“Women’s History Month”

Carroll County Times article for 21 March 1993

By Joe Getty

The highlight of Women’s History Month will be the Carroll County Women’s Fair at Carroll Community College next Sunday. Several workshops at the fair relate to local history themes including a presentation by Joanne S. Manwaring, former director/curator of the Historical Society of Carroll County.

A great challenge for local research and interpretation is to document the role of women in Carroll County’s history. As we pursue the themes of everyday life in local history, resources for documenting women’s activities are especially difficult to locate. There are few diaries or written reminiscences to guide the diligent researcher who investigates this topic.

Traditional techniques for analyzing everyday life by interpreting artifacts and objects are available. The study of tools and products of domestic crafts traditions provide one key method for obtaining information. The presentation by Joanne Manwaring will look at textiles and other objects produced by Carroll County women for insights about women in Carroll County’s past.

Another method is to study the lives and histories of women whose contributions advanced the roles of women in Carroll County. The keynote speakers at the Carroll County Women’s Fair have done this at the state level. Kathleen Case and Kara Brook researched nine Maryland women who made their mark in history. Out of this research, an original quilt artwork and poster was produced which will be on display at the fair.

The connecting themes among these Maryland women were patriotism, high energy and effective action. Carroll County has its own honor roll of women who have actively participated in community affairs and contributed to making the county a better place to live. The photographs on this page show just a few of the women who should be recognized for their significance in local history.

The Carroll County Women’s Fair will be held on March 28th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you would like additional information, call 876-1429, 848-3360, or 795-6194.

Photo caption 1: Emily J. Rippard was influential in local political circles as the owner and publisher of Westminster’s American Sentinel newspaper. She was actively involved in the newspaper from 1868 until her death in 1905. She was instrumental in the success of the building campaign for the Grace Lutheran Church in Westminster. Gift of Henry Kohler, Historical Society of Carroll County collection.
Photo caption 2: The first women selected for a Carroll County jury served at the May term of the Circuit Court in 1957. The Democratic Advocate newspaper noted in an article that for the first time “in addressing the jury the attorneys will say ‘ladies and gentlemen of the jury.'” A May 13, 1957, photograph documents these women: first row, left to right: Mary Rineman, Nellie Hare, Maurice R. Leister, Margaret E. Stewart, Dorothy F. Cootes, and Pearl L. Bollinger; second row: Estalla Frick, Marie Powell, Nellie Lantz, Katherine S. Chrysler, and Dorothy Stegman; third row: Maude Seipp, Lynda Hahn, Ruth G. Elderdice, Lillian Chew, Ethel Devilbiss and Dorothy Card. Photo by Englar Studios, Historical Society of Carroll County collection.
Photo caption 3: Mary Gray Clemson was the first women admitted to the Carroll County Bar. On April 16th, 1946, she was admitted to the Bar by the Court of Appeals of Maryland. She was also active in a number of community organizations including the Historical Society of Carroll County.