Woman Suffrage – A Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Ratification of the 19th Amendment – Williamstown and Beyond

It’s the start of the museum’s Summer of Suffrage! In this series and online exhibit, with the help and generous contributions of research from The Northern Berkshire Suffrage Centennial Coalition, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. We will look at the Woman Suffrage movement, its progress in the region, key suffragists, and women who have made a difference since the 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Massachusetts residents played a significant role in the Woman Suffrage movement, and author Barbara Berenson wrote an accessible and informative book, titled Massachusetts in the Woman Suffrage Movement.  We encourage you to learn more about the book by clicking on the image below to go to the webpage for the book and you can click on the button below to hear an audio interview of the author.

Radio Interview with Barbara Berenson


Phoebe Jordan

Berkshire County’s second most famous suffragist is Phoebe Sarah Jordan (1864-1940) of New Ashford, MA, and yet few County residents know who she was, why she is noteworthy, or have seen a photo of her, even though there are people still alive today with childhood memories of her.

Her current claim to fame is that she was the first American woman to legally vote in a presidential election in November of 1920, after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. But that is not the headline on her Berkshire Eagle obituary.

For five national elections, from 1916-1932, New Ashford was the first town in the nation to cast its ballots (Dixville Notch, NH, usurped that honor at the 1936 election) thanks to a publicity scheme cooked up by Dennis J. Haylon, managing editor of the Berkshire Eagle, and Carey S. Hayward, city editor of the Pittsfield Journal, to open the polls in what was then the Commonwealth’s smallest town, at 6 am. With the cooperation of the three dozen or so voters, it was possible for New Ashford to be the first community to report election returns.


Boston Globe, November 3, 1920

Elections were held in what was then the schoolhouse on Mallery Road – since restored and known as the 1792 Schoolhouse, and since automobiles – not to mention paved roads – were still a novelty in 1916, many voters, including Jordan, arrived on foot.

 Photo montage of New Ashford 1792 schoolhouse, Beatrice Nichols Phelps, Warren H. Baxter and Phoebe Jordan in a Berkshire Eagle retrospective article August, 1955.
1792 Schoolhouse, New Ashford
iBerkshires photo of the alumni of the 1792 Schoolhouse at the opening of the restored building in November 2016

Who was this first American woman to legally cast a vote in a Presidential election?

Phoebe Jordan was the quintessential New Englander. Born to Emily Middlebrook and Sidney Deloss Jordan in Washington, MA, on February 26, 1864, she came to New Ashford to live with her aunt, Miss Josephine Jordan, when she was seven and never left.

Her grandfather, Francis Jordan, had arrived in New Ashford in the early 19th century. All the town’s farmers gathered to help him “raise” his house in May of 1831.

When other family members passed away Phoebe Jordan came to run the farm, which eventually grew to 400 acres. Though weighing not more than 100 pounds she did much of the work herself, having no more than two hired men to help her.

She was an expert at operating a horse-drawn mowing machine and in the winter she operated a similarly powered snow plow. She raised prize winning turkeys. She supplied the schoolhouse with its annual allotment of firewood. She was an expert marksman and killed a fox caught robbing her chicken coop with one shot at a distance of 102 feet. She never married.

For 12 years she was the owner and operator of New Ashford’s sole non-agricultural industry – a charcoal kiln, one of the last in the County – until the top of the cone caved in after a big snowstorm in 1931, burying 15 cords of hardwood.

Like her Aunt Josephine before her, she drove her heavily-laden two-horse farm wagon 12 miles to Pittsfield to sell her charcoal and farm produce. Her personal vehicle was an 1870 single-horse carriage, but her trek to the polls was usually made on foot.

So it is no surprise that this most independent and resourceful woman was a suffragist!

Jordan’s barns, c. 1940

We are told Jordan was a suffragist, but our local newspapers at the time carried little news of local suffrage efforts, beyond running cartoons skewering women’s demands for full enfranchisement.

We do know that, long before she could vote, she was the chair of the New Ashford Republican Committee, proving that women were actively involved in politics alongside the men before the passage of the 19th amendment.

And she was a big supporter of the PR stunt that made New Ashford the first town in the nation to vote and record its election results, so it was only natural that, as soon as she could vote, she showed up bright and early at the polls.

