Saturday, December 15, 2018

Spotlight on...Ina Stanley Emery

Without this lady, the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society and History House may never have existed.   Ina Naomi Stanley was born November 7, 1892, the youngest of six children born to Preston J. Stanley and Naomi (Stacy) Stanley.  Her father was a prominent Kezar Falls business man and her five siblings were also well known in the Kezar Falls area:  Sidney B. Stanley, Orman L. Stanley, Sherman P. Stanley, Florence M. (Stanley) Higgins, Evelyn M. (Stanley) Watkins.

She graduated from Porter High School in 1908 and taught at a one room school house in Porter for a short time before attending the New England Conservatory of Music.    In 1925 she married Frank W. Emery who died in 1929.   Ina continued with a career in music, both as a teacher and soloist.  She taught music in Maine and New Hampshire Schools for 36 years including a 22-year stretch in the Saco School System. 

At various times she was the soloist at churches in Kennebunkport, North Conway and Saco.    While a teacher, she was actively involved in the Saco Teacher’s Association and was a delegate to the National Education Association Convention in Chicago in 1940.  Upon retirement in 1962 she returned to her home in Kezar Falls.

Mrs. Emery was the prime motivator behind the formation of the Parsonsfield Porter Historical Society in 1946.  She was elected as its original president and held that office until 1979.  She launched the drive to purchase the society’s museum in 1955 to become know as “History House”.  The house was originally built by her father, Preston J. Stanley who owned it from 1888 to 1894.  She was a true historian collecting and compiling historical and genealogical data as well as artifacts and furniture for History House.   
Ina was very active in her church wherever she resided including the Kezar Falls Riverside Methodist Church where she organized the Fidelis Class.  Ina’s friend and companion of 40+ years was Margaret Strout, who shared her love of history and many interests.   Ina passed away December 25, 1987 at the age of 95.

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