Meeting Minnie: Crowdsourcing History

Minnie Hill Uniform

Minnie Hill’s uniform

I knew it would be fun to share Minnie Hill’s uniform with everyone. Writing that post became even more exciting as I discovered details about her life. What I didn’t expect, was how many readers would join the search for more about Minnie.

Readers jumped into Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com, and more. Different facts were posted on different platforms, so I’ll gather them together here.

First, readers asked about the uniform’s provenance. They came from the family of Janet McIntyre of Chevy Chase, Maryland. Janet had been an active Girl Scout leader beginning in the 1950s. Like many leaders, she accumulated many, many, GS materials over the years, and troops could borrow items, such as these vintage uniforms, for meetings and ceremonies. Janet passed away in June 2015 (age 94). Her children discovered the uniforms as they prepared to sell the house and contacted the council to inquire about donating. They aren’t sure where or when their mother acquired this uniform–one of many.

Biography

Minnie Mosher Hill was born September 30, 1903, and died August 25, 1988. She never married and lived first with her mother, and later with a sister, Eleanor. After attending college, she initially worked as a secretary in a Washington law firm. She then spent 20 years working at the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.

Her obituary shows Minnie’s interest in history and genealogy. She was an active member of the Colonial Dames Society, serving as regional chairman and on the national board.

Picturing Minnie

Several readers fired up PhotoShop to try to digitally repair our one confirmed image. Not only is the original torn, it is partly stuck to a plastic cover, which makes it difficult to get a clear image to work with. The brownish version is from Mel Squiers, the reddish one from Merena Cadorette.

 

 

Yearbook

But the prize for the best contribution goes to Stan Myles, from my own Service Unit. Several people had suggested looking for Minnie in old copies of the Central High School yearbook, but I haven’t had time to go to the DC Public School Archives.

Stan took the search a step further and discovered that, like his own daughter, Minnie is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park. He sent this page from Minnie’s senior yearbook:

Minnie_Hill_Yearbook

Minnie Hill in the 1925 University of Maryland yearbook

Stan 2017

Historian Stan Miles, without Minnie

I had hoped to take a picture of Stan with Minnie’s uniform at our council’s Back to Troop kickoff last weekend, but I decided against displaying the uniform when I couldn’t arrange appropriate security for it. (The hotel wouldn’t let me build a moat.)

This photo will have to do.

Thank you to everyone who helped tell Minnie’s story!!

Minnie is buried in Washington’s Rock Creek Cemetery.

©2017 Ann Robertson

 

8 thoughts on “Meeting Minnie: Crowdsourcing History

    • When I later read the bio, I got to wondering. Why did she take the job with the Association for the Deaf? Was she inspired to by someone that she knew with a hearing impairment (maybe even Daisy)? or was it simply a good paying office job? Hmmm…

  1. Wonderful treasure including the blue and white felt badges which are extremely rare. Thanks for sharing. Would love to see a closeup of the felt badges.

  2. What an amazing piece of history! It would be great to see it in person.
    The Cultural Resources Conference in Ohio would be a great event to display it at. Put it behind a glass display so no one could touch it. I would be willing to pay a small fee to get my picture made beside it. Then maybe use that fee to go to the cost of preserving it.
    That would be a great highlight to the C.R. Conference.

  3. Ann, I love your posts! As a librarian and Girl Scout Historian I find great satisfaction in the research success of others! Keep the stories coming! I pass many along to my own daughter who is a new Daisy Girl Scout leader and earned her Gold Award in 2000.
    Denise
    Rockford, Illinois

  4. Love the additional info! Thanks so much, everyone, for hunting; and Ann, for sharing with this followup post 🙂 GS + genealogy + local history = win 🙂

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