Joni Blackman, director of the Fenton History Center, presented a profile of Kate Stoneman at a recent Marvin House luncheon.
Stoneman was the first woman admitted to practice law in the state of New York. She was born in Lakewood in 1841 and after growing up on the family farm, she left for college in Albany to become a teacher. Her teaching career lasted 40 years and during that time she helped form the Women's Suffrage Society of Albany, studied law and also clerked for an attorney. She became the first woman to pass the New York bar exam and New York's first female attorney. She enrolled at Albany Law School in 1898, and at the age of 57, Stoneman became the first woman to graduate from that school. She continued to play a prominent role in the women's suffrage movement, and saw New York women vote for the first time in 1918. Kate Stoneman is a member of the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Sue Schifano, Marvin House vice president, welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked the volunteers who assisted at the luncheon, including Gerry Yauchzy, who served as the greeter; Georgann Bemis, who gave the invocation; and cashiers Rosemary Lombardo and Cindy Reiss. Jean Olson and Helen Patti won the door prizes donated by Lois Livingston and Jonolyn Weinstein. The February birthdays were celebrated by Lois Galloway, Jean Olson, JoAnne Ottoson and Gladys Steele. Each received a special birthday cupcake and a decorative candle.
From left are Janet Gibson, Joni Blackman, director of Fenton History Center, Jane Winter and Georgann Bemis. Members of the Marvin House recently learned about Kate Stoneman, the first female attorney in New York state who was born and grew up in the Lakewood area. Blackman presented the program at the latest Marvin House luncheon.
The March 20 luncheon will feature Russ Diethrick, Jim Roselle and Dennis Webster who will recall interesting experiences during their tenure at WJTN Radio. For more information or to make reservations, call 488-6206 by Monday, March 17.
The Marvin Community House was left to the women of Jamestown in 1951 by Elizabeth Warner Marvin. The home was opened to women's groups whose purpose is the moral and mental improvement of women in literary, musical, educational, patriotic, scientific and historical fields. Information on the Marvin House is available by visiting The Marvin Community Houseon Facebook or at www.themarvinhouse.com.