Faculty member writes book about Harrisburg reformer, conservationist

A soon-to-be published book by a Shippensburg University faculty member details the life of Mira Lloyd Dock of Harrisburg who was a Progressive Era reformer, a college-educated botanist and the first woman to serve on the Pennsylvania State Forestry Commission.

susanrimbyThe book, to be published in December, is written by Dr. Susan Rimby, a professor of history/philosophy who is serving as interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Shippensburg.

Rimby is the first author to write about the life and work of Dock. Her book, Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement, will be published by Penn State University Press.

“She fought hard for conservation, municipal clean-up and women’s rights throughout her lifetime,” said Rimby. “She wove these causes together through her work with both the forestry commission and women’s clubs affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs.”

Dock, who lived from 1853 to 1945, was a contemporary and colleague of Gifford Pinchot, U.S. chief forester and later governor of Pennsylvania, and Joseph Trimble Rothrock, Pennsylvania’s first forest commissioner.

According to Rimby, “The book shows the ways in which committed citizenry, both concerned women and politically powerful men, joined forces to preserve and conserve forests and watersheds, improve the quality of urban life, and secure equitable educational, professional and political rights for women.”

Rimby will talk about her book as keynote speaker for the Midtown Scholar’s Annual Book Festival. That presentation is 7 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Midtown Scholar bookstore at 1302 North 3rd Street in Harrisburg.

“The bookstore is in the center of the city where Dock lived and engaged in her professional and volunteer work,” Rimby said. “The Midtown Scholar’s owners do a great job of engaging Harrisburg and Southcentral Pennsylvania citizens in discussing the issues of the day. As such, it’s a worthy successor to the organizations founded and promoted by Dock.”