We saw that when the Boston Globe featured a photo of Jordan and another New Ashford woman who were the first to vote, the news wasn’t that they were women, but that they were the first citizens in the USA to vote in the 1920 presidential election.

The following year Jordan enthusiastically ran for a seat on the New Ashford Board of Selectmen – and garnered exactly one vote. Women may have been grudgingly welcome at the polls but not in the seats of power.

Still she continued to be a staunch Republican (see the clip from the Berkshire Eagle in July of 1928 below in which she explains at length why women support Herbert Hoover) until, in 1934, she “became dissatisfied with the manner in which the Republicans were running the state and the nation and left the party flat” after which she became “as firm a Democrat as she was a Republican” according to the North Adams Transcript.

When Jordan died in 1940 her obituary in the North Adams Transcript hailed her as the first person in the nation to cast their ballot in four consecutive presidential elections – 1920, 1924, 1928, and 1932.

It wasn’t until 1992 that she was publicly identified as the first woman to vote legally in a presidential election. And it was the effort, started in 2008, to raise money to restore the 1792 schoolhouse in New Ashford, that really began to capitalize on this feminist claim to fame for the building and the town. And it worked – in 2016 the town cut the ribbon on the restored schoolhouse and invited all living alumni to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The voting population of New Ashford turned out for a turkey supper and straw vote in advance of the 1936 presidential election, the first in which Dixville Notch, NH, usurped their status as first town in the nation to vote. Phoebe Jordan is seated in front, third from the right. The Berkshire Eagle 11-2-1936.


Berkshire County’s most famous suffragist is Susan B. Anthony. Although she only lived in Adams for the first six years of her life, her family roots run deep in the Hoosic Valley and she returned to the Mother City many times during her life to speak and visit relatives. Many members of the Anthony family still call this area home.

It was just before the beginning of the American Revolution that David Anthony and his wife, Judith Hicks, moved to Adams from Dartmouth, MA, bringing two little children with them (nine more were born here.) One of those two, Humphrey, married an Adams girl, Hannah Lapham. Daniel, the eldest of their nine children, born January 27, 1794, became the father of Susan B. Anthony.

Daniel Anthony’s Birthplace

The Anthonys were Quakers. Susan’s mother’s family, the Reads (also spelled Reid and Reed in various sources), were Baptists and so their ancestors first settled in Cheshire rather than Adams, where Susan’s maternal grandparents Daniel Read and Susannah Richardson were married.

It was but a few months into this marriage when the first gun was fired at Lexington and the whole country was ablaze with excitement. Legend has it that when the minister asked at the end of the Sunday service who would volunteer for the continental army, Daniel Read was the first to step forward. What his new bride thought of this is not recorded, but they did not start their family until after Daniel had fought at Quebec under Benedict Arnold in 1775, at the capture of Ticonderoga under Ethan Allen, and under Colonel Stafford, of Cheshire’s Stafford Hill, at Bennington.

Susan B. Anthony’s mother, Lucy Read, was born on December 3, 1793, one of seven children. For many years the Reads were leading members of the Cheshire Baptists, led then by Elder John Leland, who had the idea of the Mammoth Cheshire Cheese which he presented to President Thomas Jefferson on New Year’s Day of 1802. But as the years progressed Daniel Read became more and more liberal in his beliefs and became a Unitarian.

Birthplace of Lucy Read, Susan B. Anthony’s mother

Susannah Read “prayed the skin off her knees” that her husband would return to the Baptist fold, but he never did, and this precipitated the family’s move from Cheshire to the Bowen’s Corners neighborhood of Adams, where they bought land adjacent to the Anthony family.

Handwritten Anthony family genealogy

The Bennington County History forum provided an interesting story:  “Folklore tells us that Susan had a relative by the name of Peter Anthony. Peter Anthony was Quaker, a hermit who made his home on the western slope of a mountain outside of Bennington. One day he went out hunting and fell to death from a rock ledge. He was found many days later mangled, and frozen stiff. The Mountain was named Mount Anthony in his memory. Susan B Anthony was somehow related to him and visited Bennington in the 1850s to research family ties.”

