Women's History Month Spotlight on Tabitha Brown
During the month of March we will be highlighting some important Pacific women in honor of Women's History Month. The first woman we will be highlighting is co-founder Tabitha Brown.
Tabitha Brown was born May 1, 1780 in Massachusetts and arrived in Oregon as a 66-year old widow after a long and strenuous journey on the Oregon Trail. She settled in Forest Grove and quickly became concerned about the welfare of children who had lost their parents to disease or hardship while traveling to Oregon.
She shared a vision with Rev. Harvey Clark to establish an academy for the children and together they created Tualatin Academy. During the first year, "Grandma Brown" worked without pay as the teacher, manager and housekeeper and provided the children with love, comfort and a quality education.
Tualatin Academy grew from its humble beginnings and after several years, a collegiate department was proposed. In 1854 the original charter was changed to include both Tualatin Academy and Pacific University. Tualatin Academy operated until the final class graduated in 1915.
Tabitha passed away on May 4, 1858, and in 1987, the Oregon Legislature honored her as the "Mother of Oregon."
We are forever grateful to "Grandma Brown" for her hard work and dedication to making Tualatin Academy, and in turn, Pacific University, a reality.