Notable Women of Wayne County

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List of Notable Women


  • Charity (Lawrence) Bell Stout: Conductor of the Underground Railroad in Wayne County, Ohio



  • Schaffter, Marie S.: 1st woman member of the Wayne County Bar Association (1931); 1st woman sole practioner in Wooster and Wayne County (1931); first woman member of the Wosoter law firm, Weiser & Schaffter (1938); 1st woman candidate for Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney (1948); 1st woman Wayne County Law Library Association Trustee (1952)
  • Scott, Agnes: 1st woman in Ohio permitted to practice law


  • Claffin, Tenney C (Tennessee)
  • Fuller, Francis: Wooster poet
  • Fuller, Meta: Wooster poet
  • Taylor, Eleanor: Wooster Daily Record columnist
  • Woodhull, Victoria Claffin: 1st woman to start a weekly newspaper

Business Owners

  • Durstine, Hazel: Operated Durstine’s Beauty Shop in Wooster (Public Square)
  • Parrish, Melinda (Fox) Connelly : Landlady of the Archer House

College of Wooster

  • Boole, Ella (Alexander): 1878 graduate; President of WCTU, New York


  • Arick, Ola May: Traveled with the Red Cross during WWI; authority on Ohio history; initiated services to the disabled in the Wayne County, Ohio area (became part of the welfare dept); served as director of the Wayne County, Ohio Welfare Dept
  • Douglass, Narcissa: In charge of Woman’s Relief movement in Wayne County, OH 1860-1865; early member of Wooster Thursday’s club; chairperson of the Women’s movement during the Wayne County, Ohio Centennial Celebration in 1896
  • Knight, Maude B.: President of the Women’s Association; member of College Circle and DAR; member of the English Tea Club
  • Parmenter, Lovina: 1st single women in Northeast Ohio to become a foster parent to a homeless child (1968)
  • Stibbs, Emeline Beebe Sprague: President of the Soldiers Aid Society of Wayne County, Ohio from December 1862-1865


  • Ellenwood, Virginia: 1st woman Assistant Librarian of the Wayne County Law Library Association (1940)
  • Kean, Lura B.: Principal of Wooster High School; Kean Elementary name in her honor
  • Layton, Nellie: Principal of Wooster High School
  • Muhse, Effa Funk: First woman granted the degree of doctor of philosophy from the University of Indiana
  • Seavers, Charlotte (Baughman): 1908 graduate of College of Wooster (at age 18); became principal of Doylestown High School around 1911 (age 21); 50 year volunteer with American Red Cross; wrote the Doylestown High School Alma Mater; authored and directed the production of Doylestown 125th Anniversary Celebration (1952)


  • Peters, Kay Domhoff: Actress; appeared on “Little House on the Prairie” (Jan 1977), “Days of Our Lives”, many dinner theaters
  • Roth, Laura Reed: Murdered by husband in 1887


  • Parker, Ethel: Historian, County Officer (Treasurer)
  • Williams, Ruth: Wayne County Recorder; “Lady of the Month” (May 1958)
  • Woodhull, Victoria Claffin: 1st female candidate for President of U.S. (1872); activist for women's rights and labor reforms


  • Buss, Edna: Local Historian
  • Parker, Ethel: Historian, County Officer (Treasurer)
  • Thompson, Lydia: Wooster, Ohio Historian, specializing in blacks of Wooster, Ohio


  • Buss, Mary Mildred: Lt. Col. Army Nurse
  • Neufer, Judith Ann: 1st female military aviatrix (January 1973)
  • Sterling, Doris: enlisted 1942 in Walter Reed Hospital; 4 months Eglin Field, FL; rank of 1st lieutenant [1]
  • Tostlebe, Pearl: Graduate of the Army School of Nursing (1921)


  • Phillips, Maude: Appointed to the Board of Foreign Missionaries; served as Evangelical Missionary from 1919-1959


  • Dodez, Paula: Musician (violinist); 1st woman concert master of a German chamber music orchestra in Mannheim, Germany; performed in the cathedral of St. Chapelle in Paris, France

News Media

  • Camp, Christine: Member of the Presidential News Corp (1950s)
  • Gaffee, Barbara Richardson: News reporter, producer and hostess


  • Abramson, Carolyn
  • Buss, Mary Mildred: Lt. Col. Army Nurse
  • Mrs. J.D. Robison (Assisted her husband physician in the Civil War. She and her two children were captured by the Confederates and later released.)
  • Tostlebe, Pearl: Graduate of the Army School of Nursing (1921)
  • See also American Red Cross


  • Angell, Anne Fouch: Surgeon
  • Burgess, Elizabeth Catherine: 1st woman veterinary of Wooster
  • Crandall, Susie Gertrude: Physician (24 Jan 1916)
  • Fouch, Dr. Jeanne Ann: Physician
  • Golden, Madge: Homeopathic physician
  • Johnson, Kate McClure: Physician (16 Jul 1900)
  • McKnight, Virginia Harley: Allopath physician (license NY 1896; license OH 1897)
  • Silber, Martha E. Benson: Homeopathic physician (30 Jul 1896)
  • Startzman, Viola: Medical field, clinic named for her
  • Walters, Ethel Wilson Hobbs: Homeopathic physician (22 Apr 1899)


  • Stype, JoAnn: 1st Wooster lady pilot to fly in the International Angel Derby (Apr 1977); flight instructor
  • Yoder, Anna B. Blattenburg: Physician (9 Aug 1906)


  • Detmers, Frederica: researcher at Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Botany in Wooster (beginning in 1919)
  • Frank, Norma Augusta: researcher at Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Animal Science, Division of Veterinary Science (1952-1972)
  • Patton, Dr. Mary Brown: researcher at Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, Department of Home Economics (1926-1960); writer of scientific papers in the fields of calcium, phosphorus and nitrogen metabolism of young women; writer on the nutritive value of foods and growth and nutrition of school children

Telephone Operators

Telephone operators is one of the first occupations women had the opportunity to work other than working as a teacher. Other names included Switchboard Operators and Hello Girls.



Newspaper Articles


  1. Wooster Daily Record, 23 Jun 1945, page 3, columns 5-6