… Continuing our look at Susan B. Anthony’s roots and how they affected her life’s work. In the 18th century there was a “state religion” in Massachusetts Bay Colony, and it was the Puritan faith that we now call the Congregational Church. As Quakers and Baptists, these families lived outside the norm in their own communities. This is why the Reads moved from the Baptist town of Cheshire to the “suburbs” of Quaker Adams when Daniel Read became a Unitarian.

The Quakers placed great value on education for both sexes and established schools that were attended by many neighborhood children. So while Daniel Anthony (1794-1862) was a Quaker and Lucy Read (1793-1880) was a Baptist, they went to school together. Daniel was sent away to Nine Partners, a Quaker boarding school in Dutchess County, NY, and returned to teach in Adams. It was a this point that romance blossomed between the neighbors.

Daniel and Lucy Anthony

But Daniel was forbidden to marry “out of meeting.” While the Quakers had what we would consider very progressive ideas about women’s rights and the abolition of slavery, they did not drink, dance, sing, or wear brightly colored clothing. With the exception of the drinking, Lucy Read was an outgoing young woman who enjoyed all of the above, especially singing since she had a lovely voice. She expressed the desire to “go into a ten acre field with the bars down” so that she could sing at the top of her voice.

So for her the decision to marry was the decision to completely change her way of life. On the night four days before their wedding she went out and danced until 4 am while Daniel sat quietly outside waiting for her.

Daniel then had to face the Quaker Elders when he and Lucy returned from their wedding trip in July of 1817. That his mother was an Elder and “sat on the high seat” undoubtedly helped the couples’ cause. While the Meeting contended that Daniel told them that he was “sorry he had married” Lucy, he insisted that he had said he was “sorry that in order to marry the woman I loved best, I had to violate the rule of the religious society I revered most.”

Quaker Meetinghouse in Adams

Hannah Anthony Hoxie, Daniel Anthony’s sister

Susan B. Anthony was the second of Daniel and Lucy Read Anthony’s seven children. She was born on February 15, 1820, in the house that is now The Susan B Anthony Birthplace Museum on East Road in Adams. The home was built in 1818 by Daniel Anthony on land gifted to him by his in-laws, and adjacent to their property, with lumber given by his own father. Until that house was built Daniel and Lucy lived with her parents.

When the War of 1812 disrupted the importation of cotton cloth from England, Daniel Anthony was among the many businessmen who saw an opportunity. Hauling cotton forty miles by wagon from Troy, NY, in 1822 he built a factory of twenty-six looms power by water fed down from Tophet Brook through pipes made of hollow logs.

Millwork afforded “women of respectability” one of the first opportunities to earn money outside the home. And to preserve that respectability the millworkers, most of them young girls from Vermont, boarded in the home of the millowner.

Female mill workers in Pittsburg, PA textile mill,  c. 1840s

Lucy, with three children and counting of her own, boarded eleven of the millworkers with only the help of a thirteen-year-old girl who worked for her after school hours. She cooked their meals on the hearth of the big kitchen fireplace, and in the large brick oven beside it baked crisp brown loaves of bread. From a young age Susan was helping her mother in the house and questioning her father about why his female employees weren’t given equal pay for equal work.

Kitchen in the Anthony home

Homes still owned by Bowen and Anthony family members can be seen on the map below, clustered at the right. The two branches of Tophet Brook enclose the area, before running diagonally across the map (glancing off of the second A in ADAMS) to meet the Hoosic River downtown.

“Lucy Read Anthony was of a very timid and reticent disposition and painfully modest and shrinking. Before the birth of every child she was overwhelmed with embarrassment and humiliation, secluded herself from the outside world and would not speak of the expected little one even to her mother. That mother would assist her overburdened daughter by making the necessary garments, take them to her home and lay them carefully in a drawer, but no word of acknowledgement ever passed between them. This was characteristic of those olden times, when there were seldom any confidences between mothers and daughters in regard to the deepest and most sacred concerns of life, which were looked upon as subjects to be rigidly tabooed.”
– Ida Husted Harper, The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony, Volume I 1898

Lucy Anthony gave birth to four of her eight children (six lived to adulthood) in one of the front rooms at what is now the The Susan B Anthony Birthplace Museum on East Road in Adams, MA.

Bedroom in the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum

Their second child, Susan, was named for her mother’s mother Susanah, and for her father’s sister Susan. In her youth, she and her sisters responded to a “great craze for middle initials” by adding middle initials to their own names. Anthony adopted “B.” as her middle initial because her namesake aunt Susan had married a man named Brownell. Anthony never used the name Brownell herself, and did not like it.

