Emeline Hooven

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Many of the people who come into the research library stop to admire the chandelier that hangs over the tables.  This chandelier came from the Hooven house which stood at 28 East Airy Street in Norristown.  The house was torn down in the 1930’s for the Norristown Post Office, and the family donated the chandelier to the historical society.

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The Hooven House

Several members of the Hooven family grew to prominence in Norristown.  James Ekron Hooven and his son Alexander Henry Hooven ran the Norristown Iron Works, which was located on the Schuylkill River.  It consisted of a rolling-mill, a blast furnace, and pipe-mill.

Alexander’s daughter, Emeline Henry Hooven did not go into the family business.  After schooling at Miss Caroline Whipple’s school, Norristown High School, and St. Mary’s Hall in Burlington, N.J., she began working in the law office of John Faber Miller.  She later became the second woman in Montgomery to pass the Bar.

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Hooven practiced law in her own office on DeKalb Street.  I’d love to tell you more about her practice or an interesting case she was involved in.  Unfortunately, her long obituary in the Norristown Times-Herald of March 16, 1937, makes little mention of her long career, but focuses more on her ancestors and her membership in various societies (including the Historical Society in Montgomery County).

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Emelin Henry Hooven in the Norristown city directory under “Lawyers”

The obituary does mention another accomplishment of Hooven’s however:

“In 1920, she was elected a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, to represent the Ninth District of Pennsylvania, consisting of Bucks and Montgomery Counties.  This was an unique honor — the first time a woman hdd been selected to receive this distinction.”

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