CELEBRATE 100 TIOGA

NOTABLE WOMEN

- of Tioga County -

COMPILED BY EMMA SEDORE, TIOGA COUNTY HISTORIAN

27

arts

government

advocacy

business

education

science

Alida Noble

2/13/1849 -2/14/1929

Copyist, Newark Valley

Studied painting. Traveled to Europe four times. In later years she was widely recognized as perhaps the best American copyist of the old masters.

May Davison Rhodes

1871 -1957 Apalachin

She was the wife of a prolific writer, Eugene Manlove Rhodes. After his death, she wrote a successful novel, Hired Man on Horseback, published by Houghton Mifflin Co. c 1938.

Jean McCann

12/6/1937–1/23/2019

Artist, Owego

Moved to Owego from Queens, NY 1966. She began sketching at the age of three and went on to earn a national reputation and was nominated to the Who’s Who in American Art. Mostly in watercolors, she painted landscapes, nature and other subjects.

Stella Avery Farrington McAlpine

1849 – 1902 Owego

(Pen Name Avery McAlpine) She was a writer of books and magazine articles and lived in England the latter part of her life. She was a member of the “Authoress Club of London.” 

Mary Wells Pumpelly

1803 – 1879 Artist/Poet Owego

Born in Athens, Pa. One of her oil paintings is of John Hollenback, an early businessman in Owego. She had three poems published in New York and contributed to the Atlantic Monthly magazine. She was the mother of Raphael Pumpelly.

Eda Brent

2/19/1929 – 11/29/2017 Apalachin

A talented artist of portraits and pastels and instrumental in a major art project in Owego known as Windows in Time.

Elaine Van Cortlandt Selover

1895–1915 Owego 

Known as Elaine “Pearl” Selover, she became an actress and performed in the Florenz Ziegfeld Follies in 1907. She lived at 36 West Main St., Owego.

Rosalie Wells (Pen Name)

Mrs. Robert Kenyon, Smith Owego

She wrote The Walled Towns of France, c 1937, Fans and Covered Bridges in America. She presented two copies to the Coburn Free Library in the 1930s.

Belva A. Bennett McNall Lockwood

1830-1917 Owego 

Attorney. Born in Niagara Co., NY, she owned and operated the Owego Female Seminary from 1863-1865. She went on to graduate from law school in Washington, DC 1873 and in that same year was admitted to the Washington, DC. Bar. In 1879 she became the first woman ever to practice before the US Supreme Court. Belva Lockwood was also the first woman to run for President of the United States, twice, in 1884 and 1888. She was very active in the Suffrage movement.

Sarah Emily Corbin Robert

1886 – 1972 Owego

Was the daughter-in-law of Gen. Henry M. Robert author of Robert’s Rules of Order) After his death, she and Gen. Robert’s wife (Isabell Hoagland Robert, of Owego) were commissioned to complete the 1921-1922 Parliamentary Procedures and Law. The two women also produced the 1943 edition with necessary changes for the 1951 edition. Sarah went on to become the President General of NSDAR.

Rebecca Halstead

1959 Candor 

She was the first of only three women in Tioga County to attend and graduate from the West Point Military Academy. She succeeded in attaining the rank of Brigadier General (Retired) U.S. Army.

Margaret Hastings

1914-1978 Owego

Margaret graduated from OFA in 1932 and joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1944. After surviving 47 days in a New Guinea jungle (nick-named “Shangri-La”) after a tragic plane crash, she was known throughout the world.

Fran Leavenworth

1934-2008 Apalachin 

Former Tioga Co. legislator and Chairwoman of the legislature; she was active in many organizations, including politics at the State level.

Rowena Beck

1892-1990 Owego 

At age 21, she became the first woman to be elected to a Tioga County Office as an attorney. She was admitted to the Bar in 1914 and in 1919 she was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the first Tioga County woman so honored. From 1931 to 1940 she served as deputy clerk for Tioga County. She was a partner with her father in law's firm, Beck and Beck. She was also the first woman to be elected president of the Tioga County Bar Association.