The Quakers’ respect for women’s equality with men before God left its mark on her and as soon as she was old enough she went regularly to Meeting with her parents – her mother attended meeting but never became a Quaker because she felt she could not live up to their strict standard of righteousness – sitting by the big fireplace on the women’s side of East Hoosuck Quaker Meeting House in Adams. With this valuation of women accepted as a matter of course in her church and family circle, Susan took it for granted that it existed everywhere.

Quaker Meetinghouse exterior

Quaker Meetinghouse interior

Daniel Anthony was a staunch Abolitionist, as were most Quakers, and he tried not to buy cotton for his mill that had been raised by slave labor. The cotton mill at Bowens Corners was very successful, and soon the family opened a store in one of the front rooms of what is now The Susan B Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams. 

Regarded as one of the most promising, successful young men in this region, Daniel soon attracted the attention of Judge John McLean, a cotton manufacturer in Battenville, NY, who was eager to enlarge his mills and saw in Daniel an able manager. Despite their parents’ distress at seeing the young family move 44 miles away, in July of 1826 Daniel, Lucy and their children climbed into a green wagon with the Judge and his grandson, Aaron, and headed northwest to Washington County.

The first year the Anthonys lived in Judge McLean’s house where there were two slaves not yet manumitted. The Anthony children had never seen black people before and Anthony’s father explained that in the South they could be sold like cattle and torn from their families. Susan was saddened by their plight.

Before she became a champion for women’s rights and suffrage, Susan was very active in the Abolitionist movement, circulating anti-slavery petitions when she was 16 and 17 years old. She worked for a while as the New York state agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society. She first met Elizabeth Cady Stanton after Stanton had attended an anti-slavery meeting at Seneca Falls. When her family moved to Rochester, NY, in 1845 she became life-long friends with Frederick Douglass.

Susan’s adult life and work are well chronicled and we encourage you to learn more during our Summer of Suffrage as we celebrate the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. Although she had died 14 years earlier, the amendment was known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment and there is no doubt that American women owe a great debt of gratitude to this daughter of the Berkshires!

Susan B. Anthony, Image from the Library of Congress online collection


Why Not Take an Amazing American Women Road Trip?

Have you been following our Susan B. Anthony Posts? Have you watched the “Hamilton” movie? Both Anthony and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton were born and raised in this region, and returned here many times as adults.

While the these buildings and museums remain closed or are only open for limited hours due to the pandemic, the countryside is beautiful, and many restaurants are open for take-out or outdoor dining. An Amazing American Women Road Trip can be a great antidote to quarantine times and a terrific addition to a homeschool curriculum.

 

 

 

 

Susan B. Anthony Childhood Home from age 13-16
2835 State Route 29, Greenwich, NY
https://tinyurl.com/ybpdfupp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site

32 Catherine Street, Albany, NY

With a little more driving you could visit…

 

The National Women’s Hall of Fame
1 Canal Street, Seneca Falls, NY

Home

 

 

 

 

 

The National Susan B. Anthony House and Museum
17 Madison Street, Rochester, NY

Welcome

 

 


Thanks to WHM member Anne Crider for the short biographies of Outstanding Williamstown Women which we will be sharing this week!

Helen Renzi (1924-2012)
Educator
The First Woman School Superintendent in Williamstown
(and all of Berkshire County)

Helen Renzi begin her 25 year career in the Williamstown Elementary school in 1961 as a 4th grade teacher. Later she was named principal, and in 1981 superintendent. She was the first women school superintendent in Williamstown and in all of Berkshire County. The elementary school named its multipurpose room after her, and each year since 1986, the Helen Renzi Award is presented to four “great kids” from the 6th grade.

Helen was a founder of the Williamstown Children’s Museum and an early contributor to the school’s integrated art program. In 1979, she was named a member of the Institute for Development of Educational Activities Academy of Fellows. She was chosen with 650 other outstanding American educators for the honor.

Born in Brooklyn and educated at West Chester (PA) University, Helen did graduate studies at Penn State University, Boston University and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

She and her husband, Ralph Renzi were parents of four children.

