Josephine Price Simrall

Founder of University of Cincinnati Women's Club

Josephine Simrall had an accomplished academic background. During her time as Dean of Women at UC, she founded the University of Cincinnati Woman’s Club, a social and service-oriented organization.

On July 19th, 1869, Josephine Price Simrall was born in Covington, Kentucky to Charles Barrington and Isabella Downing Price Simrall. Josephine was the oldest of six daughters in her family. Isabella Simrall had graduated from Daughters College in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Since Josephine’s mother was educated herself, modeling the importance of education for Josephine. Josephine’s father, Charles Barrington, was a highly respected attorney for the Cincinnati, New Orleans, and Texas Pacific Railway Company.

Simrall obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Wellesley College in 1893. She soon returned to the Cincinnati area where she earned a certificate at the Cincinnati Kindergarten Training School. Earning this certificate was the last of her undergraduate work before she turned to her graduate studies at the University of Cincinnati, John Hopkins, and Columbia University. Simrall found herself in a good position out of college where she landed a job as the “Head of Psychology and Instructor in English” at Sweet Briar College, a private liberal arts women's college located in Sweet Briar, Virginia.

Simrall founded the University of Cincinnati (UC) Woman’s Club in 1926 as a social and service organization. Josephine had prior experience as the Dean of Women at the University of Kentucky. She took the position at UC after having been the Cincinnati Woman’s Club President. She served as Dean of Women from 1921 to 1936.

Simrall was highly involved during her time as Dean of Women at UC. Her passion for the empowerment and professional development of women led her to serve on advisory boards for many honorary fraternities and accept a membership in Pi Theta, an honorary professional Kindergarten-Primary Fraternity. She exhibited her passion for musical theater with her involvement and sponsorship of the University Singers and Players.

Miss Josephine Price Simrall passed away in her apartment in the Verona at 2356 Park Avenue Walnut Hills on July 3, 1949, at 79 years of age. She is buried in Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. In UC”s Cincinnatian yearbook, she was quoted to say “The greatness of the world tomorrow is dependent upon the elements of greatness to be found in the youth of today…” which exemplifies the legacy of her spirit.

Images

Josephine Simrall as Dean of Women.
Josephine Simrall as Dean of Women. Source: University of Cincinnati Libraries
The Verona in Walnut Hills, where Simrall spent much of her life.
The Verona in Walnut Hills, where Simrall spent much of her life. Source: Google Street View, 2022

Location

Verona Apartments, 2356 Park Avenue, Cincinnati, OH

Metadata

Brady Knight and Kelsea Madden, “Josephine Price Simrall,” Cincinnati Sites and Stories, accessed May 28, 2024, https://stories.cincinnatipreservation.org/items/show/223.