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Helen M. Whitehead
(1896-1970)

Helen Mable Stewart was born in Grafton, New Hampshire on September 8, 1896, the daughter of Mable J. Howland and Thomas L. Stewart, a carpenter. In 1916 she married George Firth Whitehead (1893-1973) in Dover, New Hampshire, and together they had three sons (Thomas Whitehead,1920; George Whitehead,1926; and the Rev. Robert O. Whitehead, 1928) and one daughter (Helen M. Whitehead, 1931). George worked as a machinist for the American Steel Wire Company in Worcester, Massachusetts (1917-1920s) and as an "experimental machinist" for the American Optical Company, a manufacturer of glass lenses (1930-1942). They moved from Worcester to Auburn, New Hampshire in the 1920s and were still living there in 1940.

In 1953 Helen opened the Monadnock Mineral Shop in Marlboro, New Hampshire, perhaps in conjunction with her husband's retirement. Apparently Helen and her son Robert were interested in minerals, because Robert and Helen Whitehead were among the 12 people who got together on June 16, 1948 to form the Keene Mineral Club. The shop is listed in the annual buying guide of the Lapidary Journal from 1958 until 1967; she advertised it as "the friendly shop," ("Helen Whitehead, proprietor") and specialized in "Northeastern minerals, cabinet specimens from everywhere, and beautiful blue beryl." She also provided visiting collectors with guide service to the local hot spots for specimen collecting.

Age and health problems may have led her to close the shop after 1967, and her son Robert (who became a Reverend) may no longer have been able to help her run it. Helen Whitehead died on January 29, 1970, and is buried in Woodstock, New Hampshire.

References:
Social Security Death Index.
US Federal Census, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940.
World War I Draft Registration Cards.
World War II Draft Registration Cards.
New Hampshire Find-A-Grave Index.
Marlboro, New Hampshire City Directories, 1952-1962.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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