Emma Curtiss Bascom (1828-1916)
Teacher and Temperance and Woman Suffrage Activist

Emma Curtiss Bascom was one of the earliest advocates for woman suffrage and women’s rights. She was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts 1828. After her education at several different academies she taught school in Kinderhook Academy in New York and Stratford Academy in Connecticut.

In 1856 she married John Bascom, a professor at Williams College. The Bascoms lived in Williamstown for most of their marriage. She and John had five children and during the early years Emma ran their home, raised the children and helped her husband with his work during the years he was unable to read and write due to an eye ailment.

John Bascom

In 1874 John Bascom was appointed president of the University of Wisconsin and the family moved to Madison where they lived until their return to Williamstown in 1887. The move give Emma an opportunity for an active public life. The women in the west were more open to her ideals for woman’s advancement. She became active in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the woman’s suffrage organization. She entertained many of the most influential woman of the time including Francis Willard and Susan B. Anthony at the President’s house.

Emma worked hard for the causes in which she believed. She was a charter member of the Association for the Advancement of Women and a founding member and president of Wisconsin’s Equal Suffrage Association, the Secretary for the Woman’s Centennial Commission for the state of Wisconsin, and very active for many years in Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. On her return to Williamstown she continued to support her causes. In 1930 she was elected to the Wisconsin League of Women Voters honor roll.

Emma died February 27, 1916 and was buried in the Williams College cemetery. She shares the plot with John and four of their offspring.

Florence Bascom
Emma and John Bascom’s daughter, the second woman to earn a PhD in geology in the US, and the first woman to work for the US Geological Survey.


Bascom family monument in the Williams College cemetery.

 

Jessie Woodrow Wilson Sayre 1887-1933
Suffragist and Political Advocate

Jessie Sayre, the second daughter of US President Woodrow Wilson, was an advocate for woman suffrage and a political activist. In 1913 after a White House wedding to Francis Bowes Sayre and a European honeymoon, the couple settled in Williamstown. Francis Sayre, a Williams College and Harvard Law School graduate, worked as an assistant to Williams College president Harry A. Garfield. Jessie Sayre, the mother two young children, found time to be the president of the Williamstown branch of the Equal Suffrage League, hosting meetings at her home and speaking at Berkshire County League meetings.

Much to the delight of the townspeople the Sayre house on Main Street, currently a B&B known as The House on Main Street, was visited on a number of occasions by President Wilson, including Thanksgiving in 1914 and the christening of the Sayre’s second child in 1916. In fact he was visiting when he learned that he had been elected for a second term.

Sayre house at 1120 Main Street

Wilson visits Williamstown headline
courtesy of Saturn Leonesio

After the end of WWI the Sayres moved to Cambridge, MA where Francis was offered a faculty position at Harvard Law School. Jessie continued her active interest in the League of Women Voters, the League of Nations Association, and also established a prominent role in the Massachusetts Democratic Party. In 1928 she introduced presidential nominee Al Smith at the Democratic National Convention, and in 1930 she was approached to run for the Senate. She took herself out of consideration in order to remain at home with her family and concentrate on her role as secretary of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

Jessie died at the age of 45 following abdominal surgery. The Boston Globe expression of sympathy noted that ” Mrs. Sayre was a public character and had won for herself the respect and affection of the community. Although she had never held public office she was one of the most useful citizens in her adopted State.”

Lucy C. Lincoln (1828-1911)
First Woman to be Elected to Office in Williamstown

Lucy C. Lincoln was born Lucy Phillips on September 9, 1828 in Windsor.  A sister of John Phillips, a professor of Greek at Williams, she married Isaac N. Lincoln, Williams College professor of Latin, in 1851.  Unfortunately, Isaac died in September of 1862, at the age of 36, after a visit to Plainfield to attend to his brother who had been ill and died while Isaac was visiting.  After his brother’s death, Isaac stopped at his father in law’s home in Windsor and became ill with typhoid fever. He died after an illness of two or three weeks.  Interestingly, in 1856, several years before his death, Isaac Lincoln was elected to the School Committee as his wife would be, nearly thirty years later.  At the annual town meeting held in March of 1884, Lucy Lincoln was elected to the School Committee for a three year term. Mrs. Lincoln relocated to New York and died there in 1911. There is no mention of her achievement as the first female elected official in Williamstown in her obituary.

