East Liverpool Historical Society

This article appeared in the Morning Journal on August 28,1980

By CATHIE SHOOP Journal Staff Writer

COLUMBUS-Ruth Porter Crawford Seeger, a native of East Liverpool, is one of 15 women who have been inducted into this year's Ohio Women's Hall of Fame at the third annual Ohio Women's Recognition Day held at the Neil here on Tuesday.

The Hall of Fame, now comprised of 50 women, was established in 1978 and serves to honor women in Ohio who have achieved at the state, national or international levels.

The event is sponsored by the Women's Services Division and Women's Advisory Council of the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services.

Mrs. Seeger, nominated for the award by Joan Witt of East Liverpool, was born in that city on July 3, 1901 and died Nov. 18, 1953 in Chevy Chase, Md.

Her parents were Dr. and Mrs. Clark Crawford, and her father served as minister at the First Methodist Church in East Liverpool from 1900 until 1905.

She was married to Dr. Charles Seeger. Her children were Michael, Margaret, Barbara and Penelope (Crawford), and folksinger Pete Seeger was her stepson. The award will be accepted on her behalf by her son Michael, as reported by the Women's Services Division, Mrs. Seeger taught at the School of Musical Art in Jacksonville, Fla.; the American Conservatory in Chicago, and at Elmherst College of Music in Illinois.

Her compositions included Suite of Oboe Flute, Suite No. 2 for Pianos, Strings (1929), Etude in Mixed Accents for Piano (1930), String Quartet (1930), Suite for Wind Quintet (1952), Sacco and Venzetti (1933), and two chants for women's chorus (1930) and nine preludes for piano (1926). She edited and arranged eight volumes of folk songs, including American Folk Songs for Children (1948), Animal Folk Songs for Children (1950), American Folk Songs for Christmas (1953), and American Ballads, and Folk Songs.

She was listed in the Women's Book of World Records and Achievements as the first women composer to win the Guggenheim Fellowship for composition. Mrs. Seeger was considered one of the most original and innovative composers of the twentieth century.

An active composer in the late 1920s and early 1930s, she then married Seeger and settled in Washington, D.C. and began collecting and transcribing folk music. Her husband was then involved with the Federal Music Project of the Works Progress Administration in Washington.

Ohio Women , a publication of the Women's Services Division on those recognized for the award, is available from the division at 145 S. Front St., Columbus, 43216, or phone toll-free 1-800-282-3525.


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