Part of the American
History & Genealogy Project
Catholic Women in America
Mrs. Edwin F. Abell
Mrs. Edwin F. Abell, daughter of the late Frank Laurenson, a
noted merchant of Baltimore. She married the late Edwin F.
Abell, son of Arunah S. Abell, founder of the Baltimore Sun. Mr.
Abell, succeeded his father as editor of the Sun, and under this
guidance it remained as it had always been one of the most
efficient and influential journals in the United States, and in
its columns all affairs of interest and benefit to the Catholic
Church in America have always been given just and dignified
Madam Marie Louise Alband
Madam Marie Louise Alband, was born at Chambly, near Montreal,
in 1852, and was the daughter of Joseph Lajeunesse, a musician.
Musical ability was early evidenced in the daughter and at the
age of fifteen she had finished her education at the Sacred
Heart Convent in Albany, New York, and had become organist at
the Church of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Later she
studied in Paris and Milan under distinguished musicians,
eventually making her debut in Messina, in 1870. Her success,
which established her as a famous singer, was achieved in the
Royal Italian Opera in London, in 1870. Since then her voice has
been heard in opera and sacred music by great audiences in
America and England.
Mother O. C D. Augustine
She was the daughter of the late Samuel Tuckerman. She entered
the Religious Order of the Carmelites, in Baltimore, in 1893,
and for three years was Superior of the Carmelite Monastery, in
Roxbury, Boston, having been one of the founders of this order.
In 1908 a branch of the order was established in San Francisco
on the estate of Robert Louis Stevenson, and Mother Augustine
was placed in charge, where she has remained ever since.
Laura Elizabeth Lee Battle
Was born January 26, 1855, and is a descendant of the celebrated
Lees of Virginia. Has been active in the work of building
Catholic Churches in Michigan and North Carolina.
Kate Walker Behan
Was the daughter of William Walker, a prominent citizen of New
Orleans, Louisiana. She married General William J. Behan. Is
president of the ladies auxiliary of the Good Shepherd, for
Magdalenes, one of the most prominent Catholic Societies of New
Orleans; also president of the Ladies' Confederated Memorial
Association and president of the Jefferson Davis Monument
Association, and chairman of the civic department of the Women's
League of New Orleans.
Mary Elizabeth Thomas Blow
Was born May 27, 1863 at Cape Elizabeth, Maine. One of her
father's ancestors, Isaiah Thomas, was the publisher of the
first Bible in New England. One of her mother's ancestors,
General Timothy Pickering, was president of the war board in
Revolutionary time, Secretary of State, and Postmaster-General
under Washington. She is the wife of Major William N. Blow, 15th
Infantry, United States Army.
Rosalie B. De Solms Bond
Was the daughter of Sidney J. de Solms and Maria del Carmen de
Solms. She was born November 26, 1843, in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. Is one of the founders of the Catholic Guild, now
the Dominican House of Retreat; member of the association of
Perpetual Adoration and Work for Poor Churches, and other
societies. The de Solms family is one of the most distinguished
Catholic families of Philadelphia and Mr. de Solms presented to
the Cathedral, in Logan Square, the painting of the
''Crucifixion" which is over the main altar.
Josephine Hale Boyle
Was the daughter of Joseph P. Hale, of San Francisco,
California. Her husband enjoys the distinction of being
heir-presumptive to the Earldom of Cork.
Mrs. Peter Arrell Browne
1834 ~ 1912
Was born April 14, 1834 and is the daughter of Thomas Parkin and
Julianna M. Scott, of Baltimore. In 1860 she married P. A.
Browne, Jr., who was the son of Peter Arrell and Harriet Harper
Browne, of Philadelphia, and in 1861 they removed to Baltimore.
Mr. Browne was a prominent lawyer of Maryland and auditor of the
Superior Court, of Baltimore. Mrs. Browne's father was also a
distinguished lawyer being chief judge of the Supreme Bench of
Baltimore City, and a member of the Maryland legislature in
1861, and with others was imprisoned for refusing to take the
oath of allegiance to the United States.
Anna Elizabeth Bryan
Was one of the most prominent women of the South, being the
daughter of the late Admiral Raphael Semmes. Is prominent in
Catholic charitable work of her home city, Memphis, Tennessee.
