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Florence Wissler HINKLE

Operatic Soprano

Born: 22 June 1885, Columbia, Pennsylvania USA

Died: 19 April 1933, Cincinnati, Ohio USA

Florence Wissler Hinkle was a lauded soprano who toured with the Metropolitan Opera Company in the early part of the 20th century. She appeared in Richmond, Virginia in 1915, and at the Aeolian Hall, Manhattan, four years later. A year later, she married Herbert Witherspoon, basso for the Met until he retired in 1914.

Florence’s voice has been documented in numerous recordings during her short career (it’s believed she retired from operatic singing in the late 1910s). Florence died in 1933 of heart disease in Cincinnati. Herbert died two years later after being named general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, replacing Giulio Gatti-Casazza. In his will, Herbert stipulated that funds be set aside for the Library of Congress to purchase musical manuscripts in Florence’s name.

Florence was a niece of Samuel Wissler Hinkle, the inventive pharmacist who came up with the famous Easter egg dyes. Although no longer a pharmacy, Hinkle’s is still going strong in the same location. Florence’s father was Harry M. Hinkle (1862-1924). Both her father and mother, Anna Wissler, remain at rest in Columbia’s Mt. Bethel Cemetery.

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