The Contributions of Women to the United States
Naval Observatory: The Early Years.
Mrs. Lelia Jefferson Harvie Barnett
Lelia Jefferson Harvie was born in Chula, Virginia on
January 4th, 1873. She was the daughter of Major William O. and Ann Maria
(Jefferson) Harvie. She attended State Normal School of Virginia,
and completed an A.B. from Cornell University in 1901 where she
was an Associate Alumnae Scholar in Arts and Sigma Xi. She also took
courses at Chicago University (3 classes in graduate mathematics
and one in English), and
Stanford University (2 classes in physics).
From 1893-1900 she taught school at the Virgina Normal School,
she worked as a computer for the Naval Observatory from 1901-1902,
and for the Cost Survey from 1903-1904.
She married Samuel Jackson Barnett at Mattoax Church, VA, on July 30th, 1904, and began
assisting him in his Physics research. Samuel had earned a PhD
in physics from Cornell in 1898. Her main subjects of study were
geodesy, experimental electricity and magnetism.
Lelia is listed as a co-author
on several papers with her husband. Those papers also list Albert
Einstein as a co-author!
Mrs. Barnett was interested in the
Anti-Saloon League, she was a
member of the Colonial Dames of America (Elected December, 1904),
and the Women's Faculty Club
of Ohio State University.
She favored womans suffrage, and enjoyed books, dancing, cards,
and gardening. She was a Presbyterian and a Democrat.
Lelia Barnett died on 14 April 1956, and her husband died about
one month later on 22 May 1956.
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