Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Women as Lawyers


Ella Frances Braman 1850 ~
Mrs. Braman was born March 25, 1850, in Brighton, now a part of Boston, Massachusetts. In 1867 she was married to Joseph Balch Braman, a member of the Boston bar. She commenced her life as a lawyer by assisting her husband, and proved so competent that he decided to ask for her appointment as commissioner for different states, and acted as such during her husband's absence. On their removal to New York City, she became a full partner with her husband.

Ella Knowles 1870 ~ 1911
Miss Ella Knowles was born in 1870 in New Hampshire. When quite young she gave dramatic readings. In 1888 she took up the study of law in the office of Judge Burnham, of Manchester, New Hampshire. In 1889 she went to Iowa as a teacher of French and German and taught through the West for a number of years. While a resident of Helena, Montana, she finished her law course. In 1889 she was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Montana. In 1890 she was admitted to practice before the District Court of the United States and also before the Circuit Court of the United States. In 1892 she was named for attorney general of Montana, by the Alliance Party She is regarded as a woman of great ability, tact and courage and is well known throughout the Northwest

Bell A. Mansfield
Mrs. Bell A. Mansfield was the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States. She was admitted to the bar in 1868 in the state of Iowa. Her death occurred August 1, 1911, at the home of her brother. Judge W. J. Babb, of Aurora, Illinois. She was in her sixty-fifth year at the time of her death.

 Clara Holmes Hapgood Nash 1839 ~
Was born January 15, 1839 in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Was the daughter of John and Mary Anne Hosmer Hapgood. Her mother belonged to the same family of Hosmer's from which Harriet Hosmer, the noted sculptor was descended. Soon after her marriage in 1869 to Frederick Cushing Nash, of Maine, she began the study of law and in 1872 was admitted to the Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, being the first woman admitted to the bar, in New England.

Alice Parker 1864 ~
Miss Alice Parker was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, April 11, 1864, and was the daughter of the well-known Doctor Hiram Parker, of Lowell, Massachusetts. She was admitted to the Massachusetts bar, in 1890. Miss Parker published an interesting series of articles in the Home Journal, of Boston, under the title of "Law for My Sisters," of great value to women. They contained expositions of the law of marriage, widows, breach of promise, wife's necessaries, life insurance, divorce, sham marriages and names. She is the author of many amendments before the Massachusetts legislature affecting the property rights of women, and has made it her special work to procure such legislation at each session as will accomplish this end.

Kate Hamilton Pier 1845 ~
Was born June 22, 1845, in St Albans, Vermont. Her father was John Hamilton and her mother's maiden name was Meakinn. Mrs. Pier gave the name of Hamilton to each of her three daughters. In 1866 she became the wife of C K. Pier, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She has accomplished what we believe no other woman in this country has, she made lawyers of herself and her three daughters. Mrs. Pier began her legal life by managing the large estate left by her father so successfully that other business of a like character was attracted to her. She was made court commissioner at one time and has enjoyed a successful professional career. She has accomplished much for women in her work before the legislature of her state in looking after bills in the interest of women.

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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