Faculty image Sarah C Angell First Lady University of Michigan


In Memoriam


Sarah Swoope Caswell Angell


Born in Providence, R. I., July 24, 1831

Died in Ann Arbor, Mich., December 17, 1903




     Mrs. Angell Died of bronchial pneumonia, after a brief illness, on Dec. 17, 1903.

     On December 19 the funeral service was held in the President’s House.

     On January 17, 1904, at 4 o’clock p.m., public memorial service was held in the Congregational Church.  The music was provided by Professor A. A. Stanley at the organ and a quartette of singers.  Mr. Howland, Mr. Moellering, Mr. Hastreiter and Mrs. Kempf.  They give the following pieces, of which Mrs. Angell was known to be very fond:


Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar.”  The hymn beginning

         “There’s a wideness in Bod’s mercy like the wideness of the sea.”


Mrs. Kempf sang as a solo---


         “The Lord is mindful of his own, he remembers his children.”


     The pastor, Rev. C. S. Patton, read the twenty-third psalm and offered prayer.  The addresses, which follow were given by Professor M. L. D’Ooge and by the pastor.





Address of Professor D’Ooge


     To commemorate the life of a beloved friend is a great privilege; and when that life has been conspicuous for its service to many and varied interests, and is gratefully remembered not only by those who have been intimately associated with it, but also by multitudes of others who have enjoyed its benign influence, the privilege becomes also a duty.

     In the enjoyment of such a privilege and in the discharge of such a duty we commemorate today the life of Mrs. James B. Angell, who entered into rest December 17, 1903.

     Sarah Swoope Caswell Angell came of distinguished ancestry.  She was the only daughter of the Rev. Dr. Alexis Caswell, eminent as a clergyman in the Baptist Church and as President of Brown University, and of Esther Lois Thomp0son, who was the daughter of a prominent man of business in Providence, Rhode Island.  On her father’s side she was a lineal descendant from Peregrine White, who was the first child born in the Plymouth Colony of Massachusetts.  On her mother’s side she traced her ancestry to the Rev. Ebenezer Thompson, who was the first missionary sent to Massachusetts by the English “Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts,” and who settled at Scituate.  Her maternal grandmother was the daughter of Colonel Michael Swoope, of York, Pennsylvania, who commanded a regiment in the revolutionary war.

     The child of such an ancestry was likely to become a colonial Dame and a Daughter of the Revolution, and to be through all her life intensely interested in all efforts to promote the work of foreign missions.

     At the time of Mrs. Angell’s birth her father was Professor of Mathematics in Brown University, of which institution later he became the honored President.  Her entire life was destined to be spent in college circles.

     The paternal home in Providence was proverbially hospitable.  At its genial hearth were entertained many distinguished guests, among whom foreign missionaries were especially made welcome.  We can easily imagine the bright young girl listening with rapt attention to the story of the trials and triumphs of that famous missionary of the Gospel, Adoniram Judson, who was a frequent guest at the Caswell home.

     When she was but eighteen years old, Mr. Angell lost her mother.  The duties of hostess now were laid upon the only daughter, and in her father’s home began that experience in social life for which she had so much aptitude, and in which she displayed such remarkable talent.

    During her youth Mr. Angell enjoyed the best advantages for education afforded by the private schools of Providence, her native city, and she was especially fortunate in being the pupil of Professor George S. Greens, a noted scholar in French and Italian, and of Professor Henry S. Frieze, still so affectionately remembered in this community, who gave her lessons in music.  In her twenty-fourth year she became the wife of James B. Angell, who was then Professor of Modern Languages in Brown University.  Now began that career of beautiful service for which Mrs. Angell was so eminently fitted by grace of native endowment.  When her husband became the President of the University of Vermont, in 1866, larger opportunities for usefulness opened before her, upon which she entered with characteristic tact and devotion.

