The last year Professor Foucar taught, 1901-02, she was both a professor and a land investor. She had finally decided what she wanted to do with her life. She would invest in land near the University and in Tucson. She would eventually build both residential and business property. With the money that would be made she would be able to help students, particularly the young women students, as she had done at the University of Denver and more recently when she was in charge of the North Hall. Her home would be a place for them to go, a home away from home.
With her business talent, she could have taught business subjects, however she did not. The reason, of course, was this lady from Boston was many years ahead of her time. In 1934 a School of Business and Public Administration was created, becoming the College of Business in 1943. In 1965 the BPA building was built on the site of her last building project, beside her first one of 1901. When visiting the campus during the four years our younger son, Brian, was a student (graduated 1981) in the College of Business and Public Administration, I thought of what a good professor she would have been! What an excellent BPA College we have now.
When Professor Foucar built her spacious home in 1901, it was the talk of the town. As she later recalled in a letter to a friend, "Every Sunday afternoon while the house was being built, the street was full of horses, for there were no cars. They came to see the bathroom, probably one of the first to be installed in the city. Many people remarked that the Boston schoolteacher had more money than sense." The bricks were from California, maple flooring from the East Coast.
Her home was the first of many buildings she would plan for her University neighborhood. All would be made of brick, and would face east or south and toward the University.
As with many business ventures, "See a need and fill it" was the beginning of an important business venture for Louise. The need was for a water supply. Since city water was not piped out this far, each house had to have its own source of water. Louise had a well in her yard that was 93 feet deep and at the end had a sixteen-foot tunnel supported with redwood timber. She soon would be supplying water to a dozen neighbors, mostly UA professors. These included Smith and Cannon to the north on Speedway, and Brown, Holmes, Guild, Hoover, Stanley on Olive Road and Rogers and Brooks on First Street. I have her record book listing the number of feet and size in diameter of galvanized pipe required, labor installation cost, amount of water used and payments that were made to her. This was between the years of 1903 and 1910.
I had been in Louise Marshall's home many times, but one of the most memorable was her ninetieth birthday party on Sunday afternoon, May 30, 1954. Her actual birth date was May 31. Mrs. Ella Rimel, her secretary and always a thoughtful person, had arranged her party. Twenty long-time friends came to greet her. The house had remained furnished, well-cared for and very much the same since it was built in 1901. It was like going back through time.
The birthday guests came onto the front porch through the big, white front door, into the spacious vestibule, just as guests had come for fifty-two years. The vestibule was light as the house faced south and there were glass windows not only in the front door but beside and above it. The woodwork was dark, on the table in the vestibule was an elaborate brass kerosene lamp that had never been converted to electricity. It originally came from her family home in Massachusetts.
To the right was the large living room. The maple floor was covered by a large Oriental rug, another smaller rug was to the left on a bench beside the fireplace. On the south and east walls there were lace embroidered curtains at the windows. Between the windows and the oak bookcases on the east wall was a piano. Over it was a large oil landscape painting which gave an extra dimension of interest to the room.
In 1889 she was in Mexico City, where she was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts (Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, east of the National Cathedral). Later recalling her studies she said, "I drew from casts and studied in the galleries, they wouldn't let a woman do much in those days." Actually copying from a painting was one way of studying technique.
She also would have made an excellent fine art instructor, but painting instruction at the U was years in the future. Her large oil landscape, "The Valley of Mexico," a gallery copy of the Jose Velasco painting was given to the University art collection by the Marshall Foundation on March, 29,1957. Unfortunately it quickly "disappeared." The Art Department now keeps good records; please notify us if you have seen the painting.
Her birthday party was a pleasant time for the guests to recall when they were first in the home, as many had been there as students years ago.