Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Katharine Lorenz Pratt Horton 1848 ~ 1931

 


Katharine Lorenz Pratt Horton

One of the most accomplished and representative women of her native state, the great Empire State of New York, and identified with many interests along patriotic, educational and philanthropic lines. She has achieved not only state, but national fame as well, having faithfully performed the duties of the various offices she has been called upon to assume. Mrs. Horton was Miss Katharine Lorenz Pratt, the daughter of Pascal Paoli Pratt, a prominent banker, financier and philanthropist of Buffalo. Being the eldest daughter, Mrs. Horton shared intimately in her father's ambitions for the welfare of Buffalo, and has continued this work, becoming one of the most prominent factors in the social life and civic welfare of the city of Buffalo.

Mrs. Horton was elected unanimously regent of the Buffalo Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, for seven successive years, and through her duties as regent has been a prominent figure in the national congress each year of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which meets in Washington. The Buffalo Chapter is the largest in the New York State organization, and the second largest in the national organization. It was through her instrumentality that the New York State Daughters of the American Revolution Conference was held in Buffalo in 1898, which was one of the most interesting gatherings of Daughters held outside of Washington. The Buffalo Chapter has the honor of having on its rolls the names of two real daughters whose fathers served as soldiers in the Army of the Revolution. It is largely due to the energy and generosity of Mrs. Horton, as regent of the Buffalo Chapter, that the graves of over one hundred patriots of the War of Independence, buried in the vicinity of Buffalo, bear markers to tell of their devotion to the cause of patriotism. The graves of these heroes were found, all the records restored and the ceremony of marking these graves and the ritual used in the ceremony being written and the ceremonies directed by Mrs. Horton.

She has been indefatigable in sustaining an active interest in the patriotic educational work of her chapter, and during the winter season two illustrated lectures, weekly, are given to the Italians and Poles of the city of Buffalo on the history of the United States. The lectures are given in the Polish and Italian language, at the expense of her chapter. Buffalo Chapter was the pioneer in this commendable work of educating the foreign element.

Mrs. Horton was appointed on the Board of Woman Managers of the Pan-American Exposition, at Buffalo, New York, and acted as chairman of the committee on ceremonies and entertainments of the Women's Board of the Pan-American Exposition. She was also appointed by the Governor of New York, commissioner to the Charleston Exposition in 1902, and again served on the Board of Lady Managers of the St. Louis Exposition. She was appointed by President Francis of the Exposition, and Mrs. Blair, president of the Ladies' Board, chairman of the Committee on Exposition interests at the National Congress of the Daughters of the American Revolution, held at Washington, February, 1903.

In close touch with all this patriotic work, in New York, there is an organization known as the Niagara Frontier Landmarks Association, of which Mrs. Horton is vice-president, a position which she has held since the formation of the society. The purpose of this society is to mark all important historical sites along the Niagara Frontier with tablets and monuments. At La Salle was erected a tablet commemorative of the building, by La Salle, of "The Griffon," the first boat to navigate the waters of the north; Mrs. Horton drove the stake to mark the spot, and also unveiled the tablet at the ceremonies held afterwards. Later on, when a tablet was placed in the Niagara Gorge to mark the spot of the Devil's Hole Massacre, Mrs. Horton, in the name of the Colonial Dames, unveiled the tablet. When the site of "Fort Tompkins" was marked by the society, Mrs. Horton presided over the program and made the principal address, and on the momentous occasion of placing a tablet to mark the site of the first Court House of Erie County, it was Buffalo's gifted townswoman who presided, gave the address and introduced Judge Haight, the last judge to hold a judiciary session in the old house of justice, and other important and prominent lawyers who were speakers, Mr. Herbert Bissell, and others of the Erie County Bar.

And back of all these praiseworthy undertakings for patriotism and civic betterment, is the president of Buffalo City Federation of Women's Clubs. Because the federation's aims are solely to lend a woman's assistance to the civic authorities wherever it will ameliorate the condition of women and children, Mrs. Horton consented to accept the office of president During her administration it has brought about the appointment of a woman probation officer, and has established penny luncheons in some of the public schools of the poorer districts of the city, with hopes of further increasing the number of schools similarly located Medical inspection for public schools of Buffalo is another excellent philanthropy in which the Federation has been successful in securing, Mrs. Horton having made an appeal in its favor before the Common Council of Buffalo, which did much towards securing the appropriation towards this good work, while it has pledged the sum of $2,000.00 towards a scholarship in the proposed Buffalo University Extension for the education of a poor girl, to be won by competitive examination.

At the urgent request of the national officers of the society, Mrs. Horton, in 1904, organized the "Niagara Frontier Buffalo Chapter, National Society United States Daughters of 1812," and was appointed regent. In 1908, Mrs. Horton organized the Nellie Custis Chapter, National Society Children of the American Revolution. Mrs. Horton was appointed president of the national board, and is also vice-president-general of the national society. She is also a member of the following organizations: President of Buffalo City Federation of Women's Clubs; regent of the Buffalo Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution; Buffalo Historical Society; Buffalo Genealogical Society; Buffalo Twentieth Century Women's Club; Buffalo Society Natural Sciences, honorary member; American Social Science Association; Buffalo Society of Artists; Buffalo Art Students' League; Church Home League; Old Planters' Society of Massachusetts; Memorial Continental Hall Committee, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution; National and New York State Daughters of the American Revolution Committee on Patriotic Education; National and New York State Committee on Real Daughters who are living descendants of soldiers of the American Revolution; Women's Republican League of New York State; New York State Federation of Women's Clubs; Federation of Women's Literary and Educational Organizations of Western New York; president, Section 2, Army Relief Association; Trinity Church Society, trustee of National Society of Daughters of the Empire State; regent of Niagara Frontier Buffalo Chapter, National Society United States Daughters of 1812; vice-president Niagara Frontier Landmarks Association; vice-president Order of Americans of Armorial Ancestry; director Women's Educational and Industrial Union; director Women's League of New York State; New York State Historical Association; New York Genealogical and Biographical Society; Buffalo Fine Arts Association; vice-president general National Society, Children of the American Revolution ; president Nellie Custis Chapter, National Society Children of the American Revolution; Chautauqua New York Women's Club; Chautauqua Daughters of the American Revolution Circle; Buffalo Society of Mineral Painters; National Society of New England Women, Colony 2; National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America; National Society Colonial Dames of Vermont; National Society Daughters of American Pioneers; National George Washington Memorial Association; National Mary Washington Memorial Association; International Sunshine Society; Eclectic Club of New York; the Entertainment Club of New York ; Japanese Red Cross Association ; vice-president Erie County Branch of the American National Red Cross Association; National Society of Patriotic Women of America ; Rubinstein Club of New York ; Minerva Club of New York ; chairman Franco-American Committee, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution; chairman Pension Records Committee, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; chairman Magazine Committee, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution; Buffalo Peace and Arbitration Society; National Committee and New York City Peace Society; delegate to Peace Congress at Rome and vice-president National Society United States Daughters of 1812.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.

 

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