    The University at Burlington had suffered severely from the results of the civil war.  There was need to great wisdom, patience and enthusiasm in order to infuse new life into this school of learning.  In this work the new President was ably seconded by his wife, who succeeded in forming intimate relations between the university and the people of the city and the state.  After six years of happy and successful service in the University of Vermont, President and Mr. Angell came to Ann Arbor to take up the great work that was awaiting them in the University of Michigan.  Here for thirty-two years they have lived and worked side by side, each supplementing the other, in the service of this Commonwealth and of this community.

     The value of that service we shall not attempt to estimate; it cannot be measured by any words of praise and eulogy.  Into all the activities of the life of the university, in circles of students and faculties alike, Mrs. Angell entered with hearty interest.  No social assembly was complete without the grace of her presence.  No interest of the student community was alien to her thoughts.  Here, as elsewhere, her sympathies knew no bounds.  To the Woman’s League as well as to the smaller and closer circle of the College Sorosis she gave her counsel and lent her aid freely.  To cheer the path of some friendless student, or to comfort and aid any member of the college community, was her delight.  The home of the President of the university was the center of the social life of the college community.  The hospitality of its gracious hostess was without stint. Here, as in Burlington, Mrs. Angell was instrumental in bringing the university in closer touch with the community and with the state.

     But the activities of her abounding life and the generous sympathies of her large-hearted nature were by no means confined to her distinctive sphere as the wife of the President of the university. She belonged to the community, in which she dwelt, and to the church in which she worshiped, and to all the world, of which she deemed herself a part.  Yet in every field of her work and every sphere of her influence she was the womanly woman first and last, claiming no place that did not belong to her by common consent, and seeking to enter into no position and to put forth no effort that seemed to her unwomanly and unwise.  

     While Mrs. Angell was interested in every cause and effort that promised to be beneficial to the community, all patriotic and national causes were especially close to her heart.  She allied herself early with the organization known as the “Daughters of the Revolution.”  She was the leading spirit in the founding of the local chapter of this society and became its Regent, a position, which she held until 1902, when, at her own request, she was relieved from the duties of this office.  The chapter honored her by making her Emeritus Regent.  Through her influence the local chapter undertook the study of the American Revolution and of the early history of Michigan. 

     Her wide acquaintance with persons of distinction, her interest in all that pertains to education, as well as her devotion to the well being of her country, singled her out as one of the most efficient members of the Women’s Board of the Columbian Exposition at Chicago.  As a member of the Executive Committee and of the Committee on Ceremonial, and as chairman of the Committee on the Classification of Exhibits, she discharged the duties of her position with great wisdom and kindness.

     Her interest in the Ladies’ Library Association of this city and in the musical organizations of the university was deep and abiding.  Her love of music was attested by her membership in a musical club, and induced her on the last evening that she spent away from her home to attend a concert of the School of Music, to enjoy the harmonies of Beethoven, - a prelude, as it proved to be, to the diviner harmonies that were so soon to greet her in the mansions of eternal blessedness.

     And now we touch the chord that vibrates through her entire life and character, and that is most fundamental.  Mrs. Angell was a thoroughly religious woman.  From early youth she sought to guide her life by the teachings of the Divine Savior, and she cherished genuine faith in God.  In early life she united with the church of her parents in Providence.  It was characteristic of her that she never would sever that sacred tie, and yet that she entered into the life and work of the church with which her husband was associated with all the ardor and devotion of its most faithful member.  To this household of faith she belonged in all but name during these many years.  Can any one of us in this church ever forget her helpful ministries:  With open hand and generous heart she stood ever ready to increase the benevolent work of this people.   Her home was the centre of many an effort to further the work of this church.  In the Sunday school she was for many years the teacher of a class of young women. In the days of her health and strength she was rarely absent from the prayer-circle and from the regular service on Sunday.  In all the social life of the church she participated freely, and met on equal terms the humblest in a spirit of Christian fellowship and union.  But to none of the activities of the church did she give herself so generously and earnestly as to the work of foreign missions. Her early association with missionaries in her father’s home had kindled a flame that burned bright through all her life.  And so the Ann Arbor home renewed the experience of the old Providence home, and its hospitable roof sheltered many a missionary who had returned for a brief period of rest and refreshment after years of toil and hardship.

