Women in Business 1909, Madison

Like a couple previous posts, I’ve pulled a list of the women recorded in the state business directory for 1909 for a certain city, this time–Madison (link to the list). The headings of each use the phrasing (Miss, Mrs., initials) etc. from the source list. These would represent the women who wished to advertise their work/business in the directory, but many more women certainly worked for an income, including as wage employees, those in family businesses (including agriculture), and/or those in service industries.

Alice Anderson, mgr Western Union Telegraph Co.

Alice Anderson managed the Western Union office until a Miss Perkins returned from Idaho Territory in March 1909. Then Anderson went on to Omaha NE, while a Nellie Anderson stayed on as assistant to Perkins. Alice later went to Rochester MN [Madison Daily Leader (SD), March 26, 1909, August 5, 1910].


Miss A. Bartel, ladies tailor

I have yet to find much about Amelia Bartel’s work in Madison, but in 1912, Bartel left Madison for Chicago to attend missionary training for the German Baptist church. She was sent to work with the Hungarian community in Cleveland OH [Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 2, 1912; Argus Leader (Sioux Falls SD), January 14, 1922].


Mrs. H.M. Betts, osteopath

Dr. Hannah M. Betts (__-1936) was an osteopathic doctor who had offices in Madison. In June 1904, Hannah and children Clara (Grafton), and Jesse C. Betts, all from Franklin Township, Lake County, graduated from the Still College Osteopathy in Des Moines, Iowa [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 18, 1904, May 18, 1910, January 26, 1914]. In 1905, her office was in the Johnson’s Block, and she specialized in diseases of women and children [Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 8, 1905]. In 1910, she moved her office into the Lannon-Cook Block [Madison Daily Leader (SD), August 20, 1910]. In 1911, son Jesse C. Betts came from North Dakota to join her practice until his death in 1914 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 29, 1911, January 26, 1914]. In 1890, Betts was also vice-president of the Franklin Township equal suffrage club and involved with the Franklin Literary Club [Madison Daily Leader (SD), September 2, 1890, October 28, 1891].  In 1919, she gave a talk on pneumonia at the state osteopath meeting [Madison Daily Leader (SD), October 9, 1919]. Her children C. S. and Jennie also went into osteopathy, and Jennie graduated from a school in Kirksville MO after working a time as a teacher [Madison Daily Leader (SD), March 24, 1919, June 30, 1919, September 18, 1919, March 21, 1921, August 1, 1922]. She was married to Charles F. Betts [Madison Daily Leader (SD), November 19, 1892]. Also: “Hannah Betts,” Findagrave.com.

Madison Daily Leader (SD), May 8, 1905

Miss M. Bogen, millinery

Marie Bogen (1865-1955) worked on embroidery and lacework in New Ulm MN. She was also an officer of the Turnverein’s ladies society. In 1898, she started giving needlework lessons and selling work from her home. She frequently exhibited needlework at regional events and worked with her sister Mrs. Hellriegel and niece Meta Hellriegel. In 1907 and 1907, she demonstrated hand embroidery at Miss Morse’s millinery store in Madison and opened a millinery shop in the Odd Fellows Block at 1109 E. Fifth St. in the spring of 1908. That summer, she moved to Madison and closed her New Ulm store. In 1912, she sold her Madison business to Katharina Knoeri and moved to St. Paul MN. By 1913, she appeared in the New Ulm newspaper as a resident of Mobridge SD (where her niece Meta lived) [New Ulm Review (MN), July 27, 1892, January 30, 1895, November 9, 1898, January 11, 1899, December 6, 1899, November 6, 1901, September 17, 1902, July 15, 1908, August 6, 1913; Madison Daily Leader (SD), December 7, 1905, May 29, 1907, April 2, 1908, April 3, 1908, November 24, 1908, December 16, 1908, March 26, 1909, April 27, 1909, June 13, 1912, July 16, 1912; Mobridge News (SD), May 17, 1912; Greenwood Cemetery, Mobridge, “Marie Bogen,” Findagrave.com].

Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 2, 1908.

Miss L. Grinager, millinery

Lizzie (Lise Kirstine) Grinager (c.1860-1922) had worked in millinery in Madison at least from 1894 to 1921. She had immigrated to the U.S. with her parents in 1880 and lived near Fargo. She and her family had moved back to Norway in 1884, but she and her mother returned to the U.S. after her father’s death and came to Madison in 1892. In 1913, she moved her shop to W. Fifth St. and later to Center St. W. and to the Munson building on Egan Ave N. (the city’s main street). Grinager passed away in August 1922. A news item at her death noted that her business income and property interests gave her financial independence, and that she was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. Her brothers had a clothing store in Madison [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 13, 1894, September 19, 1896, October 27, 1913, May 3, 1917, April 16, 1918, May 14, 1921, August 8, 1922, August 9, 1922; Carol Harris Weber, Anna Marthea Pedersdatter Hole, Wife of Peder Johan Andersen Marken (2012), 678681; Graceland Cemetery, Madison, “Lise Kirstine Grinager,” Findagrave.com].


