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Doan, Martha



  • Existence: June 6, 1872 - April 18, 1960

biographical statement

Martha Doan was born in Westfield, Indiana to Abel and Phoebe Doan. Her education began at Union High School, a Quaker School in Westfield known for producing leaders in many fields. Upon graduation, Doan left for Purdue University, where she earned her B.S. in 1891. She went on to earn a B.L. at Earlham College (1892), before returning to Purdue to complete a Masters degree in 1893. She received a ScD in Chemistry from Cornell in 1896, with research that focused on thalium.

After completing her education, Doan had a long career as an educator, beginning at Indianpolis Manual Training School (1896-1900). Doan's growing reputation as a researcher and educator resulted in an offer from Vassar, where she taught for 14 years (1900-1914). Doan also served as the Dean of Women and Professor of Chemistry at Earlham College (1914-1926), and at Iowa Wesleyan College (1929-1937).

Over the course of her career, Doan was very active in several organizations dedicated to science education and higher education for women: the American Association of University Women, the National Association of the Deans of Women, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the Indiana Academy of Science, and the Sigma Zi National Scientific Honorary Society. Doan was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from Purdue (1950), and an Alumni Citation from Earlham College(1952).

She also became a member of the Advisory Committee for the Indiana Historical Commission. In 1963, the Martha Doan Memorial Garden in Westfield, Indiana was dedicated in her honor by the local Women's Club.



Creese, Mary R. S. (1998). Ladies in the laboratory? : American and British women in science, 1800-1900 : a survey of their contributions to research. Creese, Thomas M. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Martha Doan papers

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 5, Placement: 21
Identifier: MSA 94
Scope and Contents Contains Doan's thesis, "Contributions to the Chemistry of Thallium: A Thesis," presented to the faculty of Cornell University for the degree of Doctor of Science, June 1896.
Dates: 1896