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 Kate <I>Milner</I> Rabb

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Kate Milner Rabb

Rockport, Spencer County, Indiana, USA
Death 3 Jul 1937 (aged 70)
Burial Covington, Fountain County, Indiana, USA
Memorial ID 22465168 · View Source
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"Kate was born 9 August 1866 in Rockport, Spencer Co, Indiana. She was the daughter of Dr. Isaac L. Milner and his wife, Martha M. Parsons/King. They also had one other child, Mary W. Milner, who died in 1861 at the age of 13 months.

Kate attended Rockport High School, and taught there and in Jeffersonville after she graduated from college, and before her marriage in 1891. She received a Bachelor's Degree from Indiana University in 1886 (graduating Phi Beta Kappa), and a Master's degree from there in 1888. An interesting side note: When she arrived to start her studies there, she was only 15 years old. She refused to tell her age (then, and in the future)…not because she thought she was too old, but because she thought she would be perceived as too young! In 1961, a residence hall was dedicated at Indiana University in her name, as a tribute to her as a journalism pioneer, Hoosier author and historian, and as a woman who forged opportunities when there were few for women.

On 7 October 1891, Kate married Albert Rabb in Rockport, Indiana. They had been fellow students and "sweethearts" at Indiana University. The couple settled in Indianapolis, where Albert became a prominent lawyer. There they had two children: Albert Livingston Rabb and Martha Charlotte Rabb.

It was Kate's belief that women should have interests and lives of their own, separate from their husband's. In the 1890's she edited a weekly magazine called "Indiana Women." She published her first book in 1896, called National Epics. In 1900 she translated (from German) The Boer Boy, a story of a 10-year old boy's touching experiences in the Anglo-Boer war. In 1907 she edited a multi-volume book set called The Wit and Humor of America. In 1916 she wrote a pamphlet entitled, "The Pagent of Spencer County" (where she grew up) in honor of the 100th anniversary of the state. This writing grew into a passion for her about early Indiana history.

After her husband's death in 1918 she turned even more to her writing and love of Indiana history. Working for the Indianapolis Star newspaper, she created the fictional character "John Parsons", whom many believed was real as they read her weekly column about his journeys through Indiana in its early years. In 1920, these stories were published as the book, A Tour Through Indiana in 1840. Even today there are still those who read the book and are positive the hero lived back then, because the book is written so realistically.

Between 1920-1927 she published a 3-times weekly column in the Indianapolis Star called "Old Town", about the history of Indianapolis. However, her most famous column, called "The Hoosier Listening Post" (written daily from July 1920 until her death in 1937) told of events and stories that happened in the earlier days of Indiana. Much of the information came from her readers, who wrote her thousands of letters each month.

In 1922 she published a pamphlet on Indianapolis history, entitled "No Mean City", and not long after co-edited a book with William Herschel called An Account of Indianapolis and Marion County. She has many other publications, too numerous to mention. Kate was also appointed to the Indiana Historical Commission, and held memberships with the Indiana Historical Society, the National Daughters of the American Revolution. She also belonged to the Woman's Press Club of Indiana (WPCI) where she served as president from 1929-1931. In 1962 the WPCI created the "Kate Milner Rabb Award" for excellence in journalism, the profession, and service to the organization. This honor, the highest and most prestigious one they give out, continues to be awarded today.

The bubbly, smiley, red-headed Kate died on 3 July 1937 after a brief illness. Her final column of "The Hoosier Listening Post" was published in the Indianapolis Star three days after her death." - (Biography written by Aileen Blomgren)

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  • Created by: Lesa Epperson
  • Added: 26 Oct 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22465168
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Kate Milner Rabb (9 Aug 1866–3 Jul 1937), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22465168, citing Mount Hope Cemetery, Covington, Fountain County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by Lesa Epperson (contributor 46576986) .