters using her stage name, Marguerite Urquhart. In her letters, she discusses her job prospects, living arrangements, and financial difficulties. She also often discusses the actors and actress with whom she is working, making specific references to such noted actors as Edwin Booth, Anne Sutherland, Richard Mansfield, Mrs. Fiske, Eleanora Duse, Sir Henry Irving, and Erroll Dunbar. She discusses similar matters in the letters to her sister from this same period. The collection also includes a small number of her letters to her husband, Will Dougherty, written in 1919.
The Laura Clarke Correspondence Subseries spans the period form 1893 to 1912. The primary recipient of these letters was her mother, but the collection also includes letters to her sister from 1904 and a small collection of correspondence with other individuals. In her letters she discusses family matters, social relations, job prospects, and work life. She often expresses concern for her mother's health and financial situation.
The Miscellaneous Correspondence Subseries includes letters from Dr. Jane Clarke-Owen's relatives of and other individuals to Dr. Clarke-Owen, Therese Clarke, and Laura Clarke. Also included is a small sample of business correspondence relating to the lumber industry and addressed to Thaddeus Clarke.
The Clippings Series includes assorted newspaper clippings for plays in which Therese Clarke performed. These chiefly undated clippings refer to her under her stage name of Maguerite Urquhart. Also included in this series are two programs for performances at the Harmeling Opera House of "The Vendetta" and "What Happened to Brown," and featuring Marguerite Urquhart in supporting roles
The miscellaneous papers included in this collection consist of undated and unaddressed correspondence, greeting cards, wedding invitations, and other printed ephemera. Also included in this series is a broadside advertising Dr. Jane Clarke-Owen's convalescent home and a letter to Clarke-Owen's mother, Dr. Marie Furlong, from the superintendent of the National Cemetery in Marrieta, Georgia discussing the upkeep of her son's grave. A single of photograph taken of Jane Clarke-Owen at the age of sixteen is included in this series..
This box includes a small amount of correspondence (Acc. 2011-0153) from "Jennie," believed to be a nickname of either Jane or her sister, written to Marie J. Parks, MD. These letters were written while Jennie was a student at Steubenville Academy from March 1871 through December 1872. Additional information about this portion of the collection is available in Box 4.
Born in Warsaw Indiana
Married to Thaddeus L. "Tom" Clarke
Birth of daughter, Laura Clarke
Birth of daughter, Therese Clarke
Divorced from Thaddeus Clarke
Attended Women's Medical College in Chicago
Begins medical practice in Boston.
Thereses Clarke marries Will Dougherty
Dr. Jane Clarke-Owen was born in 1854 in Warsaw, Indiana, where her mother, Dr. Marie Parks Furlong, practiced medicine. She married Thaddeus L. "Tom" Clarke in 1875 and had two daughters with him, Laura (b. 1877) and Therese (b. 1878). After divorcing her husband in 1884, she enrolled at Women's Medical College in Chicago. She studied there from 1885 to 1889. She lived apart from her daughters for much of her schooling and early career. After 1890, Clarke-Owen practiced medicine in Boston and elsewhere on the east coast. In order to support herself and her daughters, she also took on various odd jobs, including writing, working for Charles Hughes's presidential campaign, and operating a convalescent home. She was married briefly for a second time to a railroad worker named Ole Owen. She died in 1917.
Laura Clarke, Dr. Clarke-Owen's oldest daughter, lived on and off with her mother while she worked as a book canvasser, department store products demonstrator, and shop assistant in Boston, Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington D.C. Therese Clarke became an actress under the stage name Maguerite Urquhart and toured with various stock companies in the south and midwest. In 1904 she married a fellow actor, Will Dougherty, known on the stage as William H. Dupont, and converted to Roman Catholicism. She had two sons with Dougherty, Richard and Edwin, before their marriage ended.
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Processed and encoded by Don Sechler
Completed June 3, 1998
Updated with Acc. 2011-0153 by Meghan Lyon, October 2011
The collection was purchased by the Duke University David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library from Carmen Valentino in 1998. Acc. 2011-0153 was donated in 2011.