Four Women of Historic Murphysburg will be honored starting this week as part of Women's History Month (March).
Historic Murphysburg Preservation, Inc., a local non-profit organization, will celebrate the past by using present day technology. They will feature one woman, each Wednesday in March, on its website and Facebook page.
Paula Callihan said, "We are dedicated to making history informative and fun. Be sure to visit our Facebook page at Murphysburg and add your modern-day word/thought bubble via the comment option." Paula, with Historic Murphysburg Preservation, Inc., encourages community members and descendants to contact her if they have pertinent Murphysburg historical documents, photographs, maps, or oral history to share. She reminds people that information about Murphysburg housekeepers, cooks, nursemaids, caretakers, chauffeurs, etc. is also a critical historical component.
Mildred Wilson Taylor will be highlighted this Wednesday (March 7th). Subsequent Wednesdays will highlight Wilhelmina (Mina) Martens Schifferdecker, Edna Jackson Houk, and Effie Daigler Snapp.
Mildred Taylor (1841-1924) was the wife of Mr. Lee Taylor, who was the first elected mayor of Joplin. The couple were considered among Joplin's earliest Pioneers. Mrs. Taylor was well educated and facilitated the "schooling" of girls when some of her contemporaries may not have seen the importance.
Jim Scott, Murphysburg homeowner and great-grandson of Mrs. Taylor stated, "It is an honor to share a little bit of my family's history and photographs for this educational project."
Mina Schifferdecker (1852-1915) was the wife of Charles Schifferdecker, one of Joplin's wealthiest residents. Their mansion and grounds at 422 South Sergeant Avenue is currently being restored by Joplin Historical Neighborhoods, Inc. and eventually will open to the public for tours, events, workshops, and more. Be sure to look for exciting future announcements.
Effie Snapp (1875-1949) was also married to a former mayor of Joplin, Mr. Fletcher Taylor Snapp, but her notoriety came as the only woman in Joplin to own an automobile in 1911. The couple lived at 501 South Sergeant Avenue which is still standing. The couple divorced in 1917 after 19 years of marriage. Effie eventually remarried in 1931 to Mr. Charles Woomer, just four years before his death.
Current owner Daisy Crawford said, "After speaking to former owners and conducting research on Mr. Snapp, I found he was a successful business and community leader in spite of leading a scandalous lifestyle by turn of the century standards." One hundred years later, Daisy and her husband Tim, manage happy and hectic lives for their children at this historic property.
Edna Houk (1852-1911) is the most progressive woman of her time to be showcased. Her stately house and grounds can still be seen at 218 South Sergeant Avenue. One of her many accomplishments was authoring a book in 1893 titled, "Women Wealth Winners; or How Women Can Earn Money."
Bob Samuels said, "My wife, Tiffany and I purchased the house in 2017 and are still putting our personal touches on our new historic home. Luckily some of Edna's documents, including handwritten letters to her husband and daughter, came with the house. Edna's amazing life will inspire and motivate us to be diligent stewards of the William Houk House."