 

 

Mildred Boardman Leigh 1894-1959
The Second Woman to be Elected to Office in Williamstown

In 1868 women were elected to serve on school committees in a few Massachusetts towns, but it was not until 1879 that the Legislature voted to allow women to vote for school committee members, male or female. And it wasn’t until 1926 that a woman was elected to the Williamstown school committee. By 1926 of the 355 school committees in the state, 256 had women members and a total of 269 women were on school committees.

In 1926 a citizen’s petition was circulated in Williamstown stating that it was time to have a woman on the school committee and endorsing Mrs. Robert Leigh. Mildred Leigh was a founding member and the president of the newly formed Williamstown League of Women Voters. She won the close contest for the position, defeating E. Herbert Botsford by a margin of 541 to 502.

Mildred Leigh resigned from the committee in 1928 after her husband, Dr. Robert D. Leigh, a professor of political science at Williams College, was named the first president of Bennington College. She assisted her husband in planning the Bennington College program and its operations.

Mildred Leigh, nee Boardman, was born in Rochester, NY and received bachelors and masters degrees from Teacher’s College of Columbia University. She taught in public schools in western New York, at Bennett College, Millbrook, NY, and at Reed College, Portland, Oregon. She died May 19, 1959.

Katherine Slater Haskell Wyckoff (1900-1993)
First woman elected to the Board of Selectmen in Williamstown and in all of Berkshire County

Back in 1921 Phoebe Jordan of New Ashford, the first woman to vote legally in a US Presidential election, ran for the Board of Selectmen in her town and received exactly one vote. We have no record of how many women in Berkshire County subsequently tried over the years, but it wasn’t until 1960 when a woman actually served on a Board of Selectmen, and it was Katherine “Kay” Wyckoff of Williamstown, referred to in the press as “Mrs. Williamstown.”

Kay Wyckoff is seated in the center as a member of the Select Board

Wyckoff was elected to the Board in 1961, but she was first appointed to fill an unexpired term in 1960. There was much town debate prior to her appointment as the rumor mill churned over the questions such as: “Was the town ready for a woman on the Board?” “Were there any qualified women in town?”

Other names were put forward before Wyckoff’s but those women declined the appointment, as indeed Wyckoff did at first, but at the urging of friends and community members she changed her mind, stating, “I do believe that a woman can effectively serve in a situation of this kind without slighting her home duties, and after reconsideration and much mature thought I have agreed to accept the appointment.”

After serving both the term she was appointed to fill and the term she was elected to, Wyckoff declined to run again in 1963. The next woman to be elected to the Williamstown Board of Selectmen was Faith Scarborough in 1978.

Faith Scarborough

Born in New York City in 1900, Wyckoff served as a yeoman first class in the Navy in the Cable Censor Office in the city during World War I. In 1919 she moved with her birth family to Ithaca, NY, were she attended Cornell University, graduating in 1923.

A first marriage that ended in divorce took her to southern California, where she became involved with the PTA at her children’s school, eventually taking a job as assistant purchasing agent for the Compton High School and Junior College Union, comprising five schools, along with serving as president of the Lynnwood Coordinating Council.

In 1946 she married William O. Wyckoff and moved to Williamstown when he became Director of Placement at the College.

Here Wyckoff became heavily involved with the Williamstown League of Women Voters, serving as president as well as in other capacities. She also served on the boards of the Williamstown Bicentennial Committee, the Visiting Nurse Association, the Williamstown Community Chest, and North Adams Regional Hospital, among others. In 1958 she was appointed as an interim member of the town’s Capital Outlay Committee.

Wyckoff seated at far right as Eleanor Bloedel cuts the cake celebrating the third anniversary of the Women’s Exchange.

In 1957 Wyckoff, Eleanor Bloedel, and other women of the town started the Women’s Exchange to benefit the Visiting Nurse Association. Wyckoff served as managing director of the Exchange until 1987.

Wyckoff was the first recipient of the Faith Scarborough Citizenship Award in 1982. She also received the Williamstown Community Chest Award in 1988.


Do you have women in your family whose stories should be told and preserved at the Williamstown Historical Museum.  We would like to collect and share the stories of all of Williamstown’s residents.  Email Sarah at [email protected] to tell us your story.