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A Woman of the Century:   A Crowdsourcing Project of the Nineteenth and Twenty-First Centuries

September 10 - September 16

Women of the Week

Educator Elizabeth Robinson Abbott  and postmaster Martha Elvira Stone are this week's Women of the Week.   

  • To learn about them by viewing their items, please click on their images.  

  • To read their biographical sketcesh in A Woman of the Century, please click on the highlighted page number to the left of their images.

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ABBOTT, Mrs. Elizabeth Robinson

September 11, 1852


Lowell, MA

p. 2

Elizabeth Osborne Robinson Abbott was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on September 11, 1852, and grew up in Malden, Massachusetts.   Her mother was Harriet Hanson Robinson, a well-known Lowell mill girl and author.  Like her daughter, Harriet is included in A Woman of the Century.  Elizabeth's father was William S. Robinson, an accomplished editor and politician.  

From a young age, Elizabeth was interested in teaching, especially kindergarten-age children.  After learning how to teach kindergarten in college, she taught at a boarding school in Maine, at Pauline Agassiz Shaw's Charity Kindergarten in Boston, and at Hillside Avenue School in Waterbury, Connecticut. 

Elizabeth married George S. Abbott of Waterbury in 1885 and the couple made their home there.  They became the parents of a daughter, Martha, in 1893.  While she was no longer teaching, Elizabeth remained dedicated to education and was a leader in the Connecticut Valley Kindergarten Association.  In addition, she was a member of The General Federation of Women's Clubs of Connecticut, the Old and New Club of Malden, Massachusetts, and the Woman's Club of Waterbury, which she founded in April of 1889.

She passed away on September 27, 1926 and was buried in Sleepy Hill Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts.

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STONE, Miss Martha Elvira

September 13, 1816


North Oxford, MA

p. 695

Martha Elvira Stone was born in North Oxford, Massachusetts on September 13, 1816.  She attended Oxford Classical School and Leicester Academy and then taught for many years. Martha and her cousin Clara Barton, another North Oxford native, were frequent correspondents throughout their lives.

Stone was appointed U.S. Postmaster for North Oxford on April 27, 1857 and served as the town's postmistress for over forty years. In addition to her work as postmistress, she aided soldiers during the Civil War and served as a member of the Oxford school board from 1870 to 1873. 

Genealogy was another of Martha's passions.  During the 1880s, she conducted extensive research for her mother's family's genealogy, The Learned Family, and also contributed to the Davis genealogy.

Since she was the oldest postmistress in the United States, Martha's image was exhibited at the World's Fair in 1896.

Martha passed away on January 9, 1900, and was buried in North Cemetery, Oxford, Massachusetts.