Business women in early Cumberland
Women Active In Business Life Of Cumberland
Women as shop owners or business heads were few in the earlier history of the city. It has only been in the last few decades that the feminine invasion in the fields of commerce or the professions has been noted, and the exact number would be difficult to state, since so many women are identified with their firms although their names do not appear.
Early Business Women
In one of the files of The Daily News of 1875 three women advertise their businesses. The ads are modest. The business itself in each instance is of the genteel type befitting a lady. One reads: "Mrs. J. A. Herring, Milliner, Baltimore street." The other states that Mrs. L. M. Miller & Co. has a display of spring hats ready for the public. The third, a little more courageous than the others, tells that Mrs. A. M. Hodel is a dealer in ladies' hat bleaches and colors, and adds that "human hair braids and switches are made from combings." Miss Mollie Laney was the first florist. That was back in the 80s. Other milliners who followed were Mrs. S. Thress, also Mrs. Lena Lazarus. Mrs. Mary Allen will be recalled by early residents as head of a restaurant, and small boys and girls, now with little folks of their own, recall the quantities of candy they got for a penny from Mrs. Margaret Farrell, confectioner. Another florist of much later years was Mrs. Katherine Bretz. Today the leading florists include the feminine members as part of the firm.
The present 1930 census gave the number of local women gainfully employed as 3,671. This number has, of course, varied during the five years, and perhaps is nearly accurate, including as it does those in industrial plants, clerks, nurses, beauticians, etc. The census of professional women included: Artists, 2; authors, 2; chemists, 2; clergymen, 1; teachers, 213; musicians, 21; optometrist, 1; osteopaths, 2 ; physicians, 1; photographers, 2; restaurant keepers, 7; typists and stenographers, 232. The telephone directory varies somewhat, but there are many managers of shops as well as owners, chiefly among the women shopowners being the Barton Shop for Women, the Aronson Shop and the Lillian's Girl Shop. Attractive shops are seen throughout the town, owned or managed by women. These specialize in antiques, candy, hosiery, leather goods, personal service, etc. Four notaries public are noted, 62 nurses, 32 beauty shops. An army of women is employed in different positions in banks, stores and office buildings, at the Kelly plant, laundries and elsewhere, the largest number being at the Celanese plant, which employ* about 3,200 at present.
The only motion picture producer in the state is Grace M. Fisher, proprietor of the Embassy and Capitol theatres. Miss Ida Kalbaugh was a pioneer in the art of beauty preservation for her sex, her beauty shoppe with up-to-date equipment being opened more than twenty-five years ago. Later came Mrs. Carpenter, Miss Dreyer, Miss Nyna Feye, and within the past few years many modern and beautiful shops have appeared, including the Vettie, LaDor, Ideal, Peerless, Vanity Box, LaVerne, Arzell, Ethyl'e, Georgia's and a score of others.
Few political appointments have been held by women at any time in this community. One, that of Democratic national committee woman, has been held by Mrs. Elizabeth R. Menefee, Maryland avenue. Mrs. Lulu W. Boucher is serving her second term in the House of Delegates and Mary C. Laromert has been appointed judge of the Juvenile Court.
Cumberland Daily News Special 65th Anniversary Edition
The newspapers are from the collection of Albert and Angela Feldstein
Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.
Allegany County, (Md.)