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Poet and writer Ella Rhoads Higginson was born in Council Grove, Kansas. Her family relocated to Oregon early in Higginson’s childhood, and she grew up in Portland and Oregon City, attending public school while receiving tutoring from renowned educator S.D. Pope. In 1885 she married Russell C. Higginson. The couple settled in Bellingham, Washington, where they opened a drugstore. During this period Higginson began to publish her poetry and stories in national journals. Higginson played an active role in promoting arts, education, and women’s rights in Bellingham. She helped found the city’s first library and was an honorary member of the Progressive Literary and Fraternal Club, the Bellingham Soroptimists, and the Washington State Federation of Women’s Clubs. Higginson served as campaign manager for Frances C. Axtell, the first woman elected to Washington State’s House of Representatives.

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