Kathleen Hart Bibb

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Kathleen Hart Bibb, from a 1921 publication.
Kathleen Hart Bibb, from a 1917 publication.

Kathleen Palmer Hart Bibb Foster (September 6, 1889 – June 30, 1957) was an American concert singer and voice teacher. She was also the model for the character "Julia Ray" in the popular Betsy-Tacy book series, written by her younger sister.

Early life[edit]

333 Center St., Mankato MN, childhood home of Kathleen Hart, now a museum

Kathleen Palmer Hart was born in Mankato, Minnesota, the daughter of Thomas Walden Hart and Stella M. Palmer Hart. Her father owned a shoe store. Her younger sister Maud Hart Lovelace became a successful author, and their childhood home is now a museum about their family and her work. Maud Hart based the character "Julia Ray" on her sister Kathleen.[1] Kathleen Hart graduated from the University of Minnesota, and studied voice in Europe.


Kathleen Hart Bibb started singing professionally in Minneapolis.[2] She first sang in Chicago in 1917, in a recital at the Ziegfeld Theater.[3] She gave her first New York concert at the Aeolian Hall in 1918.[4] She frequently performed with her brother-in-law, pianist and composer Frank Bibb, providing accompaniment.[5] For three seasons in the 1920s she toured the United States as a member of the Henshaw Mozart Operatic Company.[6]

She sang for the South Dakota State Suffrage Association in 1917.[7] During World War I Kathleen Hart Bibb performed at benefits for the troops,[8] and for the American Red Cross.[9] She also taught voice in Minneapolis[10] at the MacPhail Center for Music,[11][12] and at Monticello Seminary in Illinois during the 1920s.[13] Late in life she taught voice at the University of Utah.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Kathleen Hart married twice. She first married lawyer and violinist Eugene Sharp Bibb in 1913; Eugene Bibb spent much of their marriage in the military during World War I, and was awarded three Purple Hearts, a Croix de Guerre, and other honors. Their first son died at birth in 1920; their second son, Eugene, was born in 1922. Her second husband was flutist Frohman Murphy Foster; they married in 1927, in Los Angeles, California.[15] Kathleen Hart Foster died in 1957, aged 67 years, in Salt Lake City, Utah.[16]


  1. ^ Book Dedications, Betsy-Tacy Society.
  2. ^ "Kathleen Hart-Bibb Scores" Musical Courier (February 1, 1917): 56.
  3. ^ "Kathleen Hart Bibb Wins Listeners from Start" Musical Courier (June 28, 1917): 36.
  4. ^ "Impressions made at her First New York Recital, Aeolian Hall, February 25, 1918" advertisement, Musical Monitor (March 1918): 346.
  5. ^ "Bibb Joint Recitals" advertisement, Music News (March 4, 1921): 13.
  6. ^ "Kathleen Hart Bibb Will Join Faculty at McPhail School" Star Tribune (September 12, 1926): 62. via Newspapers.comopen access
  7. ^ "Kathleen Hat-Bibb Sings for Honor Guests" Musical Courier (April 5, 1917): 49.
  8. ^ "Local Musician Will Sing at Army Camps" Star Tribune (August 25, 1918): 43. via Newspapers.comopen access
  9. ^ "Kathleen Hart Bibb" Music News (January 18, 1918): 9.
  10. ^ F. van K., "Kathleen Hart Bibb" Music News (March 4, 1921): 23.
  11. ^ "Four New Voice Teachers Added to MacPhail Faculty" Star Tribune (September 17, 1916): 53. via Newspapers.comopen access
  12. ^ "Kathleen Hart Foster Returns to City and Joins MacPhail Staff" Star Tribune (January 6, 1929): 47. via Newspapers.comopen access
  13. ^ Annual Catalogue, Monticello Seminary, Junior College and Academy (1925-26): 8.
  14. ^ "Music Event to Honor Ex-Teacher" Salt Lake Tribune (October 26, 1958): 144. via Newspapers.comopen access
  15. ^ Untitled social item, Star Tribune (April 10, 1927): 41. via Newspapers.comopen access
  16. ^ "Utah Deaths" Ogden Standard Examiner (July 1, 1957): 19. via Newspapers.comopen access

External links[edit]