Hedda Åhlin was the principal of the Åhlinska school and the niece of Karin Åhlin, who founded the school.
Hedda Åhlin was born in 1866 in Långsele, where her father Paul August Åhlin was the regimental commissar at the Sollefteå regiment. Her mother was Catharina Sofia Vilhelmina Hjärne, who died when Anna Åhlin was only four. Hedda Åhlin therefore moved as a child to Stockholm to live with her father’s siblings. Among her paternal aunts was Karin Åhlin, who founded the Åhlinska school. It was a girls’ school where several other aunts also worked. Hedda Åhlin was admitted to the school as its youngest pupil. Immediately after completing her schooling, she was given a post as a teacher at the school. She taught religious knowledge all her life. Apart from that, she was also very interested in teaching singing and music and was described by her contemporaries as musically gifted.
When Karin Åhlin died, she was succeeded by Hedda Åhlin. Under her leadership, the school continued its expansion both in terms of number of pupils and in terms of new premises. In 1906, the school was able to move to a completely new school building at Dalagatan 16–18 in Stockholm.
In 1900, Lydia Wahlström was appointed director of studies at the Åhlinska school. Lydia Wahlström’s extensive correspondence reveals that the relationship between her and Hedda Åhlin was not always completely without conflicts.
Hedda Åhlin’s life revolved around the school. The teachers and former pupils seems to have constituted a great part of her social life. At her funeral in May 1920, the school’s girls’ choir performed songs to honour their deceased principal.
Hedda Åhlin is buried in the family grave in the Northern Cemetery in Solna. Karin Åhman rests in the same grave.