Union City Businesswomen -1870-1933
Throughout Union City history women have played an important part in the economic health of the borough. The millinery profession enabled many women to earn a living in a time when the ideal woman ventured outside of her home to spend her husband’s dollar rather than earn her own. In the year 1870, Mrs. Cynthia Lyons opened a store on North Main Street on the second floor of a building where the National Bank later stood . A Mrs. French conducted a ladies ready-to-wear store and millinery nest door north of the Hotel Rice from 1879-1888. Then she moved to Johnsonburgh, Pennsylvania. Other ladies who engaged in millinery included Mrs. W.W. Plumb, Mrs. Jennie Boyd, Mrs. D.B. Honeywell, Mrs. Martha Howland, Mrs. A.N. Taber, Mrs. George Staples, Miss McAfee, Mrs. Mary Gardner, and Mrs. E. Ford.
The Schriever sisters operated the first Five and Ten Cent Store for several years before they returned to Kane, the city of their birth. Mrs. Irvin Steenrod operated a similar kind of store.
Mrs. Rhoda Bucklin was probably Union City’s first woman music teacher. She began giving lessons in the year 1870. After her came many capable instructors who put Union City on the map for its musical talent.
Miss Nettie Black was assistant postmaster for several years. Miss Helen Canfield, later Mrs. C.W. Hayes, worked as assistant cashier of the Farmers’ Co-operative Trust Company for a term and Mrs. Kate Tipton was a successful manager of the Keystone Chair Factory for a time.
During the Civil War when Union City was still Union Mills, Mrs. P.E. Sherwin sold Florence sewing machines and did quite well in her sales. In 1870, Miss Estella Fenno was a successful agent for the Howe Sewing Machine Company.
Union City has not contributed scores of women to public office, but it has paved the way for women to serve. In the year 1865, Mrs. Blanchard came to Union City from Philadelphia and opened a millinery store which she continued to manage for more than fifty years. Many Union City women earned their living by designing and fashioning hats.
Mrs. Arthur B. Treat served two terms as a member of dthe Board of Education. Severl aldies were appointed to the office of Notary public by the governor, including Miss Anna Tierney, Emma Sexton, and Mary Gardner.
Church circles also contributed talented women. Mrs. C.S. Joshua was ordained a minister of the gospel in the Baptist Church while she lived in Union City. Miss Retta Wilson served the Methodist-Episcopal Church as a missionary in India and Miss Geneva Hubbell performed as a missionary in China.
Dr. Sarah C. Oneland was for several years a successful practicing osteopathic physician in Union City and Mrs. C.c. Davis served as one of the very best city clerks for several years.
A Mrs. McClure operated the original bakery in Union City. It stood immediately in the rear of the block occupied by Fisk’s Wall Paper store on North Main Street away back in the 1880s. Mrs. S.G. Lobaugh, Mrs. Charles Ross and Miss Nellie McGill each made a success in the restaurant business.
In 1933 J.C. McLean made a summary of “Women in Business and the Professions in Union City” during the last fifty years for the Times-Enterprise. He listed the women in business and acknowledged that had made important contributions to Union City. He concluded his summary by saying that “the greatest and most important business in the whole world – the management of the home has been successfully accomplished by Union City women.”