Notable Women of Tompkins County
For much of recorded history the lives and work of women have been omitted from the chronicles of our past. In the early 1980s that began to change when the week of March 8 was declared National Women’s History Week, and in 1987 Congress declared March National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. These efforts have encouraged the inclusion of women’s history in educational curriculums across the country. Historical literature on women has blossomed in the last thirty years as well, as this neglected subject is gradually addressed.
In honor of Women’s History Month the lives and work of nine notable women from Tompkins County’s past is celebrated here with images and text. A diverse group that includes physician Samantha Nivison, educators Martha Van Rensselaer and Emma Corinne Brown Galvin, and suffragist Louisa Riley, and more, these 19th and early 20th century women represent the best of a group that toiled in obscurity for the greater community.