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Mildram, Louise Weston Sewall, 1886-1974. Papers of Louise Weston Sewall Mildram, 1887-1986: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: 86-M25
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Louise Weston (Sewall) Mildram
Title: Papers of Louise Weston Sewall Mildram, 1886-1974
Date(s): 1886-1974
Quantity: .42 linear feet (1 file box), plus 5 photograph folders, slides)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Diaries, photographs, slides, etc., of Louise Weston Sewall Mildram, businesswoman and homemaker.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 86-M25
The papers of Louise Weston (Sewall) Mildram were given to the Schlesinger Library by Barbara Mildram, Mildram's daughter, in February 1986.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: March 1987
By: Anne Engelhart

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Louise Weston Sewall Mildram is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Louise Weston Sewall Mildram Papers, 1887-1986; item description, dates. 86-M25, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Louise Weston (Sewall) Mildram was born on October 24, 1886, in Livermore Falls, Maine, the eldest daughter of Eugene and Fannie Dinsmore Weston Sewall. After attending the local grammar school, she graduated from Westbrook (Maine) Seminary in 1904 and spent the following year at Mount Ida, a finishing school in Newton Corner, Massachusetts. In 1905 Mildram entered Vassar College but was forced to return home later that autumn for surgery; her father's illness then made it impossible for her to return to school.
In 1909 she married Frank Clement Mildram, an accountant and businessman. They had four children and lived for most of their lives in Newtonville, Massachusetts. Summers were often spent in Wells, Maine. An energetic and adventurous woman, Mildram began a knitting business in 1932 to supplement the family's income; her husband regularly knitted display models for her shop. Her subsequent endeavors included dog breeding and the sale of magazine subscriptions. She was also active in civic affairs, participating in neighborhood improvement associations in Massachusetts and Maine. Frank Clement Mildram died in 1962; four years later Mildram suffered a severe stroke, which left her partially paralyzed. She was, however, able to live at home for several years until 1971, when she was hospitalized with a broken hip. Mildram died on December 12, 1974. For further biographical information, see #7.


This collection consists of Mildram's diaries, and photo-graphs and slides of her, her family, and friends. Also included is a biography of Mildram by her daughter Barbara, which also provides genealogical information and a guide to names and abbreviations used by Mildram in the diaries.
The diary entries are short, and although there are gaps, they cover the years 1917-1922, 1924, 1926-1933, and 1936-1972. They record the activities of a middle-class woman, and her familial, health, civic, and business concerns. There is occasional mention of a miscarriage, and Mildram's use of a code during 1920 suggests that she took measures to prevent pregnancy. Following her stroke in 1966, Mildram typed her daily entries.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Families--Health and hygiene
Health--History--20th century
Knitting shops
Maine--Social life and customs
Massachusetts--Social life and customs
Newton (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Women--Health and hygiene
Mildram, Barbara, 1915-