Thursday, March 09, 2006

Eleanor Franzen Churchill

Eleanor Franzen Churchill, co-founder of Churchill Weavers, was born in 1888 in Worthinton, Minnesota. After graduating from Wellesley College, she served as a missionary in India where she met and married her husband, David Carroll Churchill. They worked in India until the outbreak of World War I when they moved to Oberlin, Ohio, her husband's boyhood home.

In 1920 the Churchills moved to Berea after Berea College president Dr. William J. Hutchins asked David to teach physics and set up an industrial technology department. D. C. Churchill and Hutchins had been childhood friends.

After David had taught for two years, the Churchills launched Churchill Weavers in 1922, using local labor and looms built by David. He provided the technical expertise for the weaving enterprise. Eleanor provided the designs. Learning to weave after the founding of the busienss, she bodly combined textures and colors in new ways. Churchill Weavers contributed greatly over the years to the economic and artistic life of the Berea area and became a nationally known company.

Eleanor Churchill was also co-founder with Dr. Louise Hutchins of the Mountain Maternal Health Legaue in Berea which provided birth control services to mountain women. She was a director of Berea National Bank and a member of Union Church and many arts and women's leagues. She had two daughters, Alice Hadley and Cherry Belanger. She died at age 93 on October 3, 1981 and is buried in the family plot in Oberlin, Ohio.

See Berea Citizen, 8 Oct 1981; see also separate article on Churchill Weavers.


Blogger Radical Hillbilly said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. The history of Berea is so interesting. I'm actually getting ready to move to Berea. I'm returning after a couple of years away. Wish I'd never left and wish I'd bought a house there years ago! Anyway, I hope to become a part of the history of the town.

1:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home