GUILFORD, LINDA (LUCINDA) THAYER (22 Nov. 1823-1 Mar. 1911), educator and administrator of early Cleveland PRIVATE SCHOOLS, was born in Lanesboro, Mass. and worked in a paper mill until friends enabled her to attend Mt. Holyoke Seminary, from which she graduated in 1847. In 1848 Guilford arrived in Cleveland as principal of the new Young Ladies Seminary which soon closed because of lack of funds. From 1851-54, Guilford was principal of the first Female Academy, with over 200 students.
From 1854-60, Guilford was vice-principal of the CLEVELAND FEMALE SEMINARY, and from 1861-66 she operated her own private day school for boys and girls. In 1865, several families organized the second Cleveland Academy, opening the school in 1866 with 90 students. Guilford, the principal, remained for 14 years until it closed in 1881 because of declining enrollment.
After teaching, Guilford was active in the Young Women's Temperance League; was president of the WCTU. She volunteered at FRIENDLY INN SOCIAL SETTLEMENT, was active in Mt. Holyoke alumnae activities, and was on the Advisory Committee of the College for Women of Western Reserve University. She published The Use of Life (1885) and The Story of a Cleveland School from 1848-1881 (1892). In 1892 FLORA STONE MATHER presented a new girls' dormitory to the College for Women, naming it Guilford Cottage in honor of her former teacher. Guilford, who never married, was a member of Second Presbyterian Church. She died in Cleveland and was buried in WOODLAND CEMETERY.
Linda Thayer Guilford Papers, WRHS.
Finding aid for the Linda Thayer Guilford Papers. WRHS.