photo: Nevada State Museum
in 1824 near Albany, New York, teacher Hannah Clapp arrived in Carson City in
1860 to set up a school.
Within a short time, she started a private co-educational
school called the Sierra Seminary, which as the first legally chartered school
In 1875, Clapp was the successful bidder for the contract to erect
an iron fence around the state capitol.
In 1877, Clapp and co-worker Eliza Babcock
opened Nevada’s first kindergarten in Carson
City. A decade later, Clapp was appointed professor of History and English at
the new University of Nevada in Reno, becoming the first woman faculty member
at the university.
In addition to teaching classes, Clapp also managed the women’s
dormitories and the school library. Clapp was also a dedicated suffragist, working
tirelessly for women’s voting rights for several decades. When she died
in 1908, the Reno Evening Gazette wrote “it is doubtful if any single individual
has had a wider influence in the forming days of Nevada than Miss Clapp.”
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