PART III: Early Twentieth Century Women of Barnstable
Clara Jane Hallett 1858-1959. Hyannis historian was still writing her weekly column at age 100. 40 years weekly column in Barnstable Patriot; Born and died in Hyannis; lived on Ocean Street house noted for its rambler roses, with friend Hattie J. Frost; suffragist president League of Women Voters; prolific poet, including song for opening of Idle Hour movie theater: “Hyannis—dear Hy-an-nis//we’ve dreamed of halls like this, where we might spend an “Idle Hour”//learning of the great world’s power” (Patriot 4 Aug. 1912).
Rev. Sarah A. Dixon 1866-1939 born and buried Cummaquid. Methodist minister, Cape Cod poet; friend of Rev. Anna H. Shaw; first pastor of Hyannis Federated Church 1921, uniting Universalists and Congregationalists; photo Schearer-Gober-Seale.
Amy Beach 1867-1944 Most famous American woman composer and pianist. Summered Long Pond Main St. Centerville 1897 ff. Most of her most popular works were composed after she came here.Photo Hampsong Fdn.
Adelaide Crowell Wyer 1867-1919 T 321 seagoing wife of SS Capt. William Wyer Boston-Phila.
Mary Lowell Barton 1868-1957 Cotuit conservationist. Her will protected forest around Eagle Pond from development; Mary Barton Trust saved 108 acres, and added additional land that became part of Barnstable Land Trust 2013.
Fanny Huntington Quincy Howe 1870–1933 Essayist who wrote under pseudonym Wilmer Price. Summered in Cotuit, mother of monologist and author Helen Howe (see below) grandmother of poet Fanny Howe and playwright Tina Howe, and great-grandmother of author Danzy Senna.
Mabel Kimball Baker 1871-1965 Founded Colonial Candle company, “The Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory” of Lights 1909, starting in her kitchen on East Main St. in Hyannis, making bayberry candles for Christmas gifts; 1921 candle factory to 2003.
Amy Lowell 1874-1925 Pulitzer Prize winning poet, guest of her brother Harvard President A. L. Lowell in Cotuit. (photo Carl Rollyson).
Mary “May” Lewis Kirkman 1875-1956 Benefactor of cemeteries and libraries who left $1.5 million of her soap inheritance to “town” of Cotuit, which court interpreted as the whole of Barnstable.
Elizabeth Crocker Jenkins 1876-1956 “The Woman Who Saved a Church”, the 1717 Rooster Church in W. Barnstable; also restored Shaw homestead, and co-co-co-founded the Barnstable Historical Society 1939.
Annie Pearlstein 1878-1945 Marstons Mills widow who began successful women’s clothing store in Hyannis, and donated the torah for the first Jewish religious service on Cape Cod, held at her home on Ocean St.
Mary Sampson Crocker 1882-1951 Concert pianist, accompanist to Mary Garden, the famous operatic soprano, who was called “the Sarah Bernhardt of opera”; see obit in Patriot.
Mary Almy 1883-1967 Pioneer woman architect, her first house built in Cotuit on the Narrows. Partner of women’s architectural firm of Howe, Manning and Almy. Her most notable project was the Charles Almy House, a Georgian Revival style, in Cambridge (Cole & Taylor, 45-52). She was involved with building the Laughlin House in Hyannis Port (1929), the Morse House in Cotuit (1928), the McGiffert House on Bayberry Point in West Falmouth (1929), faculty housing at Stevens Institute of Technology, low-cost housing and slum clearance during the Depression (1933).
Harriet I. McCoy “Ma” Grace 1884-1966. Founder 1909 and Pastor Zion Union Church, Hyannis.
Elnora Pinkney Rose 1886-1963 Black woman, daughter of slaves, who founded popular Roseland Dance Hall in Marstons Mills.
Frieda Landers 1889-1991 German-born entrepreneur who established turkey farm in Little River, Cotuit, supplying the Kennedy family their Thanksgiving turkey.
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy 1890-1995 Summered Hyannis Port 70 years 1926 until death there at age 104; mother of the President (photo biography.co.uk).
NEXT: See PART IV MID-TWENTIETH CENTURY BARNSTABLE WOMEN