1900-1909


August 15, 1900 — Altoona Tribune

+++++“Miss Blanche Fearing, the only blind woman lawyer in the United States, if not in the world, and a lawyer of considerable note, died at Eureka Springs after an illness of several months.”


August 17, 1900 — Macon Citizen

+++++“Her Husband Took Her Into the Firm (From the New York Journal)

+++++Mrs. Louise Thayer Waring of this village has just been admitted to the New York bar. For the last two years she has been a student in the Buffalo school of law, traveling up to the city, fifty miles distant, every morning and back at night, taking care of her family of five children and keeping up her studies and household and social duties at the same time. Altogether during her course at the law school Mrs. Waring has traveled 35,000 miles, and she feels that she has earned her LL. B. She took the oath as an attorney and counselor before the appellate division of the supreme court at Rochester. She is the first woman lawyer in Cattararaugus county, and will immediately enter into partnership with her husband, W. W. Waring, also a lawyer.
+++++‘Today the sign over my husband’s office will read “Waring & Waring,” that last Waring representing me, ‘ she said.
+++++‘How did you manage to do it all?’
+++++‘I’ll tell you all about it. To begin with, I was a Western girl, and, without making comparisons, Western girls are naturally active. My father was a San Francisco lawyer. When he died I went to Troy to live with my uncle, John Flagg. I was educated at the Troy female seminary, and afterward studied art at Ingraham university, the Art League in New York and later with George De Forest Brush. Then I got married, which was rather hard on my art, although I have taught painting and drawing since. But with five growing children art got a serious setback. My baby is seven years old now, and several years ago I began to read law in my husband’s office. I found that I could be useful there, and we decided then on the course which I have been pursuing.’”


August 21, 1900 — Independence Daily Reporter

+++++“The Only Woman Criminal Lawyer in America. She Came to This Country from Russia and Has Persevered Until She Has Reached the top — Practices in the New York Courts.”

+++++Miss Alice Serber of New York has the distinction of being the only woman lawyer in America who makes a specialty of criminal practice. There are many other successful women lawyers, but their practice is given to other branches of the legal profession. Miss Serber selected criminal practice as her special field of endeavor because she believes that if an accused woman has one of her own sex to depend on she will naturally talk more frankly than she would with a man. Then Miss Serber finds that civil practice is slow and does not require the same quickness and alertness of thought on short notice as does criminal procedure. She has already been successful in many important cases, and judges and lawyers have paid tribute to her thorough legal training, sound knowledge of the law and genuine oratorical ability.
+++++The career of this woman advocate has been remarkable, and the difficulties that she had to overcome to attain her present position were great. Ten years ago she came to New York city from Russia, without money, friends, influence or any knowledge of the English language. She saw the opportunities that the new world held out to enterprising and determined women and resolved to take advantage of them. She had to work during the daytime to support herself, but studied diligently evenings. Often when morning broke she would be found bending over her books. Three years after she came to this country she entered the New York University Law school and in 1896 received the degree of LL. B. One year later she was admitted to the bar and was the first woman to be admitted to practice in the United States District court.”


August 25, 1901 — Salt Lake Herald

+++++“Recognition of Women Lawyers”

+++++“The adoption by the American Bar Association of the executive committee’s recommendation favoring an amendment of its constitution admitting women to membership is significant of the decadence of the prejudice against women practicing the learned professions.
+++++It is but a few years since the woman lawyer was regarded as a huge joke. The wits of the comic weeklies vied with one another in holding her up to ridicule, and the man who took her seriously was regarded as little short of a freak. Even among her own sex she found little encouragement or sympathy. But with womanly perseverance she refused to be discouraged, and now she has finally succeeded in securing the hand of fellowship from the most representative body of legal practitioners in the United States.
+++++But this is only one of the many triumphs that woman has made in her fight for equal recognition with man in the affairs of the world. In Utah and some other states she has secured equal privileges at the polling booths. In still other states she has gained permission to vote at school elections and other matters of local importance. The higher educational institutions that were formerly exclusively monopolized by men have been thrown open to women students. They have organized clubs in every city of importance in the land which are recognized as important factors, not only in the elevation and improvement of women, but of humanity in general. Since the World’s Columbian exposition every important fair has devoted much space and money to displaying the achievements of women, both in art and in the humbler callings.
+++++Despite this great advance and the predictions of the croakers, woman is no less womanly today than she was ten or twenty years ago. There are, of course, exceptions to this, but the comment which they excite and the notoriety given them show that they are but the exceptions that prove the rule.”


