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Kathryn Watkins Strouss Diaries and Other Material

Identifier: 2022-003

Content Description

This collection documents the life of Kathryn Watkins Strouss during her time as a student at the Pennsylvania College for Women (PCW, now Chatham University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The collection consists primarily of yearly diaries covering the year of her graduation from Allegheny High School and her matriculation to PCW in 1926 through her graduation and post-college months of 1929. The collection also includes a diary documenting a portion of her 1963 travels to Europe. Entries for most individual days are provided and handwritten, with topics ranging from notable events in the region, including her attendance at baseball and football games, as well as interactions with famous individuals including Robert Frost and Calvin Coolidge, participation in national elections, and travel within the United States and Europe. Much documentation is given to student activities and clubs, dating and attending parties with college friends, and student teaching. Some mention is provided of her classmates, including later environmental pioneer Rachel Carson. The collection also includes a small number of other items, including photographs and a poem that accompany the diaries.


  • Creation: 1925 - 1929, 1963
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1925 - 1963, 1925 - 1929


Biographical / Historical

Kathryn Watkins was born in Belleview, PA in 1907, the daughter of Clarence Watkins, an insurance broker, director of the Commonwealth bank, and member of the Duquesne Club and Highland Park Country Club who developed residential neighborhoods. Kathryn had two siblings, C.V Watkins, Jr. and a sister who died as an infant. She lived in the Observatory Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh and graduated from the Allegheny High School.

Kathryn Watkins attended the Pennsylvania College for Women (PCW, now Chatham University) beginning in 1926 and graduated in 1929. As a student, she was active in student teaching and campus activities. While a student, she met Henry Strouss. Strouss was born in Belleview and his father was employed with the National Union Fire Insurance Company and a member of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association. The Kathryn and Henry wed in 1936 and had two children, Henry M. Strouss III and J. Watkins Strouss.

Kathryn worked as an executive assistant at the Municipal Authority of West View, Pennsylvania and volunteered with the Grant School Parent Teacher Association and North Borough women’s clubs. Kathryn died in 1975.


1 box : One lidded box ; 12 inches by 8 inches by 6 inches

Language of Materials


Molly Tighe
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Chatham University Archives Repository

Woodland Road
Pittsburgh PA 15232 US