Rosamond McPherson Young, Dayton educator, historian and journalist, was fondly known to her students in her 20 years at Stivers as “Ms. Mac.” She had a second career as a columnist at the Dayton Daily News and Journal Herald. In addition, Roz was an author, writing textbooks and biographies of Dayton’s great men and women and of her regal cat, Edith. Her Saturday columns appeared opposite the editorial page at a time when women writers were usually relegated to the Women’s Page.
Born October 1912 to Dayton artist Harry McPherson and wife Isabelle, Roz graduated from Steele H.S. in 1930, completed her bachelor’s degree in 1934 and her master’s from Oberlin College in 1936. For the next 25 years she cared for her bedridden mother, taught full time and wrote English textbooks for The American Book Company. Roz was a distinctive character standing 5’10”, slender with pure white hair and a soprano warble in her voice. She had a stylish air, wearing bold plaids, purple suede suits, and jewelry that weighed a ton. Roz ruled over the downtown scene. She walked everywhere, talking and laughing with the very folks who inspired her columns. She frequented all the favorite eateries, but Rike’s Coin Room was where she held court at Saturday luncheons. In 1953 she married William A. Young whom she referred to as “My Sweet William”. William and his children were subjects of many of her columns. Roz was inducted into the Dayton Walk of Fame in 2003 and earned an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Dayton in 1994.
Roz passed from this earth at Bethany Lutheran Village on August 18, 2005 at age 92. Among the many tributes written about her upon her death, this says it all: “Heaven is a better place with Roz. She’ll make the angels laugh; she’ll teach them things they didn’t know that they should know; and she’ll correct God himself if he doesn’t use the possessive in front of a gerund.” She was a friend and a taskmaker, expecting only the best of each student. She could laugh at herself! Her cackle echoed in those hallowed halls of Stivers. Most of all – She was loved.