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Allisonian Firsts: Mabel Outerbridge, Annie Smith, & Bessie Young

A virtual exhibition celebrating the bold Allisonians who became the "firsts" in their field.

Mabel Outerbridge, Annie Smith, and Bessie Young

First certificates in Household Science from Mount Allison University, 1905

Oval portrait of Mabel Outerbridge, [ca. 1905]

Mabel Outerbridge

Mabel Elsie Outerbridge was born in Gabarus, Cape Breton, on 17 March 1884. She was the daughter of Rev. William Arthur Outerbridge (1854-1935) and Letitia Rosina (Ross) Outerbridge (1860-1930). She studied at the Mount Allison Ladies' College, graduating with a Certificate in Household Science as part of the first class in 1905. She married Edward Borden Newcombe (1865-1922) on 20 November 1913 in Nappan, Nova Scotia. She died on 13 September 1989 in Windsor, Nova Scotia.













Annie Louise Smith standing in her academic robes, [ca. 1905-1906]Anne Smith

Anne Louise Smith was born in in Saint John, New Brunswick, on 7 March 1886. She was the daughter of James Willard Smith (1858-1925) and Frances Louise (Hanson) Smith (1858-1923). She entered Mount Allison University in 1903 where she earned a Household Science Diploma in 1905 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1906.

On 5 April 1911, she married Herbert William Read, a native of Sackville who had earned a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Allison in 1905. After their marriage, the couple lived in Stonehaven, Gloucester County, New Brunswick. She was instrumental in establishing a Women’s Institute in that area and later served as the provincial president of the organization.

In 1936, the Reads returned to Sackville and opened the Marshlands Inn which still operates as a heritage inn today. She served on the Board of Regents of Mount Allison University for 30 years, the first woman to be appointed to this role by the United Church. During the Centenary of Education for Women in 1954, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degree.

She and her husband had two children: Frances (1913-2014) and Herbert Comeau (1915-1998). She died on 2 January 1968 in the Sackville Memorial Hospital.


Related materials

You can find more information about Annie Smith and peruse the contents of her fonds (accession no. 8521), on our Descriptions Database. You can access these records by planning a visit to the archives.







Bessie Almira Young standing in a photographer's studio in a white Edwardian dress, 1905.Bessie Young

Bessie Almira Young was born in Oak Bay, New Brunswick, on 2 June 1870. She was the daughter of George McCall Young (1836-1921) and Annie (McAllister) Young (1847-1930). She attended school in Oak Bay, and later graduated from the Provincial Normal College in Fredericton in 1888. Thereafter, she taught in Sackville, Milltown, and St. Stephen before entering the Mount Allison Ladies’ College in the fall of 1904. She graduated with a diploma in Household Science in  1905.

Upon graduation, she was chosen to open the household science department at the new Kingston Consolidated School in Kingston, New Brunswick, thereby becoming the first teacher of household science in the province. 

On 28 February 1906, she married William Bowden of Bonny River, New Brunswick. The couple had the following children: Arnold Allison (1906-?); Alford McAllister (1908-?); Edith Ethlyn Young (1910-2000); and Richard Carl (1913-1919). She died in September 1959 and was buried in the Second Falls United Baptist Church Cemetery in Second Falls, New Brunswick.


Image Gallery

Smith, Outerbridge, and Young standing around a large cake.

Anne L. Read, Mabel Newcombe, and Bessie A. Bowden celebrating the Centenary of Education for Women at Mount Allison University and the fiftieth anniversary of the Home Economics department, 14 August 1954

Mount Allison University Archives, Picture Collection, 2007.07/2148. May only be reproduced with permission of the Mount Allison University Archives.