This Week in Women’s Business History

June 7 – June 13

Jun. 7, 1909
Virginia Apgar is born. Known today for the Apgar Score for assessing newborn babies, Apgar headed the division of anesthesiology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center between 1938 and 1949 and later became an executive with the March of Dimes.

Jun. 8, 2003
Elsa Kopp dies. Kopp opened Kopp’s Frozen Custard in 1950 and, for forty-eight years, served the rich ice cream made with eggs. She offered a “flavor of the day,” giving customers a reason to visit often.

Jun. 9, 1887
Gertrude A. Muller is born. After inventing a collapsible children’s toilet seat with her sister, Muller started the Juvenile Wood Products Co. in 1924 to manufacture and market it.

Jun. 10, 1950
Nellie Norton Coffman dies. In 1909, Coffman, her physician husband, and her two sons started a small health resort hotel, The Desert Inn, in Palm Springs, California. Coffman enlarged the Desert Inn in the mid-1920s to accommodate the Hollywood stars and well-to-do who came to stay with her. The Inn was pivotal to Palm Springs becoming a vacation and recreation destination.

Jun. 11, 1769
Anne Newport Royall is born. She crusaded against political corruption and religious fraud by publishing two weekly newspapers in Washington, DC: Paul Pry (1831-1836) and The Huntress (1836-1854).

Jun. 12, 1888
Tobé Coller Davis is born. She was a fashion merchandising expert who created a business known today as Tobe Associates.

Jun. 13, 2004
Dorothy L. Brown dies. Brown was chief of surgery at Nashville’s Riverside Hospital from 1957 to 1983 and she was the first Black woman to become a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Last week in women’s business history

May 31, 1876
Henriette J. Fuchs is born. She was trust officer with Underwriters Trust Co. and, between from 1942 and 1944, president of National Association of Bank Women.

Jun. 1, 1871
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Johnson Williams, a Texas cattle dealer, registers her own cattle brand and mark in the Travis County, Texas Record Book. Johnson Williams is thought to be the first woman to ride the Chisholm Trail herding her own cattle marked with her own brand.

Jun. 2, 1997
Edythe Meserand dies. Meserand started her career in radio at the newly formed NBC, writing press releases. Her most dynamic and influential years were at New York station WOR where, as assistant news director, she produced special features and documentaries. During World War II she ran the department, overseeing the work of seventeen men. Meserand was one of the founders of American Women in Radio and Television and served as the group’s first national president. She retired from radio in 1952 and started her own advertising agency.

Jun. 3, 1884
Rose La Monte Burcham graduates from medical school. She eventually established a private practice in California.

Jun. 4, 1925
Margaret Murray Washington dies. A graduate of Fisk University, Washington was principal of the women’s programs at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). As the wife of the founder, she ran day-to-day operations of the entire school for months at a time while her husband was travelling to raise operating funds. Washington co-founded the Tuskegee Women’s Club and the National Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs and served as president of both organizations.

Jun. 5, 1836
Frank (Miriam Follin) Leslie is born. When she succeeded her husband as editor and publisher of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, she legally changed her name to Frank.

Jun. 6, 1899
Alicia Elizondo de Lozano is born. She married the founder of La Prensa, a daily Spanish-language newspaper published in San Antonio, and continued publishing the paper after his death.

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