Doris F. Piccino was born on July 14, 1934. She received a bachelor's degree from Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA, and an MA in History from Northwestern University in 1958. At Northwestern, she was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She married Ellerth Overboe.
Doris Overboe first became involved in the Northwestern University Settlement Association (NUSA) in 1965. The Northwestern University Settlement had been founded in 1891 to provide social services in a poor immigrant neighborhood on Chicago's near-northwest side. (While the founding members were all connected with Northwestern University, and many of the resident and volunteer workers over the years were Northwestern students or faculty, the Settlement had, and has, no official connection with the University.) As with many other settlements established around that time (including Hull-House), the NUSA is now a thriving community center, still supported by the work and fundraising efforts of members of its branch and central Boards.
Overboe joined the NUSA's North Shore Junior Board in 1966, serving on various committees and eventually as President until 1972. She was a member of the Evanston Women's Board from 1975-1980. She became a Central Committee member starting in 1971 and joined the Northwestern Settlement Associates in the mid-1980s. As NUSA Historian and Chair of the History Committee, Overboe was very much involved in the planning for the NUSA's centennial in 1991. She worked with Mark Wukas, the author hired to write the centennial history (The Worn Doorstep), and became very interested in the life of Harriet Vittum (1872-1953), NUSA Head Resident from 1907 to 1947. After the publication of the centennial history, Overboe continued to research Vittum's life. She explored both the extensive records of the Northwestern University Settlement Association held in the Northwestern University Archives, and the records of Vittum correspondents, family members, and related organizations in archives, libraries, and historical societies across the country. As a member of the Chicago Area Women's History Conference, which was sponsoring an encyclopedic dictionary of notable women in Chicago, Overboe contributed a lengthy entry on Vittum. Women Building Chicago 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary was published in 2001. Overboe hoped eventually to expand her work on Vittum into a full-length biography.
For more on the Northwestern University Settlement Association, including the work of the various Boards, see Series 41/1 (General Administrative Records). See also Overboe's entry on Harriet Vittum in Women Building Chicago 1790-1990: A Biographical Dictionary, edited by Rima Lunin Schultz and Adele Hast (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001).
Found in 1 Collection or Record:
The Doris Overboe Papers fill five boxes and one card-file, and document her involvement with the Northwestern University Settlement Association (NUSA) and –the bulk of the materials—her research into the life of Harriet Vittum, long-time Head Resident at the Settlement.