Olive Ruby Henty's Life
"I say just what I think, and nothing more or less."
—Olive Ruby’s Simmons College Yearbook Quote (1915)
Olive Cassandra Ruby (subsequently referred to by her married initials, ORH) was born to Richard and Frances Morley Ruby on May 4, 1892 in Oneida, New York. She and her five siblings grew up in a house on Main Street and attended local schools.In 1911 at the age of 19, she enrolled at Simmons College and spent four years studying for a degree in Household Economics. An average student, her coursework included classes in Cookery, Sewing, and Housebuilding, as well as Biology, English, and History. In addition to her classes, ORH was an active member of the Simmons community: she sang in the Glee Club and Choir, was on the track team, and sat on the Simmons Athletic Association board for a year. A strong tennis player, she was class tennis champion for three years in a row. As her scrapbook reveals, she also took full advantage of the cultural life of Boston, attending many theater performances, church services, and social events.
In 1915, the same year her mother died, ORH graduated from Simmons and returned home to Oneida. She took classes in typing and bookkeeping at Oneida High School, and then taught English and Latin there. She also took summer classes at nearby Syracuse University.
On October 20, 1920, ORH married Ralph Henty, and they settled in Bradford, Massachusetts. They had four children: Jean (b. July 11, 1923), Richard (b. September 21, 1924), John (b. January 20, 1926), and Ralph Jr. (b. October 20, 1928). In 1927, the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri because of Ralph Henty's job as a silverware salesman.
The following year, they moved back to Oneida, where ORH did more substitute teaching at the local public schools. In 1931, they moved to Webster Groves, Missouri, but missed Oneida and returned two years later to take up residence at 469 Main Street. After five years of substitute teaching, ORH was made a full-time teacher of Household Economics, a job she had for 20 years before retiring in 1958. She was also involved in the Oneida community as a member of the First Presbyterian Church, the same church her parents had attended, the Columbian Club, and the Art Club.
After a short stay in the hospital, ORH died on June 1, 1973.back to top