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Biography of Mary Pierce Van Zile

Mary Pierce Van Zile. A very important member of the faculty of the Kansas State Agricultural College is Mrs. Mary Pierce Van Zile, dean of women and dean of the division of home economics. Her name is a household word in many widely separated homes, for each year Mrs. Van Zile has under her immediate care and instruction from 800 to 900 girls. They come from many environments and are mostly in the most receptive period of their lives, and the influence exerted by Dean Van Zile largely moulds their future. Mary Pierce Van Zile was born on her father’s homestead, near Solomon, in Dickinson County, Kansas, February 7, 1873, and is a daughter of Lyman B. and Lea A. (Bandy) Pierce. The father was a native of Vermont and came of sterling New England stock. The mother was born in Indiana of equally excellent people and pioneer settlers. Lyman B. Pierce served as a soldier during the Civil war, in the Union army, for four years and three months, and shortly after its close pre-empted a homestead in Dickinson County, Kansas. After proving upon that land he removed to Henry County, Iowa, settling at Winfield, where he has since resided, devoting his active years largely to the manufacture of tiling, brick and sewer piping. He can look back over eighty years of a well-spent life. At Winfield, Iowa, Mary Pierce spent her childhood and young womanhood. Her early education was received in the public schools of Winfield, and the years of 1889-91 were spent as a student in the Kansas State Agricultural College although she did not remain...

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