Mrs. A.F. Laity, librarian, Madison Free Public Library

Edna Gay Laity (1876-1958) was from Vermillion and worked as a teacher in Elk Point before her marriage. In 1905, she was elected librarian for the city. She also served on the state committee for the Y.W.C.A. In 1907, she went to the University of Minnesota for a library course. In 1908, her salary was increased to $35/month. In 1910, she resigned her position as librarian to her assistant Anna Hope. In February 1911, she was elected the president at the organization of a women’s auxiliary of the Lake County Farmers’ Institute, but she and her husband shortly afterwards moved to Richmond VA so A.F. (Asbury Franklin) could run a Jersey stock farm. Her husband had been an optician and jeweler in Madison. In 1912, they were living in Yankton SD, where A.F. was in charge of the dairy operations at the state asylum. In 1914, A.F. took a new position “as superintendent of the Sinnissippi farms of Frank O. Louden, who is a son-in-law of Geo- Pullman of Chicago” [alt. spelling: Lowden, later governor and presidential candidate] and they moved to Oregon IL. In 1916, they were back in Madison, and Edna was again appointed librarian at the resignation of Anna Hope in September. In 1920, they moved again to Yankton for A.F. to be the farm supervisor and Edna the asylum’s librarian for the medical library and clinic records. She was still the asylum librarian in 1923. Edna was also an officer of the state DAR in 1930-31 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), April 7, 1902, December 1, 1905, May 29, 1907, September 5, 1907, October 22, 1908, December 1, 1908, October 1, 1910, February 18, 1911, March 8, 1911, December 9, 1912, August 20, 1914, September 6, 1916, December 5, 1916, January 24, 1917, June 12, 1920; Union County Courier (Elk Point SD), May 28, 1903, January 21, 1904, July 14, 1910; Mitchell Capital (SD), October 27, 1905; South Dakota Library Bulletin 9(1) (March 1923), 4; Evening Huronite (Huron SD), September 4, 1931; Hillside Cemetery, Chesire CT, “Edna Gay Laity,” Findagrave.com].


Miss L.B. Morse, millinery

Lelia B. Morse graduated from the Standard Millinery College in Bangor ME in early February 1905. Back in Madison, she worked for and then bought out the millinery store of Mrs. H.A. Stahl & Co. in December 1905. She started in a small frame building but had to move in an emergency when a fire threatened her building. In 1911, it was at 511 Egan Ave. S., and in 1915, she moved to the Vreyens-Daniels Building. She employed a “force of clerks” / “large staff of lady clerks.” Morse was also involved with the Order of the Eastern Star. In 1917, she served as treasurer for a Y.W.C.A. war effort campaign and, in 1919, was one of the Madison representatives to a four-state congress for a League to Enforce Peace. She sold her business in 1921 and was noted as “an active member of the Merchant’s association and held highly in esteem by all business organizations.” In early 1922, she again went into business, a corset and millinery shop with Mrs. A. Keenan [Madison Daily Leader (SD), February 17, 1905, December 7, 1905, December 14, 1905, December 27, 1905, March 13, 1906, March 30, 1906, December 11, 1911, November 8, 1915, December 6, 1915, August 21, 1917, December 31, 1917, February 7, 1919, February 28, 1919, June 21, 1919, November 25, 1921, December 5, 1921, December 9, 1921, February 24, 1922, March 6, 1922].

Madison Daily Leader (SD) June 1, 1915.

Genevieve Savercool, musician

Genevieve Savercool (1871-1955) was a new resident in Madison when she gave a piano performance at the opera house in June 1903, and that July she began offering piano and mandolin lessons. The programs for her students’ recitals indicated that most of her students were women, but there were a handful of of boys/men and also in 1904, a boys mandolin club. She had a studio over the post office block in the Huntemer Block, and her residence (in 1908) was 505 Liberty Ave. She often played for community events, weddings, and Catholic mass (she was the organist at St. Thomas for a number of years). In August 1907, it was reported that she would give a demonstration of and teach with the (Effa) Ellis illustrated music course in addition to continuing private lessons. She left Madison and moved to Sioux City in October 1912, and later moved to St. Cloud. According to a notice of her death, she was born in Northfield MN and moved to St. Cloud in about 1915. She became a chiropractic doctor in 1916 and had her practice until retirement in 1932 [Madison Daily Leader (SD), June 12, 1903, July 21, 1903, April 15, 1904, April 19, 1904, February 16, 1905, April 12, 1905, August 16, 1905, January 29, 1906, February 19, 1907, August 19, 1907, August 24, 1907, September 5, 1908 (address), April 12, 1909, July 13, 1909, November 26, 1910, December 12, 1910, August 12, 1911, October 28, 1911, October 12, 1912; Bemidji Daily Pioneer (MN), June 10, 1919; St. Cloud Times (MN), December 3, 1955].

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