     Soon after coming to Ann Arbor Mrs. Angell identified herself with the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of this church.  For twenty-six years she was its President, and office, which she held until her death.  The Michigan branch of the Woman’s Board of the Interior made her their President in 1884, and when seven years later she felt obliged, on account of failing strength, to resign this post, she was made Emeritus.  Meantime she had also served as Vice-President of the National Woman’s Board of Missions of the Congregational Churches.

     Her words of counsel and her fervent prayers can never be forgotten by that little band of women in the church who during all these years looked up to her as their leader in this great work, and evermore shall live in their memory those prayerful words of admonition spoken by her at their last meeting together:  “Let not the uplift of this meeting be in vain, dear friends.”

     How fitting it seemed that such a woman as she should be the wife and companion of the man who was charged with the high duties of Minister to the Courts of China and Turkey, the two nations among whom the work of the American Board of Foreign Missions has been especially important. And what a delight it must have been to the men and women who had given their lives to the work of bringing the blessings of a Christian civilization to those that “sit in darkness and in the shadow of death” to have among them one who, though occupying high official station, was glad to associate with them without any air of condescension, and to cheer and to encourage them in their difficult and self-denying work! But not alone to the missionaries was the presence of Mrs. Angell in Peking and Constantinople a source of pleasure and comport.  In the circles of diplomatic and court society Mrs. Angell fulfilled the duties of her station with grace and wisdom, dispensing delightful hospitality, and promoting the happiness of all with whom her lot was cast. 

     Great as was Mrs. Angell’s service in all these walks of public and social life, still greater and more precious were the ministries of her life in her own home and to those who were nearest and dearest. For her home was the true centre of her life, and all the activities of her beneficent service were inspired and strengthened by its peaceful and happy atmosphere.  From that blessed centre she dispensed those 
“sweet charities that sooth and heal and bless,” and here were nurtured those motives and desires that made her life so fruitful of good to others.

     The memory of our beloved friend shall long abide, inspiring us with the purpose to follow in her footsteps and to strive to reach with her.


                  “That purest heaven; be to other souls

                   The cup of strength in some great agony;

                   Enkindle generous ardor; feed pure love;

                   Beget the smiles that have no cruelty-

                   Be the sweet presence of a good diffused-

                   And in diffusion ever more intense;

                   So shall we join the choir invisible

                   Whose music is the gladness of the world.”


     As we contemplate this life so complete, so joyous, so beneficent, we get a larger view of the meaning and worth of this human life of ours, when it is nobly lived, and of its divine possibilities in the never-ending ages of eternity.


                 “Beautiful life is that whose span

                  Is spent in duty to God and man,

                  Forgetting self, in all that it can,

                  Beautiful calm when the course is run,

                  Beautiful twilight at set of sun-

                  Beautiful death with a life well done.”




Address of Rev. C. S. Patton


     It is given to very few people to live a life, so long, so closely, and in such varied and gracious ways, identified with the life of any community, as was the life of Mrs. Angell with that of this city.  All of us know, better than anyone can tell us, and better than we can put it into words, the rare charm and power of her character.  And yet it is fitting that here, at the close of her life among us, we should express in words simple and true, although inadequate, our common appreciation of her life, and our common sorrow at its termination.

     If we were to specify a single trait in the life of Mrs. Angell that might serve as a key to the rest of her character, we should say it was a certain conspicuous largeness of soul, that forbade her doing anything in a small or half-hearted way, and made her life a very strong, free and noble one.  Nobody ever had wider interests, or sympathies that took in a larger section of God’s good world.  She was one of the few people who have thoroughly proved the truth of the saying of the Lord, that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Her substance, her sympathy, and her time were always at the disposal of all persons and causes that had the slightest claim upon them. No single movement for the betterment of life in this community can be named in which she did not have a large share. No day passed in which she did not do some little unobtrusive kindness.  How many hundreds of men and women, - college students, home and foreign missionaries, travelers, diplomats, neighbors, strangers, - will rise up out of the ends of the earth to bless the memory of her goodness to them.  All this, - her hospitality to all sorts and conditions of people almost without limit; her interest, keen from the beginning, and sustained to the end, in every kind of missionary, philanthropic and charitable enterprise, near at home or far away, - bespeak the heart too large to live within itself and the nature with affinities for all things noble and good.

