Try as we might, we cannot find any evidence of Lolith Irene Maddox‘s graduation or participation at the Illinois Normal School (now called Illinois State University) in Normal, Illinois. Later in her life, she told her family that she attended college there – where she learned typing and other administrative skills that she would put to use at the Purina company. In the 1940 census in Chicago, Irene claimed to have received two years of college education. Based on her 1923 graduation from Palestine High School, she might have attended Illinois Normal School between 1923 and 1938 (in 1938 she was in Chicago).
The Illinois State University Archives Administrator sent us a letter informing us that they were unable to locate any records of her attendance. Our own searches of the ISU yearbook archive turned up zilch.
This adds to Irene’s intrigue… and our confusion. A previous search of the (extremely overpriced) Vogue Magazine archives failed to unearth any of the articles that she wrote for the magazine, despite her consistent stories of having written numerous articles for them.
As we’ve documented on her page, Lolith Irene used innumerable names – mostly nicknames, but also some false names – that are infuriatingly misleading in our searches for documentation of her moves and life events. Perhaps we’ll get there someday.