Blog - Latest News

Filson Club Women

Dorothy Cullen (seated) and Phyllis Covatta (standing), c. 1950s, Filson Club, Filson Historical Society

According to our records, the first woman to read a paper before the Filson Club was Fannie C. Duncan in 1892. Women joined the Filson staff in the early 20th century and were major contributors to the Club’s early success. Ludie Kinkead began working for Rogers Clark Ballard Thurston in 1910. She became Curator in 1923 and took on Librarian duties in 1929. Evelyn Dale joined the staff in 1928. Dorothy Cullen took over as Curator and Librarian after Kinkead’s retirement in 1952. Cullen retired in 1968, and Dale served as Curator and Librarian until 1974. On top of their roles, these women were responsible for additional labor such as office organization and “housekeeping” duties around the building and garden. Other women served on the Filson’s staff such as Margaret Schafer, Katherine Healy, Mary Verhoeff, Thelma Dolan, and Mabel Weaks. In addition to staff, women were contributing researchers and authors of Filson publications, board and committee members, as well as Club members.