Swansea Historical Society

Ruth Manchester Doodson


Ruth Manchester Doodson

Ruth Doodson was born Ruth Manchester on August 1, 1913 at her grandparents’ home at 924 Gardners Neck Road here in Swansea. The Archibald Manchester House is now the Swan Brook Assistant Living facility. Ruth was the Daughter of Louis and Lois Archibald Manchester. Her lineage can be traced back to the Mayflower - John Alden and Priscilla Mullins Alden.

Ruth lived a very active and fulfilling life. She was part of the first graduating class from the then new Joseph Case High School in 1930. She attended Sargent College at Boston University, graduating in 1934.

She was the Activities Director at the YMCA in Williamsburg PA for 5 years and then held a similar position in Cambridge Ma until 1941.

She married John W. Doodson in 1941. She returned to Swansea and lived in an apartment in the house where she was born.

During WWII, she served her country as a volunteer in the Red Cross Motor Corps as a driver, transporting patients to the hospital and to medical appointments.

In 1949, she became the chairman of water safety at the Fall River Red Cross.

In 1953, she moved her family to Touisset and became involved with the Coles River Club. (Her daughter, Elaine, now lives in the family home in Touisset.) Ruth became a teacher in the Swansea School System, teaching English. She later taught Mathematics and Physical Education in Rehoboth until 1959. At that point, she took a full time job as a physical education teacher in Fall River.

In 1955, Ruth served as the Coles River Club President and was a board member through 1958.

After WWII, Ruth became the first Recreations Director of Swansea and served until 1959.

In 1959, she served as a deaconess and president of the Ladies Aid Society.

In 1974, Ruth retired from teaching and became a full time volunteer for many organizations such as :
    Daughters of the American Revolution 1976-1983 as a regent
    President at the Swansea Historical Society 1984-1986
    Joseph Case High School Reunion Committee
    Swansea Library Trustee in the 1980’s
    Swansea Land Trust Committee 1994-1999
    Competitive Ballroom Dancer
    Tennis Player

She is remembered by many for her daily swims and her wonderful sense of humor

From the 1930 Joseph Case High School yearbook (click here to view Case yearbooks)
1930 Joseph Case High School yearbook
1930 Joseph Case High School yearbook
1930 Joseph Case High School yearbook