Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 8, 2014

1. During the Revolutionary War, she gave her savings to Gen. Nathanael Greene as he took shelter in Salisbury to avoid capture by the British. “Take this, for you will need it, and I can do without,” she said.

2. A starlet when she married an actor from Salisbury, in later life she won a battle against Donald Trump to keep her rent-controlled New York Apartment.

3. Using the pen name “Christian Reid,” this Salisbury author wrote 50 novels; her most famous book was “The Land of the Sky” about Asheville, which adopted the title as its slogan.

4. She and her husband gained fame as circus performers, at 36 inches and 46 inches tall, respectively. They are buried in Chestnut Hill Cemetery in Salisbury.

5. The widow of a famous general, she traveled to Salisbury to attend the dedication of the Confederate Monument in the 200 block of West Innes Street on May 10, 1909.

6. She had only one thing in mind in the 26 years she headed the county “welfare” department, her former boss said, “and that was to look after the indigent people of the county, particularly the children.”

7. She compiled more than 7,300 pages of handwritten notes on families living in Rowan County — the foundation of Rowan Public Library’s genealogical collection.

8. She became an outcast in Salisbury after writing “This Was Home,” describing what it was like to grow up here and naming names. She married in 1891 and moved to Raleigh.

9. She created Granite Quarry’s first recreational program for black children in 1950 and helped secure financial aid for many people to go to college and buy homes.

10. She was Rowan County’s first female physician, opening a pediatrics practice in Salisbury in 1952 and going on to help local parents raise their children for 48 years.

11. She was Rockwell’s first female physician and Rowan County’s second, opening a general practice office in 1954.

12. Appointed to fill Earl Ruth’s seat after he went to Congress in 1968, this school social worker was the first woman to serve on Salisbury City Council.

13. First elected in 1975, she was the first woman on the China Grove Board of Aldermen and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, and the first woman to head the Rowan County Democratic Party.

14. Born in Salisbury, she was the first black president of the National Education Association and director of the Women’s Bureau in President Nixon’s Department of Labor.

15. This Salisbury native has had a full career in the nation’s capital, from serving in the Reagan White House to serving in the Senate and running for president.

16. The proprietor of a small grocery store known for keeping evening and holiday hours long before supermarkets did, she was once named North Carolina Mother of the Year.

17. Salisbury’s first female mayor, she also served as president of Historic Salisbury Foundation from 1983 to 1986 and later became state director for a U.S. senator from Salisbury.

18. Salisbury’s longest-serving mayor — and the daughter of an earlier mayor — she was named by Gov. Pat McCrory as secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

19. The New York Times once referred to this Granite Quarry resident as one of the “most accomplished practitioners of what is sometimes called an endangered art” — storytelling.

20. A onetime teacher and mother of six, she was the first woman Rowan County elected as a member of the N.C. House of Representatives and served there 16 years.

Answers below


























Here are the answers to the women’s history quiz:

1. Elizabeth Maxwell Steele

2. Suzanne Blackmer

3. Francis Fisher Tiernan

4. Mariah Mertz

5. Mary Anna Jackson

6. Lucille Donnelly

7. Mary Louisa “Miss Mame” McCubbins

8. Hope S. Chamberlain

9. Geneva Oglesby

10. Dr. Hilda Bailey

11. Dr. Elizabeth Lombard

12. Karen Young

13. Jamima DeMarcus

14. Elizabeth Duncan Koontz

15. Elizabeth Hanford Dole

16. Mary Lash

17. Margaret Kluttz

18. Susan Kluttz

19. Jackie Torrence

20. Charlotte Gardner

We know of many more who could be on this list. You probably do, too. Please send us names of other women who should be remembered for their role in local history. Email to