     It is but another aspect of this largeness of Mrs. Angell’s nature, that she possessed so many qualities seldom united in one character. She delighted in beauty and in joy, and loved the companionship of cheerful and brilliant persons, and yet she had a truly earnest and serious nature.  She was interested in questions of the day and hour, but equally interested in questions that lie beyond the scope of sense and time.  She was at home with persons of worldwide reputation, and yet her interest in the plainest and humblest people was too sincere to have even a tinge of condescension in it.  Her heart went out to people in distant lands, but it also staid at home with the family and friends.  She loved the manifold activities of social life, yet nothing was quite so dear to her heart as the missionary society of which she was President for twenty-six years. And all these qualities, patent to all of us who knew her, made her useful and honored and beloved in a very unusual degree.  No such life as this could come to an end, at any time, without the hearts of hundreds of people being saddened.

     And yet as we look back now over her life, does there not sound out above the sadness of the present moment, a stong note of rejoicing and triumph for a life so well and beautifully lived?  If any human life is worth living, is it not such a life as this? God made her heart large; did He no also fill it, year after year, with the best and most enduring satisfactions that any of us can have:  She lived her life with and for those who loved her and whom she loved.  She found her joy in the affection of her family and friends, in the love of her husband and he children, and in the service of her Master.  She saw her family come to usefulness and honor, and the interest dear to her heart prosper in the world.  And as she gave of her kindness and sympathy and love God gave her more to give.  And at the last, in the full enjoyment of her powers surrounded still by those with whom her life ha been spent, in the possession of a simple faith in God her Father and a blessed assurance of the life to come, without pain and without regret, - God took her to Himself.  Can any of us ask anything more than this?  Death is no calamity in such a life.  It is the opening of the door into the larger, better life of the Spirit.  God make us to appreciate the gift.  He gave us in the life of this noble woman, until the grief that we feel for her death shall give way in our hearts before the gratitude we feel for her life, and her memory become a benediction to our souls.


                 “A worthy woman who can find?

                  For her price is far above rubies.

                  The heart of her husband trusteth in her;

                  She doeth him good and evil

                  All the days of her life. * * * 

                  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor;

                  Yes, she reacheth forth her hand to the needy.

                  She is not afraid of the snow for her household;

                  For all her household are clothed with scarlet.

                  She maketh for herself carpets of tapestry;

                  Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

                  Her husband is known in gates,

                  When he sitteth among the elders of the land. * * *

                  Strength and dignity are her clothing

                  And she laugheth at the time to come.

                  She openeth her mouth with wisdom;

                  And the law of kindness is on her tongue.

                  She looketh well to the ways of her household.

                  And eateth not the bread of idleness.

                  Her children rise up and call her blessed;

                  Herhusband also, and he praiseth her, saying:

                  ‘Mayn daughters have done worthily,

                  But thou excellest them all.’

                  Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vail;

                  But a woman that feareth the Lord, 

                                                            she shall be praised.

                  Give her of the fruit of her hands,

                  And let her own works praise her in the gates.” *


*Taken from the thirty-first chapter of the Book of Proverbs, American Revised Version.




Memorial and Resolutions 

Adopted by Various Organizations




Memorial of the University Senate


To the President of the University

Dear President Angell:

     The Senate of the University beg to express to you and to your family their profound sympathy in your bereavement and their own sense of personal loss in the death of Mrs. Angell, and to place on record their appreciation of the inestimable value of her great services to all interests of the University during all these years of your administration.

     We recall with grateful feeling her innumerable deeds of kindness, her gracious hospitality, her wisdom and tact in the discharge of the delicate duties incident to the high station she occupied, her devotion to the welfare and happiness of the students and the members of the Faculties, her varied and beneficent activities in the life of this community her wide influence over the students of the University inspiring to loftier ideals and nobler living, her gentle ministrations to the afflicted and distressed, and her broad and generous sympathies with all efforts to foster whatever is true and beautiful and good in life and character.

