'North Country Women of Courage' presentation in Canton highlights women's history month
Monday, April 7, 2014 - 11:24 am

Photo by Dennis Barr, www.twoguysandacamera.com.

CANTON -- The stories of ten “North Country Women of Courage” were presented at the Silas Wright Museum on March 20 and again on March 27 at SUNY Canton Southworth Library as part of Women’s history month.

Canton’s Town and Village Historian, Linda Casserly, along with others, presented a look into the lives of 10 North Country women of courage pioneers.

In 1989 the St. Lawrence County Branch of the AAUW published a booklet of 10 little known St. Lawrence County women who made significant contributions to the history and development of Northern New York and beyond.

Their careers were varied: three were women’s suffrage activists (that included a woman theologian and doctor), three educators, one musician, an artist, a psychiatrist, and a writer.

None was born to great wealth. Yet each displayed a type of courage against adversity, and each was ceaseless in her dedication to the goals and ethics of her chosen profession.

Each could serve as an excellent role model for our present and future generations, as indeed they truly have.

The women and the roles they played at SUNY Canton presentation from left: Linda Casserly (Gladys Ward-Dunn Ogdensburg b. 1907, Psychiatrist); Grace Vesper (Rhoda Fox Graves, Gouverneur b. 1877, Pioneer Legislator); Peggy McMasters Jayne, (Dr. Lucia E. Heaton, Canton b. 1856, Canton’s 1st Women Doctor); Frances Van Horn (Louise Fletcher Chase, Norwood b. 1888, Distinguished Citizen & Teacher); Carole Berard (Sally James Farnham, Ogdensburg b. 1869 Accomplished Sculptress friend of Frederic Remington); Helen Moore Kenyon (Marietta Holley, Pierrepont Manor b. 1836, Best Selling Writer “Samantha” books); Rachael Towne (Eliza Kellas, Mooer Forks b. 1864, Innovative Educator); and Patricia Dominie (Sarah Raymond Koch, St. Regis Falls b. 1901, Young School Teacher). Missing from the SLCHA presentation were: Katie Lumbard, SLU student, (played Olympia Brown b. 1834 Universalist Minister, graduated from SLU1863); Noelle Rielly, SLU student, (played Maude DeGan Graff, Potsdam b. 1879, a Music Missioner); and missing from the SUNY Canton presentation was Dr. Molly Mott, who played Lottie Southworth for which the campus library is named.

Ms Southworth was a native of the North Country, b. 1890 a graduate of the Canton “Aggie School”, taught at various local schools and did graduate work at Cornell and Columbia.

She worked at SUNY Canton till 1945 and died in 1961 at her home on Park St., Canton.