Michigan Woman’s Press Club, 1893

The object of this club shall be to promote acquaintance and good fellowship among newspaper women, to elevate the work and the workers; and to forward by concerted action through the press such good objects in social, philanthropic and reformatory lines as may from time to time present themselves.

Any woman, resident in Michigan, who is connected as a professional writer, manager, or publisher with any reputable newspaper or magazine, or who is on the regular paid staff of such periodical shall be eligible for active membership in this club. Honorary members may be elected by the unanimous vote of the club.

Annual meetings shall be held the second Thursday in January. Regular meetings shall be held quarterly on the second Thursday in the quarter. Dues for active members shall be $2.00 per year.


Michigan Women Taxpayers and Wage Earners, 1893

Women Tax Payers

Number of women paying taxes - 76, 419

Assessed value of their property - $134,506,179

Taxes paid by women in 1892 --- $ 2,052.750


Women Workers of Michigan

Personal Services - 49,370

(Domestics, employees in Hotels and Restaurants, Laundresses, Boarding and lodging housekeepers, employees in government and charitable institutions, hair dressers, barbers, janitors and laborers,

Manufacturing Employments - 22,605

(Milliners, dressmakers, corset makers, cigar & tobacco operators, hosiery and shirt goods workers, chemical workers, hair cleaners, carpet workers, boot and shoe workers, silk factory workers, pharmacy and wholesale drug store employees, weavers, bookbinders, makers of capsules, box factory operators,

seed store operators, candy and confectioners operators, featherbone factory operators, mattress factory workers, fur and robe factory operators, etc.)

Trades - 5,330

(Store clerks, employees telegraph and telephone, bookkeepers, accountants, saleswomen, agents, dealers in fancy goods, dealers in groceries, bankers, clerks in banks, etc.)

Professional Work - 18,567

(School teachers, musicians and music teachers, copyists, stenographers, professional nurses, clerks/official in U.S. government and state employ, artists, art teachers, physicians and surgeons, restaurant and hotel keepers, journalists, authors and lecturers, actresses, clerks in hotels and restaurants,

midwives, clergymen, etc.

Agriculturists - 1,100

Mechanical Employments - 932

Transportation - 273

The above statistics were compiled from United States and State Census Reports, 1890.


Officers for 1894

Miss Jenny O. Starkey (Detroit Free Press)

Mrs. M. L. Rayne (Free Press)

Mrs. Tom S. Applegate (Adrian Times)

Miss Jennie Patten (Grand Rapids)

Executive Board
Mrs. Alice M. Miller (Muskegon News)
Mrs. Etta S. Wilson (Evening Press)
Mrs. Cora B. Martin (Lansing)




Sketches of Members of the Michigan Woman’s Press Club


Mrs. Cora E. Rogers

The subject of this sketch, Mrs. Cora E. Rogers, was born in Ada, Michigan and is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George B. Smith, both of whom are living. She was educated in the Muskegon schools and on February 21, 1879, she was married to Thomas F. Rogers. With her husband she started the Lakeview Enterprise in 1885 but after a short time they sold the paper and removed to Ravenna, Michigan where they now reside and where Mrs. Rogers is actively engaged with various duties upon the Ravenna Times, owned and edited by her husband. Mrs. Rogers’ accomplishments in newspaper work are exceedingly varied. She can write an editorial, set type or assume the business management at a moment’s notice, but perhaps her best work is done in connection with the business office. Personally she is bright and attractive with a keen sense of humor and a ready command of language which insures her popularity in all circles.

Miss Rena Challender

Miss Rena Challender was born in the year 1872 at Leland, Leelanaw county, Michigan whence her parents removed to Lake county. Her first connection with a printing office was in 1888, when she commenced work on the Luther Lance at the case. Here she worked for three years, for a portion of the work of the office, editing, typesetting and presswork while the proprietor was in the West. When the Luther Lance was merged into the Manistee Democrat, then a weekly, she removed to Manistee, and there worked at the case for a year or more. She finally assumed the duties of foreman and "make-up" on the Manistee Daily Democrat, having general management of the mechanical department, which position she now holds. Miss Challender bears the distinction of being the only "woman foreman" in the state, if not in the country. Being a thoroughly competent compositor, she enjoys the work, handles the forms successfully and fully understands every detail of her work. Grand Rapids Typographical Union No. 39 recently elected her to a membership in that body.

Mrs. Frances Caroline Wood

She was born in Geneva, New York, to Professor and Mrs. Walter Teller Taylor. She was educated in private schools and received a thorough training in the essentials. Throughout her girlhood, as also in later years, she had the talent of thinking for herself. Her intellectual force, with her energetic will and pleasing ways, made her influential in social circles and won her many friends among those with whom she was associated. In 1868 she was married to William Lefferts Wood, a son of Rev. Dr. A. A. Wood, a Presbyterian clergyman. In 1869 they took up their residence in Detroit, and Michigan has been the home of Mrs. Wood since that time. She has successfully identified herself with many interests in the state. The liveliness and spirit which characterized her youth developed, in mature years, into that well-balances, earnest and tactful force which has made Mrs. Wood so helpful a factor in modern progress of woman. For seven years Mrs. Wood was connected with the Grand Rapids public library, serving for two years as librarian, and doing faithful, conscientious work. For nearly seven years she has been a "newspaper woman," doing good work on the Grand Rapids Eagle, and during a part of 1892, on the Toledo Blade.

