DR. CARPENTER’S PERSONAL VITA
Janet Louise Carpenter (according to her “Autobiography,” known in her early years as “Jenny Carpenter”) was born in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, on June 28, 1871, the daughter of Sturbridge born and reared parents, Henry Merrit Carpenter and Sophronia Allen (Fuller) Carpenter.
Because of an early almost fatal bout with typhoid fever, “Jenny” did not attend school in Sturbridge, but was tutored by her family at home. However, when in 1880 the family moved to Marengo, Iowa, she entered the public school system at age nine, being placed in the fourth grade for the two months left in that school year. She continued as a fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grader in the Marengo schools.
In June of 1884 her family completed a move from Iowa to Hastings, Nebraska (Jenny’s father had moved to Nebraska in January of that year to secure a house for his family and begin work in his new position). The following Fall “Jenny” (now “Janet”) began life as a Hastings Public School ninth grader. Four years later, in 1889, she graduated from Hastings High School and in the following fall entered Hastings College as a freshman. She graduated with Honors in Greek and English in the Hastings College Class of 1892, receiving a Master of Arts Degree in 1895. During the summers of 1899, 1902, 1913, and 1924 she pursued additional graduate study at the University of Chicago; in 1917 she attended summer school at the University of Washington; and in 1928 at the University of Colorado. Hastings College awarded her the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree in 1942.
Professor Carpenter began her teaching career as an instructor in Latin and Greek at Highland College in Kansas (1895 – 1899), continuing as a professor in the same fields at the Kansas City University from 1899 to 1906. In 1906 she joined the Hastings College faculty as Head of the Department of Greek, acting in that capacity until 1912, when she transferred to the Department of English, which she served as Head until her retirement in 1947. Her schedule at Hastings College included active memberships on many faculty committees as well as a number of years of service on the College Council.
Upon retirement, she moved to Waltham, Massachusetts, where she made her home with a niece, Dr. Alice Carpenter. Her immediate family, in addition to her parents, included two brothers, William and Dr. Allen, and a sister, Nina. Janet Carpenter, who died on January 12, 1969, is buried in the Carpenter family plot in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.