Emma Westcott Bullock
Is the widow of Jonathan Russell Bullock, who was formerly judge
of the United States District Court of Rhode Island She is a
member of the national patriotic societies of the country. The
Colonial Dames, Descendants of Colonial Governors, Society of
the Mayflower, etc.; hereditary life member of the National Mary
Washington Memorial Association.
Suzanne Bancroft Carroll
Is a granddaughter of Honorable George Bancroft, the historian
of the United States. Her husband is the son of John Lee
Carroll, of Ellicott City, Maryland. The family emigrated to
Maryland, in 1688, and have been conspicuous in the history of
the United States. One of his ancestors, Charles Carroll, of
Carrollton, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He
took a prominent part in the Independence Movement and was a
member of the Convention of Maryland chosen to frame the
constitution; also a member of the first Congress of the United
States in 1777, and of the board of war, and a senator from
Maryland. Mrs. Carroll lives in Paris, France.
Mother Praxedes Carty,
Was born at Rawnsboy, County Cavan, Ireland, and entered into
the novitiate of the Loretta Sisters in 1874. She was Superior
of the convent in Bernalillo, New Mexico; also Las Cruces, New
Mexico; Florissant, Missouri, and Loretta Heights, near Denver.
In 1896 she became Mother Superior of the whole order of the
Society of the Sisters of Loretta at Loretta, Kentucky. She has
made several trips to Rome in the interests of this order and
was elected Mother-General in 1904. The order is now known as
the Sisters of Loretta at the Foot of the Cross, and her title
is Superior-General of this order.
Margaret Elizabeth Casey
Was born December, 1874, in Beatrice, Nebraska. Active in the
ladies' auxiliary. Ancient Order of Hibernians. Was secretary in
1900 of the law class of the Kansas State University.
Mrs. James Blanchard Clews
Is the granddaughter of the late Honorable Charles Nichols, at
one time minister to The Hague. Her husband, J. B. Clews, is a
nephew of Henry Clews of the firm of Henry Clews and Company,
bankers of New York City. She is active and has been for several
years, in all Catholic charitable work.
Zoe Desloge Cobb 1850 ~
Was born in Potosi, Missouri, December 18, 1850. Is president of
the Children of Mary, Sacred Heart Convent, and also president
of the ladies' auxiliary, St Louis Obstetrical Dispensary.
Edythe Patten Corbin
Mrs. Corbin, the wife of General Henry C. Corbin, United States
Army, was one of the most prominent social leaders of Washington
before her husband's death, and by her kindliness, charm, and
practical sense endeared herself to the army. She is the
daughter of Edmund and Anna Statia Patten, of California, who
were pioneers of the Pacific coast, and belonged to that circle
of early settlers the Mackays, Fairs, and Crockers, who made
their fortunes in the gold fields of that state. Mrs. Corbin and
her sisters were educated in a convent in Paris. She is a most
accomplished conversationalist, speaking French, German, and
Italian fluently, and is to-day one of the charming women of
Washington, D. C.
Anna McLane Cropper
Was born March 11, 1859, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Is the
daughter of Allen and Ariadne Knight McLane. Her family were
prominent in the army, navy, and diplomatic service of the
United States. Her father's father, Louis McLane, was a member
of Congress, Senator, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of
State under General Jackson, and Minister to England. Her own
father was a graduate of the Naval Academy, but resigned in
1850, and was for many years president of the Pacific Mail
Steamship Company. She is prominent in the Society of Colonial
Georginia Pell Curtis
Georginia Pell Curtis was born in New York City, February 19,
1859 and although of Protestant parentage and educated at a
Protestant school she was afterwards converted to the Roman
Catholic Church, and has since been a constant and brilliant
contributor to all the publications devoted to the interests of
that church. Her writings have appeared in the Ave Maria, the
Catholic World, the Messenger, the Magnificent, the Messenger of
the Sacred Heart, Donaho's, the Rosary, and the Pilgrim, She is
also the editor of "Some Roads to Rome in America," and the
"American Catholic Who's Who." She comes justly by her ready,
facile mental qualities and her ability for logical work, coming
from distinguished ancestry along Colonial and Dutch lines; on
the maternal side Miss Curtis is a granddaughter of Thomas Hill,
known on the stage as Thomas Hillson, an English actor of the
old Park Theatre, New York, who numbered among his intimate
friends, Junius Brutus Booth, John William Wallack, and
Washington Irving. Other lineal ancestors of whom Miss Curtis is
justly proud were Peter Vandewaker, keeper of the city gate at
the foot of Wall Street, New York, in the eighteenth century,
and Jacobus Vandewaker, mayor of New Amsterdam, in 1673.
