Office of University Communications
From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:
Slater Memorial Homestead
Slater Memorial Homestead was the first dormitory for women students. The house at 66 Benefit Street belonged in 1836, and perhaps earlier, to John Slater, the son of Samuel Slater, builder of the first cotton mill in the country. The house was inherited by John’s nephew, Horatio Nelson Slater, and after his death purchased by his widow, who presented it in 1900 to the Women’s College as a memorial to her husband. She also had the building renovated and an additional story added to provide more living quarters. The house was furnished by Mrs. Charles G. Washburn, the daughter of Mr. Slater, and provided social rooms as well as an apartment for the Dean of the Women’s College. The Homestead provided a pleasant collegial atmosphere for resident and visiting students. The fortnightly “Universe meetings,” at which many subjects were discussed, were so popular that after Dean Emery married Professor Allinson, the meetings were continued at her home. When the Homestead was full, Benefit Street neighbors boarded some of the students. When Miller Hall was built in 1911, Slater Memorial Homestead was purchased by Miss Ewerette Constable McVickar and friends and presented to the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island as a memorial to her brother, Bishop William McVickar. As Bishop McVickar House it was used as diocesan headquarters and national headquarters for the church army and later, as Edwards House, was a residence for retired clergy and their widows. The added story has been removed and the building is now a nursing home named Hallworth House.
The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright ©1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.