Friday, August 29, 2014


Although my grandmother Lillian was the daughter of Elizabeth Laura Longmore Sigley, at some point in her young life she was sent to live and be raised by Hannah Lydia Longmore Hartpence, after she had married the successful lawyer John Armitage Hartpence, who my father just called Uncle John. Dad talked with great fondness for his uncle, but seldom mentioned his aunt, though I might just be misremembering. I know there was some displeasure among the Sigleys that Lillian was raised a Protestant while they were Catholic. Hannah was born 22 February 1884 in Trenton and died 2 November 1957, little more than two years before my birth. By 1919 Hannah had lost her two brothers in the service during World War II.

She attended the Charles Skelton School, Trenton High School, and then attended teaching programs at the State Normal School and Vineland Training School. She took graduate courses in psychology and sociology at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. She taught at the Carroll Robbins Training School, and for at least three years taught summer classes in the handling of "mental defectives" [what we would call special education] at New York University. She was a founding member, and in 1917 was elected permanent secretary, of the Trenton Welfare Association (1916-1922), an early precursor to what we know now as the United Way. She was a modern feminist and a progressive in the field of social welfare; she was appointed to and served as the only woman on the Trenton Board of Education. Her future husband served as the legal representative on the school board and as city attorney until entering into private practice.

Probably taken around 1904.

Around 1950.

No comments:

Post a Comment