Mother Antonina O. S. D. Fischer
Before entering sacred order her name was Mary Ann Fischer, and
she was born in Bavaria, Germany, November 22, 1849. Is the
daughter of John and Mary Ann Fischer. She was a member of the
Dominican Order for thirty-four years. In 1902 she went with
seven Sisters to Great Bend, Kansas, and founded the Mother
House and novitiate of the Sisters of St. Dominic.
Stella M. Hamilton
Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Hamilton, and was born in
Omaha. Is prominent in social work of that city, and active
member of the Christ Child Society.
Julia Carlin Hardin
Was born in Carrollton, Green County, Illinois. Her ancestors
were prominent among the early settlers of Illinois. She married
John A. Hardin, of Louisville, Kentucky, who died in 1884.
Mrs. Francis T. Homer
Is the daughter of George W. and Jennie Webb Abell, and
granddaughter of A. S. Abell, the well-known founder of the
Baltimore Sun. In 1900 she married Francis T. Homer, of
Louise Frances Hunt
Was born in Paris, France, in 1837. Is the daughter of John T.
and Anne Maria Hyde Adams, and the wife of William H. Hunt,
Secretary of the Navy under President Garfield, and Minister to
Russia under President Arthur.
Mrs. George Merriam Hyde
Is the daughter of the late Oliver Prince Buel, of New York, and
grand-daughter of General Charles Macdougall. Her mother was a
member of the well-known family of Hillhouse and of Bishop
Atkinson's family. Mrs. Merriam is now Sister Mary of the
Eliza Le Brun Miller Joyce
Was born in Ohio, April 5, 1840. Her father, Thomas Miller, in
that year came to Ohio from Bronwnsville, Pennsylvania. Her
mother's (Margaret T. Wilson) father, Thomas Wilson, Mrs.
Joyce's grandfather, was obliged to leave Ireland in the
rebellion of 1798, forfeiting his property, which was restored
to him forty years later. She is regent for Trinity College,
Washington, D. C and on the board of managers of several
charitable institutions. Active in organizing charitable
societies in the church.
Was born in the city of New York of Irish parentage, and is a
sister of the late Arthur Leary. She is one of the most
prominent social leaders of New York City and Newport and much
beloved for her generous charity and her great accomplishments.
She was created a countess by Pope Leo XIII in recognition of
her services to the church. She spends much of her time abroad.
Adele Le Brun
Was the daughter of Napoleon Le Brun, of New York, the
well-known architect. She was instrumental and conspicuous in
bringing to this country the Society of the Helpers of the Holy
Souls, which had been founded in France by Mere Marie de la
Providence. The house for this order was opened in May, 1892,
and she has made the extension and the furtherance of the good
works of this order her life work.
Margaret McCabe 1846 ~
Was born in 1846 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded the Sacred Heart
Hone for Working Girls and the Boys' Home in Cincinnati, and
prominent in the building of the Church of the Sacred Heart of
Marchioness Sara McLaughlin
Created a marchioness by Pope Pius X in 1908; in recognition of
her benefactions in the interest of religion. She is the widow
of the late political leader, Hugh McLaughlin.
Mother Eutropia McMahon
Superior of the Sisters of Charity, of Nazareth, Kentucky, to
which she was elected in 1909, having been previously Superior
of the Presentation Academy at Louisville.
Sister Josephine O. S. D.
