Edith’s Career Begins
Edith Frances McIntosh was born on June 4, 1892 in Brooklyn to Alexander and Susan Elizabeth (nee Ennis) McIntosh. She had three younger siblings, Florence Adelaide, Hazel, and Alexander. The family moved from Brooklyn to Oceanside, NY between 1905 and 1908. In 1908, Edith graduated from Ocean Side School as valedictory.
Edith’s musical training began at the Oneonta Normal School, where she studied pedagogy, and made a name for herself among her peers as a class officer (musician) and a member of the Song Committee. She graduated in 1911 and taught in local Long Island schools for a few years.
Her career truly began when she opened her own music studio in 1920 at age 27, within the Observer Building in Rockville Centre. The Observer building was the headquarters of the Nassau Daily Review, the newspaper owned by her brother-in-law James E. Stiles, who married Edith’s sister Florence McIntosh in 1917. In addition to her music lessons, Edith also took on the role of musical editor for Stiles’ paper – a fact that led to some teasing by the editor of the South Side Signal of Babylon, perhaps hinting at the benefits of a family connection. The Signal editor noted that Stiles was the first to have a music editor on Long Island.
As her student body continued to grow over the next fifteen years, Edith hired several assistant teachers, and held concerts and student recitals at her studio in the Observer building. She also participated in numerous music-related community events, increasing her visibility in the community.