Minerva Chriswell was an 1867 graduate of the Brockport Collegiate Institute, it's last year, and the following year she joined the ranks of the faculty of the Brockport Normal School, successor to the Institute. She was an English and grammar instructor, and taught at the school until her death in 1898. Her obituary noted that:
"...she ... has devoted herself to its interests with the earnestness and singleness of purpose which characterized all that she did. Her work in the classroom was such that it could not fail to make a lasting impression upon those who had the privilege of receiving her instruction... From the beginning she was in love with her work, and this love deepened as time passed. "