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Muhlenberg County freshman receives first Ethel M. Forsythe Scholarship

Katelyn Mischelle Storm, a Western Kentucky University freshman from Beechmont, is the first recipient of the Ethel Mallory Forsythe Scholarship.

Storm, a 2008 graduate of Muhlenberg South High School, is majoring in nursing. The scholarship award is $2,500 per year for four years.

The scholarship, endowed by Forsythe’s family, is for a female student from Muhlenberg County.

About Ethel Mallory Forsythe

Ethel Mallory Forsythe was born Jan. 1, 1892, on Union Ridge in Southeast Muhlenberg County. She was orphaned at an early age and was raised by her grandmother Kate Welborn Whittaker. The family valued an education for their granddaughter and sold farmland to ensure their goals for her. Ethel was the first person in her family to attend college. She took a business course from the Bowling Green Business School, which later became part of Western Kentucky State Teacher’s College.

ethel_forsytheAfter college she worked various jobs including a desk clerk at a hotel in Dayton, Ohio, before returning to Kentucky to work as a bookkeeper for Mr. Pearl Forsythe of nearby Butler County. They married in 1914. Miss Ethel and Mr. Pearl, as they were known in the community, owned and operated general merchandise stores in Belton, Browder and Drakesboro.

In 1918 a post office was authorized for Belton in Muhlenberg County and President Woodrow Wilson appointed Miss Ethel as Postmaster. Miss Ethel knew the names and birthdays of all the people in her post office area. Miss Ethel was the buyer for the dry goods section of the stores and enjoyed her trips to Nashville to stock the stores. Ethel Forsythe retired in September 1955 after 38 years on the job. She died in 1972.

Ethel and Pearl Forsythe had three sons, Robert (1917-1973), Belmont (1920-2005), and Charles “Jack” who lives in Greenville with his wife, Ann. They all graduated from WKU as well as some of their grandchildren.

Ethel’s granddaughter, Charlotte Forsythe, owns the Kendall Hotel and Mary Prentiss Inn in Cambridge, Mass.

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