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Maria Rogers Babson (1840–1913) was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the youngest of the two daughters of Nathaniel Babson and Emmeline Davis (Rogers) Babson. She died unmarried in California at the age of seventy-three.
Her mother died when Maria was four and her father, who was a house painter by profession, a selectman, and active in the abolitionist movement, never remarried. Maria and her older sister Emma both briefly attended the Oread Institute of higher education for women in Worcester, Massachusetts—Maria for one term and Emma for one year.
Maria moved to California in 1870, following her sister who had married and moved there the previous year. In California, both sisters became active in a variety of charitable, social and religious organizations. Maria was a charter member of the Ebell Society and Club (formed to promote and advance the study by women of literature, science and art), its General Curator, and indefatigable promoter for many years. She also was prominent in the Oakland Red Cross Society and helped found the Convalescent Home during the Spanish war. She was treasurer of the fund for the children's room in the Carnegie Library and involved in the organization and perpetuation of the Oakland Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She took a significant interest in the activities, especially the missionary work, of the First Presbyterian Church, being an honorary member of the American Board and an active member of the Occidental Board of Foreign Missions. She died at the home of her nephew in San Francisco on May 1, 1914. (1)
Lane made paintings for Maria and her sister Emma from three sketches.
(1) Past and Present of Alameda County California, Vol. II (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914) , 472-475.