Harriet Kidder was an early resident of Evanston. She came to Evanston in September of 1856 with her husband Rev. Daniel P. Kidder, who was the first professor of Theology at Garrett Biblical Institute. She was active in many Evanston organizations, including the local union of the WCTU. She was also involved in the founding of the Evanston College for Ladies.
Harriet Kidder was the first woman to attend Amenia Seminary in Amenia, NY. She used $200 left to her by her father to attend then went on to have a teaching career before marrying at age 24. It was likely this early interest in education that spurred her to be involved in the women’s colleges in Evanston.