“The Women Who Did”

Carroll County Times article for 26 March 1917

by Jay A. Graybeal

This coming Thursday evening the Historical Society will sponsor “Quilt Voices” a dramatic program about the lives of middle-class women in the nineteenth century. Using theatre to teach history is a relatively new concept for museums but the idea has been around for many years. More than three-quarters of a century ago, local residents enjoyed an evening of dramatic readings about “women whose names had become famous” presented by the Woman’s Club of Westminster.

The February 23, 1917 issue of The Times carried a lengthy story about “The Women Who Did.”

An event of more than ordinary interest took place in Westminster on Thursday evening, when the Woman’s Club of this city, presented in Smith Hall auditorium, Western Maryland College, the pageant, “The Women Who Did.” Seventeen ladies dressed in costume appeared on the stage, one after the other as they were called by the Genius of History, in answer to “A Girl” who expressed a wish to see some of the women whose names had became famous.As each was called they expressed surprise in seeing the others who were on the platform and many explanations were in order. A rich vein of humor ran through the play, especially in the questions and remarks of the one who represented “An Interrogation Point” and “Xantippe,” who was always scolding her husband.

Loud applause greeted each participant as they came forth, and especially when “Betsy Ross” maker of the flag sang for the entertainment of those who had been called a verse about the stars and stripes, and stated, in response to the jeers of “Queen Elizabeth and Queen Isabella,” that “she would rather be the maker of that flag, than the queen of the proudest country of Europe.”

Every part was splendidly taken and the costumes were rich and beautiful, typifying in each case the character represented.

In addition to the immediate families of the members of the club there were a number of invited guests, besides the members of the faculty of the college and the student body.

In a few happy remarks, the president, Mrs. Northrop, gave a brief “foreword,” outlining the play and welcoming the guests. At the close of the pageant, members and friends were invited to the College parlors where delightful refreshments were served, and a pleasant social hour was enjoyed.

Below is the cast of characters:


Dramatis Personae
A Girl, Who Desires to see the Women of History, Mrs. Babylon; Genius of History, Mrs. Ward; Spirit of Modern America, An interrogation Point, Mrs. George Mather; Judith, The Jewish Princess, Mrs. Albaugh; Xantippe, The Wife of Socrates, Mrs. Myers; Isabella, Queen of Spain, Mrs. Shaw; Cornella, A Roman Matron, Mrs. Hetrick; Mary Washington, Mother of George Washington, Mrs. Lewis; Molly Pitcher, The Heroine of Monmouth, Mrs. Elderdice; Betsy Ross, Maker of the Flag, Mrs. Beacham; Hannah, The Quakeress, Mrs. Robinson; Queen Elizabeth, Mrs. Wantz; The Inca Princess, Mrs. Frank Mather; Evangeline, The Maid of Arcadia, Mrs. Hodges; Mrs. Murray, To Whom Gen. Putman owed his Escape from the British, Mrs. Adams; Jingu, The Empress of Japan, who Conquered Corea, Mrs. Forlines; Pocahontas, Mrs. Miller.
Photo Caption: Cast of “The Women Who Did” performed at Smith Hall, Western Maryland College on February 22, 1917. Historical Society of Carroll County collection, gift of Dorothy Elderdice.
Side Bar Copy: “Quilt Voices” will be held on Thursday March 30th at 7:30 p. m. in the Shriver-Weybright Auditorium, 210 E. Main St., Westminster. Admission is free and seating is limited so please come early.