August 8, 1907 — The National Tribunelydiaconley

+++++“The only Indian woman lawyer in the world is Miss Conley, of Kansas City, who is fighting now to save the old cemetery of the Wyandotte Indians from the United States Government, which has declared its intention to sell the historic spot. Miss Conley has applied to the courts, claiming that the cemetery does not belong to the Government, and says if the courts do not sustain her that she will stand guard over the cemetery with a shotgun. This cemetery is situated in the heart of the business section of Kansas City, and the ancestors of many of those high in society lie buried there. Miss Conley has been a practicing attorney for five years, and has all she can attend to in the way of business. She is a true Indian, claiming that her freedom from illness of any kind is entirely due to her strict observance of the Indian rules of health. She can work days without food, yet feels no fatigue. Many of Miss Conley’s family are buried in the old cemetery.”


August 12, 1907 — New York Letter

+++++“Lawyers and Matrimony

+++++An expert in matrimonial statistics declares that the path of matrimony and that of the law, seldom coincide. That is, so far as the woman lawyer is concerned.
+++++‘I have been in the profession for a number of years’ he says, ‘and have made it my business to keep my eyes open. In that time I have seen scores of young women enter upon the practice of law, and in that time I only know of two have have married. One of these was mated with a male lawyer, and, so far as I know, they are still living together. In the other case, the lady soon made excellent use of her legal learning, and secured a divorce.
+++++‘Possibly men are afraid to pay court to a woman lawyer, from the knowledge that she has too many brains for him, and can see further into his subterfuges and little evasions than most women could. It may be that the legal atmosphere is chilling to affection. It may be that women lawyers are too smart to tie themselves down. I do not know. I only cite the facts.
+++++One of the happiest households that I know, is composed of two lawyers, one the husband, and the other the wife. But he was a lawyer and she was not when they got married. She studied under him, and is his legal assistant rather than his partner. Perhaps that is why they get along so happily together.'”


August 15, 1907 — Leavenworth Times

+++++“First K. U. Woman Lawyer is Now a Preacher

+++++The first woman graduate from the Kansas university school of law, Mrs. Ella W. Brown, is now pastor of the Congregational church at Powhattan, having forsaken the courts for the ministry some years ago . . . . She has had her pastorate for four years and has made a record for efficiency as a minister of the Gospel, as she did also in the practice of law. Since October of last year she has been the editor of Our Messenger, the official organ of the Kansas W. C. T. U. . . . .”


August 16, 1907 — Chronicle-Telegram

+++++“A woman member of the bar gives to our correspondent the following correspondence with the reservation that no names shall be quoted:

+++++The first letter was from a man lawyer and was as follows:

+++++Dear Miss Blank: We agree to the compromise as proposed in your favor of this date. Not because your client has a just right to such settlement, but from the fact that we do not care to open a contest with a woman lawyer.

+++++To which this reply was sent:

+++++Gentlemen: I note your agreeing to a settlement, although I cannot congratulate you on your gallantry in begging the question. Like the original Adam, you seem inclined to hide behind a woman’s petticoat.

+++And the following letter closed the correspondence:

+++++Dear Miss Blank: If you will turn to the early pages of Genesis you will discover that Eve did not wear a petticoat.”


August 12, 1908 — Pittston Gazette

+++++“Mrs. Annie Hoshfelder, who was one of the two women graduates receiving the degree LL. B. at New York University last week, will put out a sign which will declare ‘that she will receive only women clients.’ She is said to be the pioneer in the ‘lawyer-for-women’ class. Her husband is also a lawyer, and she took up the study because she wanted to be more in sympathy with his work.”


August 12, 1909 — The Tacoma Times

+++++“Love, Honor, but Not Obey, is Rite of Kansas Judge — Woman

+++++Kansas has a woman judge, the most popular judge in the state. This is Mary H. Cooper of Beloit, judge of probate court, which deals in musty wills and old estates and marriage licenses.
+++++Marriages — herein lies the secret of Judge Cooper’s popularity. She has eliminated the word ‘obey’ from her ceremony and will accept only the regular fee.
+++++Nowadays when Kansas lovers pop the question, they hear:
+++++‘Yes, if you will let Mrs. Judge Cooper perform the ceremony.’
+++++‘I ask the groom,’ Mrs. Cooper says in explaining her system, ‘If he will love, cherish and keep the bride until death. I ask the bride practically the same thing. If they keep these promises there is no need for the word ‘obey.’ If the girl doesn’t love her husband she won’t obey him. She might pretend to, but she won’t.’
+++++‘I attribute the increase in marriages in this office to my effort to get away from the hackneyed, machine-like way in which civil ceremonies are generally performed. I try to make the service as impressive as I know how. When a silly, frivolous pair come before me, I reprove them. I try to make them understand that marriage is a serious affair.’
+++++Judge Cooper was appointed to the bench in the spring of 1908 to succeed her husband, who had just died. She ran for re-election, and led the ticket with a majority larger than Taft’s. She declines to take credit for this vote, saying it was a tribute to her husband.”


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