Allan Wallace

Allan Wallace pic

February 16, 1882 – April 18, 1946

Born in Detroit, Allan Patton Wallace worked as a hardware clerk before moving at age 30 to Manhattan where he performed as a bit actor in five shows on Broadway from the late 1920s through the mid-1930s.  The last decade of his life he resided in Traverse City where he was employed as a desk clerk at the Whiting Hotel.  Wallace left a suicide note and stepped from a ledge at age 64.

Traverse City Record-Eagle, April 19, 1946

Looking for Uncle Allan: A Gay Odyssey

Sarah Emma Edmonds

Sarah Edmonds pic

December 1841 – September 5, 1898

Born in Nova Scotia, Sarah Emma Edmonds began presenting herself as Frank Thompson at age 15.  Thompson moved to Flint in the 1860s and was considered “quite a lady’s man.”  After serving as a male nurse in Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry the Civil War, Edmonds resumed living as a woman.  Her memoir Nurse and Spy in the Union Army became a best seller.

No known obituary

Avery Hopwood

Avery Hopwood pic

May 28, 1882 – July 1, 1928

A 1905 graduate of the University of Michigan, Avery Hopwood went on to enjoy a celebrated career as a playwright, once having four plays staged on Broadway simultaneously.  With friend Carl Van Vechten, Hopwood experienced the homosexual underworld of New York in the 1910s and ‘20s.  Much of his estate was bequeathed to fund annual literary awards for UM students.

New York Times, July 2, 1928

Michigan Daily, July 3, 1928

Katharine Coman

Katharine Coman pic

November 23, 1857 – January 11, 1915

Born in Newark, Ohio, Katharine Coman graduated from the University of Michigan in 1880 and went on to become a leading industrial historian and dean of Wellesley College.  Prior to her death at age 58, she shared a 25-year relationship with poet and Wellesley professor Katherine Lee Bates in what was then known as a “Boston marriage.”

Wellesley College News, February 4, 1915

Katharine Coman papers at the Wellesley College Archives