Ida Elizabeth (Bowser) Asbury (1870-1955)

Ida Elizabeth Bowser was born in Philadelphia on January 19, 1870.  The daughter of talented artist David Bustill Bowser, Ida was a violinist and music teacher.  In 1890, she became the first African American woman to graduate and earn a degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a Certificate of Proficiency in Music.  In 1901, Ida married John Cornelius Asbury, an African American businessman, lawyer, and politician who was an elected member of the Pennsylvania State Assembly, and was one of the first African-American alternate delegates to the 1912 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.  Ida Bowser Asbury died in 1955.

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