Until the twentieth century, women were often overlooked by historians. Fortunately for those of us who live in Oneida and Herkimer Counties, a collaborative project, Women Belong In History Books, has captured many inspiring stories of notable women.
Barbara Dunnadee, historian and contributor to the project, will be discussing women of the Mohawk Valley on Wednesday, March 20th at 7:00 pm in the Rome Historical Society auditorium. The program will highlight notable women of Utica, Rome, and the upper Mohawk Valley.
Oneida and Herkimer history books written in the 19th and 20th century seldom made mention of women. Often missing are notable community leaders such as Francis Auretta Fuller, Henrietta Wright, or Sarah Kent, all from Rome. The philanthropic legacy of another Roman, Lucy Stevens Kingsley, survives today as the Steven Kingsley Foundation.
Welthy Honsinger Fisher is arguably the most famous woman from Rome. Her crusade to spread literacy in China and India revolutionized the country so much she was immortalized with a postage stamp.
Beginning in 1987, the series editor, Jane Spellman, took the unconventional route to gather information about local women. While teaching a women’s history course at the Utica Public Library, Spellman collected anecdotal information from her students and eventually had a list of
women who played a vital role in the development of Herkimer and Oneida counties.
This work eventually led to a two volume series: Women Belong in History Books. The lives of the 109 women found in these two volumes are now available because 35 local authors accepted the responsibility of writing their stories.
The program is free and open to the public. The Rome Historical Society is located at 200 Church Street, Rome, NY and is a non-profit
organization. For more information, call (315) 336-5870, like them on Facebook, or visit their website at