Harriet Whitney Collins
(1814-1903)

Toledo's First Female Teacher

A member of a Toledo pioneer family, she was born in Oswego, NY and eventually became Toledo's first female teacher.  Harriet Whitney Vocational High School for female students was named in her honor in 1940. The building was razed in 2011.  She married Sanford L. Collins in 1834.  

Her father, Noah Ashley Whitney moved the family west in 1822 via the Canadian Route to Michigan. They first stayed in Monroe for 2 years before moving south to the Toledo area where the family built a log house on today's Delaware Ave. The Whitney family were members of the first Methodist class to meet regularly in Northwest Ohio. Harriet attended schools in Monroe, the Toledo area, and Painesville, OH. At age 16, she taught school in a one-room log schoolhouse where the Toledo's Main Library is now located.

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