     In gratefully recognizing all that she has been to us and all that she has done for the University, we are deeply conscious that she has contributed more than can be told to make your administration so eminently wise, happy and successful, and that however great our loss, to you the loss of her companionship and counsel is immeasurably greater.  While we sincerely and deeply mourn with you her death, we also rejoice with you in the sacred and sweet memories of her life so nobly lived and so peacefully closed, gladly believing.


                  “That, doubtless, unto her is given

                  A life that bears immortal fruit

                  In those great offices that suit

                  The full-grown energies of Heaven.”




Resolutions of the University Musical Society


     Whereas, We meet in the shadow of a great affliction, as a part of a sorrowing community; be it

     Resolved, that in the death of Sarah Caswell Angell the University Musical Society has suffered a serious loss as an organization, only surpassed by the grief felt by each individual member, that one so dear has passed from sight forever.

     A woman, whose intellectual strength was felt by all who had occasion to come in contact with her; whose tender sympathies were displayed in her many public and private relations; and, above all, a woman who exemplified they highest qualities of the noblest womanhood, has gone.  But her memory will be with us and the power of her example will never cease.

     “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away,” and we, acknowledging the supremacy and justice of the Almighty, bless Him that she lived and loved, and has entered into the reward of the faithful.

     To our revered and beloved colleague, the companion of her joys and sorrows for many years; to the sorrowing family, the immediate relatives and the wide circle of her friends, we offer the sympathy of a mutual grief, and invoke for them the consolation from Heaven that can alone comfort the sorrowing heart.  Be it further

     Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to the family, that they be spread on our records, and that a copy be furnished the public press.


                              P.R. De Pont                                                                      Harry B.Hutchins

                                      Acting Secretary                                                                       VicePresident





Resolutions of the Ann Arbor Chapter of the

Daughters of the American Revolution


     Whereas, In the providence of God, our founder and friend, Mrs. Sarah Caswell Angell, has been called through the gateway of death into immortal life, therefore

     Resolved, That the Ann Arbor Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution hereby expresses its sense of irreparable loss in the absence of her counsel and fellowship and records its indebtedness to her as Founder, Regent, Regent Emeritus and member of the State Executive Board; that we cherish the memory of her unflagging interest in the patriotic work of the chapter, of the wisdom of her advice, the quickness of her sympathy, the inspiration and good cheer of her presence, and of her generous hospitality.

     We have recognized in her that largeness of heart, which is one of God’s rarest gifts, that clearness of intellect, which is won only by communion with the world’s master minds, that nobility of sour born of obedience to the Heavenly vision.

     We rejoice that her life was rich in opportunities for influence, that she knew the joy of love, of abounding service of worldwide sympathies.

     Resolved, That we bow in submission under this great bereavement, being sure that for her “to die is gain,” that she has but left the “outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea,” and safe from the weakness and weariness of advancing years, with the joy of a grand freed spirit will go from strength to strength in the native land of the ransomed soul.

     Resolved, that this chapter extends to our honored and beloved President Angell and the entire family circle, its tenderest sympathy, and that a copy of these resolutions be sent to them.

     Resolved, That as a tribute to the memory of the nobel dead, we petition the National Chapter of this organization to change our name to “The Sarah Caswell Angell Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.”

    Resolved, that our charter, library and insignia be draped in mourning for ninety days.


                                                                                                                                               Ellen Soule Carhart,

                                                                                                                                               Huldah Loomis Richards,

                                                                                                                                               Minnie Kellogg Brown,





Memorial of the Collegiate Sorosis


     In the death of Mrs. Sarah Caswell Angell, which occurred on the 17thof December 1903, Collegiate Sorosis has suffered the greatest loss that has befallen her.  Mrs. Angell became an Associate member of Collegiate Sorosis in the fall of 1886 and from that time until the day of her death she gave her help and encouragement to the society most loyally.  In the qualities for which she was most notably distinguished Collegiate Sorosis enjoyed especial advantage, for her gracious and ample hospitality included all those who had the least claim upon her, and her ever youthful spirit and fresh interest in all young life around her bound her to the members of the society by ties of unusual closeness.  She gave herself unstintedly to the life about her, and her official and personal cares, which were always exacting and must often have been burdensome, were never so great that she was not ready to turn to the lesser details of a college girl’s life with that ready sympathy which was her grace and charm. Our loss cannot be made good to us; as long as Collegiate Sorosis lives, will live also the memory of her buoyant spirit, her large-hearted kindness, her gracious womanhood – an uplift and an inspiration to us all.





