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Sophronia Abbe Kilbourn

Other Name:
Sophronia Abbe
January 20, 1811
March 1881
Home Town:
East Windsor, CT
Later Residences:
Richmond, VA
Lebanon, TN
Myron Kilbourn (December 23, 1829)
Biographical Notes:
Sophronia Abbe attended the Litchfield Female Academy in 1829. Born in 1811 to John Simmons Abbe and Hannah Billing, Sophronia followed in the footsetps of her sister Harriet and after completing her studies at the Litchfield Female Academy pursued a career as a teacher. She taught at her sister's school in Richmond, Virginia and at the Abbe Female Institute in Lebanon, TN, which she established with her sisters Harriet Abbe and Anne Abbe Rutland. In 1829 she married Myron Kilbourn (originally of Litchfield, Connecticut) in Virginia and the couple had four children. Following the death of Myron Kilbourn, Sophronia's sister Harriet wrote a letter to Myron's brother lamenting that her sister was unable to care for her children. Sophronia died of pneumonia in Springfield, MA in 1881.
Additional Notes:
The Abbe-Abbey genealogy indicates that Sophronia married Myron Kilbourn in Maysville, Buckingham County, TN. There is no Maysville or Buckingham County in TN, but a newspaper advertisement indicates that Sophronia was teaching in a town called Maysville in Buckingham County VA in 1830.

Years at LFA:

Profession / Service

help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
1829 Litchfield Female Academy Winter Session Catalogue (Vanderpoel, Emily Noyes. Chronicles of A Pioneer School From 1792 to 1833. Cambridge, MA: The University Press, 1903).

1829 Litchfield Female Academy Summer Session Catalogue (Vanderpoel, Emily Noyes. Chronicles of A Pioneer School From 1792 to 1833. Cambridge, MA: The University Press, 1903).
Secondary Sources:
Dixon Merritt, ed. The History of Wilson County. Lebanon, TN: The Tennessee Historical Commission, 1961.

Abbe, Cleveland and Josephine Genung Nichols. Abbe - Abbey Genealogy: In Memory of John Abbe and His Descendants. New Haven, CT: The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1916.

Richmond Enquirer "Female Education" December 21, 1830, p. 4.

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