Hermione Logan, 101, daughter of a Cheyney president

Posted: October 18, 2012

AS A CHILD, Hermione Clark Hill had to take a train and a horse-drawn carriage to get to the campus of what is now Cheyney University in Delaware County.

Of course, that was 1913, and the school was called Cheyney Normal School. Her father, Leslie Pinckney Hill, a prominent African-American educator, community leader and poet, was president.

Those were exciting times for the young Hermione. She was the daughter of a nationally known figure whose prominence transcended race, and the family was living in a historic home, the president's house, called Melrose, dating to 1785.

There was plenty of space in the rambling old house and the spacious campus grounds for Hermione and her five sisters to romp.

Hermione Clark Hill Logan - as she became after marrying the Rev. Canon Thomas Wilson Stearly Logan Sr. in 1938 - a 40-year home-economics teacher in Chester, an antiques dealer and a skilled artist, died Sunday. She was 101.

Her husband was regarded as the longest-serving African-American priest in the Episcopal Church. He served churches in Philadelphia and New York, and was rector emeritus of Calvary Episcopal Church in Northern Liberties when he died May 2 at the age of 100.

They were married in 1938.

Hermione was born in Manassas, Va., to Hill and his wife, Jane Ethel Clark, who taught at Tuskegee Institute with Booker T. Washington. Hermione was 3 when the family moved to Cheyney.

She rode the train daily to West Chester High School until her graduation in 1929. She attended Cheyney Normal School, earning a certificate of completion of studies in home economics in 1932.

In 1933, she was the first female to earn a bachelor of arts degree from what was then Cheyney State Teacher's College. She earned a master of arts degree from Columbia University in 1939.

She served for five years as a counselor at Camp Hope in Delaware County, a camp for African-American youth founded by her father.

In 1951, Hermione, her husband and her parents moved to Yeadon, Delaware County.

From 1933 to 1972, Hermione taught home economics at the Frederick Douglass Junior High School in Chester. She also served as the school's dietitian.

"She was known for her sense of humor, love of poetry, and cheerful and positive presence," her family said.

Her father, in his poem "Christmas at Melrose," described her as "Hermione with a heart of gold."

She loved to recite his poetry throughout her life.

While living in Yeadon, she became interested in antiques and opened an antiques business at her home. She transformed part of her garage into a showroom.

Hermione was a talented artist. She specialized in unusual collages made from fabric, shells and assorted materials. She also did needlework and painted. Among her favorite subjects were Melrose and its surrounding scenery.

"Mrs. Logan was a very classy lady who had a unique gift of coming up with great witticisms," her family said.

She is survived by two sisters, Eleanor Valentine and Mary Tucker, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She also was predeceased by her son, the Rev. Thomas W.S. Logan Jr.

Services: 11 a.m. Oct. 24 at Calvary St. Augustine Episcopal Church, 814 N. 41st St.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Michael's Guild, Calvary St. Augustine Episcopal Church and to the Alumni Association of Cheyney University for scholarships, c/o Gregory Benjamin, director of alumni affairs, Box 200, Cheyney Pa. 19319.

Contact John F. Morrison at morrisj@phillynews.com or 215-854-5573.

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