Not surprisingly my first post to honor and celebrate Women’s History Month has led me on an adventure. I say this because I thoroughly enjoy research and history. When I was taking classes toward my degree(on hiatus presently) I would often read something intriguing and pursuit it further. I was usually amazed by the learning journey.
The women I choose to write about this month will be in some way connected to my home state of Connecticut. Today I will celebrate the life of Katharine Martha Hepburn.
Ms. Hepburn, known to her friends as Kit, was born 1878 in NY. She was an heiress to the Corning Glass fortune and was raised in a family that encouraged their daughters to fight for equality. She went onto graduate from college with a degree in political science and history and a Master’s in art history, pretty impressive for the era, she married Thomas Hepburn and moved to Connecticut.
Author’s note: Thomas was a physician at Hartford Hospital and became the CT’s first urologist. This is the same hospital that I work at today.
The Hepburn’s moved the the neighborhood known as Mark Twain’s Nook Farm. This neighborhood dates back from Constitutional times and has been called home to many familiar names i.e. Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Gillette to name a few. Do take a few moments to explore the link.
Author’s note: my cousin is the current day curator for the Mark Twain House.
The Hepburn’s raised their children in their home on Hawthorne Street. Most famous of these children being Katharine Hepburn the actress. It was initially her life that I was researching however I decided to write about the woman behind the woman.
Ms. Hepburn was an activist for the Women’s Suffrage Movement. She was the co-founder for the Hartford Equal Franchise League whose membership grew to 20,000. She would eventually become president of the CT Women’s Suffrage Association and would carry a picket on the march in Washington during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency. In the 1920’s she founded the Connecticut Birth Control League which was the early beginnings of Planned Parenthood.
As you might imagine the newspapers would often have something to write about Ms. Hepburn’s activities. Her husband, Dr. Hepburn was said to scan through the papers to see what controversial activities his wife was involved in that day. If no news was reported he would sigh* dodged the bullet that day was his thought no doubt.
Author’s note: I have lived in CT all of my life yet I have never explored the Mark Twain Nook Farm Neighborhood or Cedar Hill Cemetery. I see an outing with my Canon coming…stay tuned…
Hope you enjoyed learning about this fascinating woman. I will be posting at least one blog a week of my own writing and will be featuring several guest bloggers to explore some of their favorite women. If you would like to write your own post please do share the link on my site. IN the meantime remember,
“Well-behaved women rarely make history”
~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
- O’Rourke’s Diner + The Mark Twain House (lifeabsorbed.com)
- Footsteps: For the Poet Wallace Stevens, Hartford Was an Unlikely Muse (travel.nytimes.com)