Was born in 1841 in County Tipperary, Ireland, and emigrated to
this country in 1852. She and her sister both entered the order
of St Dominic at Springfield, Illinois. In 1873 Sister Josephine
was placed in charge of a little band of religious people and
sent to Jacksonville, Illinois, to establish an independent
community, over which she presided for fifteen years. In 1908
they celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of her entrance into
Rebecca Newell Morison
Was born in Rhode Island, and is the widow of H. G. O. Morison.
It is said the "Knownothings"' tried to bum the convent in New
England where she was staying to "rescue her from the Popish
Assistant librarian, Omaha Public Library. Is the daughter of
the late General George Morgan O'Brien, United States Army.
Mary Semmes Orrick
Is a descendant of the distinguished Admiral Raphael Semmes, U.
S. N. and the widow of Dr. Nicholas C Orrick, of Kenton,
Marie Martin Palms
Is the wife of F. L. Palms, of Detroit, Michigan, and was born
in New Orleans, Louisiana. Is the president of the Weinman
Mrs. Theophile Emily Carlin
Was born in Carrollton, Illinois, and is the daughter of William
and Mary Goode Carlin. In 1865 she married Theophile Papin,
great-grandson of Pierre de Laclede Ligueste, the founder of St.
Louis. Some of her ancestors left Ireland in the Revolution of
1798 and settled in Virginia, eventually going with a colony to
Illinois. An uncle, Thomas Carlin, was governor of Illinois from
1838 to 1842 and founded the town of Carrollton. Mrs. Papin is
prominent as an active worker in the charitable work of the
Catholic Church in St. Louis and in the social life of that
Katherine Laughlin Pfohl
Was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1867. Is the daughter of John
M and Mary A. Whalen Laughlin. Her grandfather on her mother's
side was one of McMahon's Irish Regiment and was killed at
Spottsylvania Court House. Her granduncle was Bishop Marrom of
Kilkenny, Ireland. In 1887 she married George W. Pfohl, whose
ancestors came to this country with Lafayette. Mrs. Pfohl is the
director of the Working Boy's Home of the Sacred Heart; also St
Elizabeth's Hospital Association, and St. Mary's Infant Asylum.
Is president of the O. M. I. Parish Aid Society, Holy Angels
Church, and vice-president of the St James Mission and of the
Catholic Women's Club.
Mother Mary De Sales (Wilhelmina
Was the daughter of William Tredow of Vienna, and the Princess
Clementine of Saxe-Coburg. Is the director of the Bradford Park
Academy, Ursuline Nuns, located in Bedford Park, New York.
Miss Grace Charlotte Mary Regina
Miss Grace Charlotte Mary Regina Strachan, educator, social
worker and writer, is the daughter of Thomas F. Strachan, a
Scotch Presbyterian, but entered the Catholic Church, of which
her mother was a devoted member. She was educated in Buffalo,
New York, first, at Saint Bridget's and later at the Buffalo
State Normal School and she has taken several New York
University extension courses. Since 1900 she has been
superintendent of the public schools of New York, and is well
known for her philanthropic work in the Young Women's Catholic
Association of Brooklyn, where she has taught free classes. Miss
Strachan has also been most active in promoting the cause of
equal pay for equal work and is interested in all Catholic
charities. She has contributed several articles and stories to
the Delineator and has traveled in this country and abroad,
having been granted an audience with Pope Pius X. She is
president of the Interborough Association of Women Teachers and
a member of many other organizations.
Mrs. Frances Tiernan
Mrs. Frances Tiernan, novelist, whose pen name is "Christian
Reid," was a daughter of Colonel Charles F. Fisher of the
Confederate Army. Her girlhood home was in Salisbury, North
Carolina, to which she returned on the death of her husband,
James M. Tiernan, of Maryland. Among the thirty or more stories
which have made famous her pen name "Christian Reid" are "A
Daughter of Bohemia," "Valerie Aylmar," "Morton
House," "Heart of Steel," "Cast for Fortune,"
and "." Mrs. Tiernan has received a Laetare medal from Notre
Dame University, Indiana.
Mrs. Andrew Welsh, Sr.
One of the generous benefactors of the Catholic Church, having
given $100,000 to St Ignatius College, Califonia, and later
$50,000 to Santa Clara College near San Francisco.
Source: The Part Taken by Women in
American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle
Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.