Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Elizabeth Thacher

Female 1868 - 1952  (83 years)

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Elizabeth Thacher was born 22 Sep 1868, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut; died 14 Aug 1952, Marin, California.



    Elizabeth Thacher Kent, a matriarch in the founding family of Kentfield, is one of the few Marin County women to be elected posthumously to the Marin Women's Hall of Fame. Kent was a distinguished proponent of women's rights and international peace and was instrumental in securing women's right to vote.

    Kent took up permanent residence in Marin in 1907 and immediately became a vocal activist in support of women's' suffrage. When her husband, William, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, Kent leveraged her position as a Congressman's wife to support the national suffrage movement. She was a featured speaker at the 1913 and 1914 conventions of the National American Women's Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and shortly thereafter assumed leadership of their Congressional Committee. By 1915, she helped form the Congressional Union (later re-named the Women's Party), which picketed the White House in support of suffrage. Kent was arrested twice for her suffrage demonstrating. However, her cause prevailed and in August 1920 the Susan B. Anthony Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed guaranteeing American women the right to vote.

    In addition to supporting suffrage, Elizabeth Kent was committed to the cause of world peace. In the 1930's, she provided leadership to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She and her husband were also early supporters of the fledging conservation movement. They donated a large tract of land to the U.S. Government to preserve old-growth redwoods. Their gift, the Muir Woods National Monument, provides a lasting testimony to the Kents' exemplary lives of public service.

    Elizabeth married Rep. William Kent 26 Feb 1890, Nordhoff, California. Rep. (son of Albert Emmet Kent and Adaline Elizabeth Dutton) was born 29 Mar 1864, Chicago, Cook, Illinois; died 13 Mar 1928, Kentfield, Marin, California. [Group Sheet]

    1. 2. Elizabeth Sherman Thatcher Kent  Descendancy chart to this point was born 8 Jan 1894, Chicago, Cook, Illinois; died 12 Jan 1952, Marin, California.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Elizabeth Sherman Thatcher Kent Descendancy chart to this point (1.Elizabeth1) was born 8 Jan 1894, Chicago, Cook, Illinois; died 12 Jan 1952, Marin, California.

    Elizabeth married George Stanleigh Arnold 26 Feb 1915, Washington, D.C.. George (son of George Sumner Arnold and Evelyn Greenwood Thompson) was born 3 Apr 1881, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut; died 18 Jan 1942, Marin, California. [Group Sheet]

    1. 3. Elizabeth Sherman "Bibba" Arnold  Descendancy chart to this point was born 2 Dec 1915, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; died 18 Sep 1992, Los Altos, Santa Clara, California.

Generation: 3

  1. 3.  Elizabeth Sherman "Bibba" Arnold Descendancy chart to this point (2.Elizabeth2, 1.Elizabeth1) was born 2 Dec 1915, San Francisco, San Francisco, California; died 18 Sep 1992, Los Altos, Santa Clara, California.


    Elizabeth 'Bibbs' [sic] Arnold of Los Altos, a mathematician, environmentalist and wildlife advocate who helped crack the Japanese code during World War II, died Friday, Sept. 18, 1992, at her Los Altos Hills home of lung cancer. She was 76.

    A native of San Francisco, Dr. Arnold was reared in Marin County and was the oldest grandchild of Rep. William Kent, for whom the city of Kentfield was named.

    The daughter of a prominent San Francisco attorney, Eugene Arnold, she attended the Katherine Branson School in Ross and graduated first in her class in 1932. The school later named a day in her honor after she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Vassar College in her junior year.

    After graduating from Vassar in 1937, Dr. Arnold earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1941.

    During World War II, Dr. Arnold was recruited by the Navy and worked on a team of cryptographers cracking Japanese codes, for which she received a Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

    In the 1960s, Dr. Arnold worked on machine language translation at Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. Inc.

    After her retirement in 1969, Dr. Arnold helped establish a recycling center in Los Altos and worked with Wildlife Rescue, helping injured animals.

    Dr. Arnold is survived by her husband of 46 years, Dr. William Francis Whitmore of Los Altos; four sons, Charles Whitmore of Washington, D.C., Edward Whitmore of San Francisco, Thomas Whitmore of Oakland and Peter Whitmore of Victoria, B.C. Also surviving are her brothers, George Stanleigh Arnold of Kentfield, Peter Arnold of Grass Valley and Anthony Arnold of Novato.


    Note that the above obituary is in error in two respects. Her father was George Stanleigh Arnold, not Eugene Arnold; and her family nickname was "Bibba", not "Bibbs."

    Her page at the Mathematics Genealogy Project is here, showing her to be a generation of advisors closer to Felix Klein than her husband was.

    Elizabeth married William Francis Whitmore 1 Nov 1946. William (son of Charles Edward Whitmore and Elizabeth Manning Gardiner) was born 6 Jan 1916, Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts; was buried 6 Jan 1996. [Group Sheet]

    1. 4. Thomas Sherman Whitmore  Descendancy chart to this point was born 10 Feb 1953, Washington, D.C..

Generation: 4

  1. 4.  Thomas Sherman Whitmore Descendancy chart to this point (3.Elizabeth3, 2.Elizabeth2, 1.Elizabeth1) was born 10 Feb 1953, Washington, D.C..