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Cunningham, Clara Avesta, 1876-1965



  • Existence: 1876 - 1965

biographical information

Clara Avesta Cunningham was from West Lafayette, Indiana. She attended Purdue and graduated in 1896 with a BS,and an MS in 1897. While a Purdue undergraduate, Clara was very active in clubs and served as the President of the Young Women's Christian Association, President of the Philalethean Society, and was the class secretary for 1896. Her senior thesis was titled, "Effects of Drought on Certain Native Plants." Her graduate research focused on diseases of sugar beet and the effects of droughts on plants. After graduation, she eventually moved to South Bend, Indiana and became involved with the Indiana Academy of Science, which published some of her work. She was also a high school teacher in South Bend and Indianapolis. She married Frank Elbel of South Bend in 1915.


Creese, Mary R.S. 1998. Ladies in the Laboratory? American and British Women in Science, 1800-1900. Lanham: Scarecrow Press.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Clara A. Cunningham papers

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 5, Placement: 11
Identifier: MSA 85
Scope and Contents Three publications by Clara Cunningham, "The Effects of Drought Upon Certain Plants--An Experimental Study." Reprinted from the Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science, 1896, pp. 208-211. "A Bacterial Disease of the Sugar Beet." Reprinted from the Botanical Gazette, vol. XXVIII, no. 3, September 1899, pp. 177-192, with plates XVI-XX (two copies).
Dates: 1896 - 1899