Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Making It Modern


Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton


Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton. Eunice Makepeace Towle. Oil on canvas. 870 x 765 cm. ca. 1829.Hastings Photography, 147 Tremont Street, Boston, MA. Photograph. 16.5 x 10.5 cm. 1884.Eliza Baylies Wheaton. Unidentified Photographer. Photograph. 25.5 x 20 cm. 1900.

In the portrait to the left, Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton is depicted around the time she became the wife of Laban Morey Wheaton, at nineteen years of age. The painting normally hangs in the President's House, which was her marital home.

The middle photograph was taken of Mrs. Wheaton to honor her donation of a public library to the Town of Norton. It appeared in the dedication program, copies of which are still held in the Wheaton College Archives. The library building still exists – and is today owned by the college – but a new library building was constructed in the 1980s to better serve the growing Norton community.

In the photograph to the right, Mrs. Wheaton sits in front of her desk under the Eunice Makepeace Towle portrait of her late beloved husband Laban Morey Wheaton. His portrait now hangs in the President’s House along with the 1829 portrait of Mrs. Wheaton featured in this exhibition.

-Meghan Quigley, Class of 2011; Leah Niederstadt/Zephorene Stickney

Account Book for Houses & Repairs. Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton. Paper, ink. 1866-1885.Account Book for Houses & Repairs. Eliza Baylies Chapin Wheaton. Paper, ink. 1866-1885. Page 103.

To the above right, an entry in one of Mrs. Wheaton’s many account books reads, “Expenses of erecting wings to Wheaton Female Seminary (Hall) [Mary Lyon Hall], May 1878.” At the time, the United States was suffering from a recession, but Mrs. Wheaton maintained her commitment to improve the seminary’s facilities and paid $22,729.01 for the addition to New Seminary Hall, now known as Mary Lyon Hall. (In today’s dollars, that is equivalent to $500,000.)

-Leah Niederstadt/Zephorene Stickney

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