Resolutions of the Ladies’ Organizations of the

Congregational Church of Ann Arbor


     Whereas, By Divine will our friend and counselor, Mrs. Sarah Caswell Angell, has been called to her Eternal home, therefore

     Resolved, That in her departure, we, the members of the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society, together with the other ladies’ organizations of the Congregational church at Ann arbor, feel that we have lost a most earnest and efficient leader and laborer in our benevolent and charitable work, to which her generous and devoted heart at all times responded in obedience to the mandate of her Lord and Master.

     That her untiring devotion to the sacred cause of foreign missions which has been witnessed by our members during this long period of years, has awakened the desire to carry forward the work, not lessening the amount contributed each year while she was with us.  We wish this to be our tribute to her memory, and the evidence that she still lives in our hearts.  We also desire that this effort may be shared by every woman of our church as a partial commemoration of her commendable devotion to the worldwide work of missions.

     Our deep sorrow, and our sense of loss and bereavement lead us to ask our honored President Angell, and the other members of her family, to accept our tenderest sympathy, while we rejoice with them in the triumph of her exemplary Christian life.

     Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be transmitted to her family; also that the same be spread upon the records of the society.


                                                                                                                                                 Mrs. Robert Campbell,

                                                                                                                                                 Mrs. Elizabeth B. Hawley,

                                                                                                                                                 Mrs. Celia B. Gillette.





Resolutions of the Students of the Law Department

     Whereas, After a long life of usefulness and philanthropy which has been a blessing and an inspiration to the students of our University, an Allwise Providence has been pleased to call Mrs. Sarah Caswell Angell to enter upon that higher life toward which her pure spirit and exalted character have ever tended,

     Resolved, That the students of the Law Department of the University of Michigan hereby extend to President Angell, the family and friends, their sincere and profound sympathy.

     Resolvedalso, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to President Angell and that they be published in the newspapers of the city.


                                        C. N. Boord,                      D. F. Carson,                       E. D. Wooley

                                        H. M. Findley,                   A. G. Aigler,                          E. A. Willis,

                                       John Trauax, ’04               W. S. Nash, ’05                    C. L. Dibble, ‘06






     Letters of appreciation and sympathy were sent by the Louisa St. Clair Chapter (Detroit) of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Rhode Island Society and the Michigan Society of Colonial Dames, the Michigan State Teachers’ Association, the Woman’s Auxiliary of the Young Men’s Christian Association, and the Ladies’ Library Association of Ann Arbor.

     From the many tributes to her worth and influence, which appeared in newspapers and magazines, we select the following:




From the Detroit Free Press


     The announcement of the death of Mrs. James B. Angell has brought a sense of deep personal bereavement to hundreds of students at the University of Michigan and thousands of its alumni.  During the three decades in which Dr. Angell has been at the head of the university, Mrs. Angell was the leader of its social life, a position which demanded dignity, graciousness and infinite tact.  Her influence was not so obvious as that of her distinguished husband; but while it differed in kind, it is by no means certain that it differed in degree.  In a co-educational institution of learning the influence exerted by a woman like Mrs. Angell cannot easily be over-estimated.  In no respect did she fall short of meeting the exacting requirements of her position, and proving herself a representative of the highest type of educated American womanhood neglecting no duties, shirking no responsibilities, and rendering a faithful account of her stewardship.  It never occurs to such women that they need to appeal to a legislature to create a “sphere” in which they may display their usefulness.  They always manage to find plenty of work for their minds and their hands to do without an expansion of opportunity by means of a legislative enactment.  Whether her husband was acting as college instructor, or a newspaper editor, or a university president, or a diplomatist, Mrs. Angell was his faithful companion, trusted counselor and indefatigable assistant. In the great loss which has come to him in his advancing years, he will have the heartfelt sympathy not only of those who have been brought into personal contact with him, but of the people of the entire state, who have never failed in showing their respect and devotion to the venerable president of their great university.




