Queer Places:
The Mary Sharp College, 215 S College St, Winchester, TN 37398
947 Troy Ave, Dyersburg, TN 38024
Dyersburg City Cemetery Dyersburg, Dyer County, Tennessee, USA

Larger memorial image loading...Florence Vane Skeffington (November 20, 1870 - March 23, 1922), first woman faculty member and second dean of women at the University of Tennessee from 1900 to 1905 (first was Angie Warren Perkins from 1898 to 1900), graduated from Mary Sharp College, as did many of Franklin County's early teachers. In 1899, President Dabney named Florence Skeffington the first women’s dean at the University of Tennessee to care for the well-being of female students. In 1903, Dean Skeffington reported that the number of women at the University doubled from 1899-1903.

Florence Skeffington was born in Dyersburg, TN, the eldest of the three daughters of John Skeffington and Mary Amelia Lauderdale. Her father, an Irishman by birth, was a captain in the army of the Confederacy, and later a prominent attorney of Memphis. At the time of his death he was Attorney General for the state of Tennessee. She attended the public schools there. In 1887 she received the degree of A. B. from Mary Sharp College and the degree of A. M. in 1889. From 1890-1898 she was a graduate student at the University of Chicago. She was principal of the preparatory department in Judson Institute in 1890-1891; instructor in Methodist Conference Female Institute 1894-6: instructor in Moorehead Minnesota State Normal School 1898-9; and instructor in English and head of Barbara Blount Hall University of Tennessee, 1899. In 1900 she was appointed dean of the woman's department and assistant professor of English at University of Tennessee.

Through her work at the University of Tennessee Skeffington became widely known among the young ladies of Tennessee and the adjoining state, and her services as a lecturer were in great demand. She later held the chair of English at the State Normal School at Charleston, IL.

She was the sister of Jane Seawell Skeffington (died 1955) and Mary Rebecca Skeffington (died 1959), the State Librarian of Tennessee. In the 1940 census, Mary and Jane are living at 947 Troy Ave, Dyersburg, TN 38024, with a cousin, Mae Doyle.

Florence Vane Skeffington died on March 23, 1922, at her home in Dyersburg, TN. Florence, Jane and Mary Skeffington are buried at Dyersburg City Cemetery.

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