Johanna Mansfield Sullivan

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Johanna Mansfield Sullivan was born in Feeding Hills, Agawarm, Massachusetts back in 1866 to Thomas and Alice.  When she was five years old she contracted a bacterial eye disease known as trachoma which left her nearly blind.  When she was eight her mother died from tuberculosis and her father abandoned her two years later. 

She was sent to almshouse in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.  due to reports of cruelty to inmates, including sexually perverted practices and cannibalism an investigation was launched.  In 1877, she was sent to the Soeurs de la Charite hospital in Lowell, Massachusetts.  She graduated from the Perkins School in 1886, as the valedictorian of her class, she was twenty. 

The summer after she graduated she went to work with Arthur to her with his seven-year-old daughter.  She stayed for 49 years before her death in 1936, she was 70.

If you haven’t figured it out by now I’m writing about her nickname Anne Sullivan, and of course the seven-year-old was Helen Keller.

Your day is worthwhile when you make someone smile, so give the free gift of a smile today.

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Come for a visit stay for a lifetime.  



Comments (21)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - this story came together as you shared the various pieces.    

Sep 10, 2021 02:45 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James - bit by bit I figured this on out today.  Quite a miracle she worked.

Sep 10, 2021 03:16 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Sep 10, 2021 03:59 AM
Barbara Tattersall
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan (Keene,NH) - Keene, NH

Hi James,

What an awful beginning for Anne Sullivan!  The focus is usually on Helen Keller. I'm so glad life was better for both of them after they're paths came together.

Sep 10, 2021 04:06 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

James, another story that means so much, but we should know the story of Helen Keller.

Sep 10, 2021 04:48 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

A sad story that became a happy ending.

Now as then, the situation has not improved in many types of nursing homes.

Make yourself an awesome day.

Sep 10, 2021 04:49 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Anne Sullivan was definitely a special person who endured a terrible beginning. Enjoy your day.

Sep 10, 2021 05:28 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

Johanna Mansfield Sullivan was an amazing person James Dray . I've always believed that even just a spark of love can ignite the most downtrodden.

Sep 10, 2021 05:42 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

She was an amazing woman, Ms Keller. Great points made here.  We made it to Friday, easier as it was a shorter week.  Thanks again for the post.  Enjoy your weekend.  Bill Salvatore

Sep 10, 2021 05:59 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such a sad, yet amazing story of being able to overcome what a cruel world can throw our way.

Sep 10, 2021 06:12 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi James... I did not figure this story out at all... but I do know of Anne Sullivan.

Sep 10, 2021 07:00 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I did not guess the story as many did.  I knew of it, and it was a wonderful story to share. A

Sep 10, 2021 07:14 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I did guess it was Helen Keller. I did not know the story about the school she was sent to. Scary...but what an amazing human being.

Sep 10, 2021 08:16 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I certainly knew of Anne Sullivan but was not aware until you revealed the name. Amzaing individual with such a tough start in life.

Sep 10, 2021 10:21 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi James- I never knew the backstory of Anne Sullivan. Thank you. 

Sep 10, 2021 10:57 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - I didn't know the entire story of Helen Keller and now I know more... Thank you. 

Sep 10, 2021 02:23 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Truly a remarkable woman. Thanks for telling her story James. Have a great weekend!

Sep 10, 2021 03:08 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

James I had no idea, sadly I lived in Wilmington MA and it was the last house before you entered Tuxbury.... I used to wash my monthly laundry in Lowel MA.... so you get the idea I was in her footsteps and had no idea... so who was bling?ME, Endre

Sep 11, 2021 12:01 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

It is not what you are given, but what you make of what you have that counts. She made it all count.

Sep 12, 2021 07:20 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

It is amazing that Johanna Mansfield Sullivan could use the tragedies and terrible abuse of her early life to become a caring, loving individual.

Nov 22, 2021 12:07 PM