Esther McQuigg Morris

1812-1902 Spencer 

Born in Spencer, Esther later resided in the village of Owego. After her first husband died, she lived in Wyoming, where she had been the primary factor in lobbying for women’s right to vote in that state. The bill was signed in 1869 and, for the first time, granted women the right to vote equally with men. In 1870 she became the first female Justice of the Peace in this country. Today there is a statue of her in front of the State Capitol building in Cheyenne, Wy, and a smaller one has been placed in Statuary Hall in Washington, DC.

Elizabeth Chatfield

1843 – 1917 Owego 

Elizabeth was the niece of Esther McQuigg Morris. She became very active in the suffrage movement when she moved to NYC and became the private secretary for Susan B. Anthony. She married Levi. S. Chatfield, a prominent lawyer and former member of the NYS Assembly, and the State Attorney General 1849-1853. After his death, she returned to her home at 18 Front St., Owego.

Patricia Hansen

Owego

The owner and operator of a successful business, the Hand of Man and Riverose Café on Front St., Owego for 45 years, closing in April 2020.

Grace Holmes

1885-1977Telephone Exchange 

A widow, Mrs. Holmes owned and operated a telephone exchange in Apalachin for 28 years.

Fannie C. Hyde

1872-1961 Owego 

Mrs. Hyde was the daughter of William H. Corey and wife of Dr. Louis D. Hyde, of Owego. After her death in 1961, her estate was left in trust for the benefit of the local community.

Minnie B. Wade & Ida Wade Leonard 

Owego 

Both Minnie B. Wade and her sister, Ida Wade Leonard were deeply interested in history; and with their brother Louis, made a decision that a substantial part of the estate of each would pass to the survivor, or survivors, and that the last to die should create a trust for nephew, Floyd Shryver; and upon his death, the trust would become the absolute property of the Historical Society in Tioga County as a memorial to the Wade-Gaskill family. After their deaths, with Miss Wade being the last to die, her will suggested the erection of a museum to be known as the Wade-Gaskill Memorial, but did not make the carrying out of such a desire obligatory. The directors decided to erect a museum, which was completed and dedicated as the Tioga County Historical Society Museum on Saturday, August 20, 1960.

Mildred Faulkner Truman

1897-1983 Owego 

Daughter of George W. and Jennie Houk Faulkner, Mrs. Truman was married to attorney, James S. Truman. She was an able and successful investor, and as a result, she accumulated a substantial estate. Her will provided that the residuary of her estate be used to establish a foundation to fund grants to qualified tax-exempt organizations whose worthwhile project benefits the residents of Owego and Tioga County.

Henrietta Whitney

1909–2007 Apalachin

She taught in one-room schoolhouses and in the Apalachin Elementary School from 1932-1971. She was recognized numerous times for her support in many community organizations. 

Susan J. LaMonte

1833-1932 Owego

A noted educator, Mrs. Life began teaching at an early age, including tutoring young John D. Rockefeller at her home in the town of Owego. After teaching in Nichols, NY, she married and moved to Muncy, Pa. and opened a school for young ladies, known as the Muncy Seminary. After leaving Muncy, they moved to Rye, NY and she then opened her very successful school in 1869, called the Rye Seminary. (The school is still in operation, but as the Rye Country Day School.) After her husband died, she continued to run the school until she retired back home to Owego.

Sarah H. Orme

11/16/1858–4/7/1942 Apalachin 
She first practiced medicine in the western states before moving back to Apalachin in 1906, where she reopened her practice for the next 30 years. She was very active in the community.

Helen Dean King

1869 – 1955 Owego

Dr. King graduated from Bryn Mawr in 1892 and attained her PhD in 1899. In 1932, while assistant Professor of Embryology at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania, she was selected as one of two women of highest attainment of scientific research in the world. At the turn of the century, she was the only woman with the highest achievement to hold a professorship in research work, other than Madam Curie of France. She had dedicated most of her life to cancer research.

Elizabeth Bates

1833-1898 Owego 

Dr. Bates graduated from Women’s Medical College in Pennsylvania in 1854. She engaged in a joint practice with her father, Dr. William R., until his death in 1874 and continued her practice in Owego until 1880. Upon her death, she bequeathed her considerable estate to the Univ. of Michigan with a strict stipulation

E. Jennie Steele

1842 – 1935 Owego

Miss Steele was a dedicated teacher who taught for more than fifty years in one-room schoolhouses throughout Tioga County and at Owego Free Academy. She retired in 1916 and was recognized as one of the outstanding educators of NYS.