From the Detroit Journal


     A severe loss to the University of Michigan, as well as a deep personal bereavement to her many hundreds of friends, is the death of Mrs. James B. Angell.  Peculiarly endowed with gifts that qualified her for the work which she was destined to perform, Mrs. Angell leaves behind her a record of a life well lived, duties well done and obligations well discharged.  Brilliantly educated and gifted with tact and graciousness, Mrs. Angell has in the third of a century in which the family has lived in Ann Arbor won a place in the minds and hearts of the people of Michigan.  No man or woman has gone forth from the well-remembered college halls of Ann Arbor that does not cherish a memory of Mrs. Angell, gracious, democratic and sympathetic.  Her work in her church and her tireless exertions in the cause of the young women matriculated in the university has well filled up the days of this strong and industrious woman.  In the history of Mrs. Angell one finds all that is best, all that is inspiring, all that is worth while, all that is the unwritten duty and responsibility of the highest type of cultured American womanhood.  To her children and to posterity she has left a rich heritage in her good works. 




From the School of Music Record


     In view of the intimate mutual relations of the educational interest of Ann Arbor we cannot forbear to dwell upon the great loss sustained by the School of Music in her death.  A noble woman, whose sympathies reached out in every direction, whose aid no worthy cause ever invoked in vain, whose influence was unique in its comprehensiveness; her intellectual grasp, her power of administration, her social graces, were equaled by her appreciation of and love for art in all forms.  Especially was she attuned to music, and no one ever looked upon her radiant face when listening to the music of the masters she loved without gaining inspiration. Her interest in the work of the school was deep and intense, and practically shown by her constant attendance and evident enjoyment of all styles.  She was, however, especially fond of Beethoven, and we will all of us see more to enjoy in the noble Kreutzer sonata, when we realize that she braved the elements that bitterly cold December night the week before she died that she might not miss its performance.  When we think of the face of the sainted Dr. Frieze, the sympathetic, finely chiseled features of Prof. Morris, and now of the one who has joined them, may we not feel that our work has been hallowed by their interest in it, and resolve that their memory shall be to us not alone an inspiration and a joy, but an incentive to renewed effort to realize worthy ideals.




     On December seventeenth there passed away from us a gentle woman whose life here, for almost a third of a century, has been a continuous benefaction.

     She would be the first to disapprove now of mere eulogy, but her genuine and innate sympathy would respond to any graceful and sincere expression of respect.

     This is not the place in which to speak at length of her life of generous service; hundreds will bear – as hundreds have borne – their testimony to that life; we but briefly note the gratitude of all who have known her for the example of a long life well spent, and their deep sense of bereavement in its earthly ending.

     Endowed by nature with lofty qualities of heart and mind, she was eminently fitted for the responsibilities and opportunities of her position.  With simple and gracious dignity she used hospitality, with unfeigned and generous sympathy she shared the sorrows and joys of all, with rare tact she checked the growth of anything like envy; no word of unkind criticism even passed her lips, but with native charity for human weakness she yet showed forth in her own life and speech the positive virtues of Christian womanhood.




From the Owosso Press-America


     The announcement of the death of Mrs. James B. Angell at Ann Arbor caused deep sorrow and sincere regret not only among students of the University and the citizens of Ann Arbor but among the thousands of alumni of the institution.  During the thirty years in which Dr. Angell has been president of Michigan’s great university, his estimable wife has discharged the duties attendant upon the president of a co-educational institution with great ability and consummate tact.  The social exactions of her position were many and she faithfully performed her full duty.  The sincere sympathy of thousands other than the students, present and past, of the University of Michigan is extended to the beloved and venerable president of the university in his great sorrow.

U of M Libraries | Millennium Project | Contact Us