Miss Frances C. Wood

Miss Frances C. Wood was born in Detroit, but she has spent most of her life in Grand Rapids, and was educated in the Grand Rapids schools. Modest and unassuming as she is beautiful. Miss "Francie" by her winning and pleasant ways, has gained many warm friends. Too young to have accomplished much in the way of famous publications, Miss Wood has her literary or artistic career before her, but she has, already, manifested talent and intellectual force in pleasing little sketches. For more than five years she has been connected with the business department of the Grand Rapids Eagle, where she has developed real business capacity. The mother and daughter are an important part of the Eagle’s force, both doing careful and conscientious work in the departments in which they are employed. Miss Wood has attained a thorough knowledge of the "business end" of a newspaper.

Miss Jennie F. Patten

Miss Jennie F. Patten was born of Scotch parentage on a farm in Canada. When she was still very young her parents moved to Berlin, Ottawa county, and there in the little country village, while but fourteen years of age, she experienced the desolation of being orphaned. Since that time she has battled with fate alone and single handed. For a time she taught a country school; then, in the fall of 1882, she entered a business college in Grand Rapids, but when her course was half completed she was compelled through ill health to abandon her studies and seek a western climate. She spent two years in Colorado, and returning in May, 1885, she re-entered college and finished her course, although ill health again postponed her graduation. On March 15, 1886, three days after commencement, she entered the office of the Grand Rapids Morning Telegram, which was afterward consolidated with the Grand Rapids Herald and is now known by that caption, and served the paper faithfully and well for a number of years. Changes came in the management of that paper, however, and she became identified with the Grand Rapids Morning Press, where she occupied the position of treasurer and business manager. She is today one of the foremost newspaper business women in the state.

Mrs. Emma L. Mills

Emma Louise Hammond Mills is one of twin daughters born to Col. and Mrs. S. B. Hammond in Dunbarton, N. H. on a lucky Friday. She early manifested her independence of conventionalism by an innovation in baby etiquette – running before she walked; otherwise, she acted like most babies. Mrs. Mills was educated in the common schools of her native town and in the High school of the same place, and, being blessed with high-grade teachers, made the most of her opportunities. She inherited some musical talent from her father, who was one of the best tenor singers in the state, and adapted her voice to the contralto in duets with her sister and in the church choir and quartette. At the age of seventeen Mrs. Mills began teaching in the "district" schools, and followed this occupation – more or less – for six years, also taking an "emergency" teachers’ place in the Industrial School of New Hampshire for a brief time. June 19, 1878, she was married to John B. Mills of Manchester, N. H., and took up her residence in that city. Natural inclinations led her into writing for the newspapers, and in June, 1885, she accepted the position of editor of the "Fireside" department of the Manchester Union, continuing in this work until May, 1891, when she removed to Grand Rapids, Michigan where her husband had preceded her – to accept the place of proof reader on the Grand Rapids Democrat. In March, 1889, Mrs. Mills was appointed ????? money order ____ in the Manchester, N. H., post office by Hon. J. G. Dearborn, the Democratic postmaster appointed by President Cleveland, and served ten months under Capt. S. S. Piper. Mr. Dearborn’s successor, until in March, 1891, political reasons necessitated a change. Mrs. Mills contributes occasionally to the reading material of the day.

Mrs. Etta Smith Wilson

Mrs. Etta S. Wilson, who served the club as its first president, was born at Northport, Michigan, her parents being Payson and Mary Wolfe. Adopted in childhood by her maternal grandfather, Rev. George N. Smith, who bestowed his name upon her, she grew to girlhood in a beautiful home on the shores of Grand Traverse bay, from whose rippling waters her bright, breezy manner must have been gained. She is an ardent worker in journalism, and understands thoroughly all of the ins and outs of the reportorial beat and the editorial desk. She has, when occasion necessitated, reported base ball games, horse races and kindred sports with the ease and adaptability which marks other work more feminine in character. She was married January 29, 1881, to Wesley T. Wilson, son of Rev. George W. Wilson, an Episcopal clergyman. Her education was gained in private study with her grandfather and in the Grand Rapids high school. Though accustomed to write from childhood, she did her first actual newspaper work in 1886 on the Grand Rapids Herald, which afterward consolidated with the Morning Telegram, when she continued her work acceptably. In January, 1893, she accepted a position on the Evening Press of Grand Rapids, and find time while not neglecting other duties to write stories and sketches for various newspapers and magazines.

The booklet on the Michigan Woman’s Press Club was presented to the historical collection at the Grand Rapids Public Library by the Grand Rapids Herald newspaper. M3743.M581

Transcriber: Evelyn Sawyer
Created: 16 August 2002
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/organizations/women/pressclub.html