Continuing a long-standing tradition, the president of the Ohio Federation of Women's Clubs will install officers of the Woman's Club of Steubenville when the local club concludes its 2011-12 season on May 7.
Corkey Nosek of Berla, who assumed the head of the state organization at the recent federation convention, will invest the local leadership team at the noon luncheon meeting at the Steubenville Country Club.
The program also will include convention reports, a memorial service honoring deceased members and the introduction of club scholarship recipients.
Kathy Mills, club president, with Charlie Green, guest speaker
Greeters and hostesses will be members of the social committee, including Martha Olivito, Geraldine Kelly and Shirley Valuska.
At the club's April 2 meeting where Kathy Mills, president, presided Jan Glaub Rainbolt was welcomed as a guest, and Eileen Krupinski gave the blessing and an inspirational reading on the "Parable of the Pencil." She noted that just as a pencil is sharpened to do its best work, so, too, is the women's organization in order to accomplish what it sets out to do in the present and future.
Ann Wright and Donna Keagler were greeters and hostesses at the meeting where Charlie Green, second vice president of the Jefferson County Historical Association, talked about someone he described as his favorite person from Jefferson County, excluding, of course, his wife and family.
That would be Steubenville native Edwin M. Stanton, who served as President Abraham Lincoln's secretary of war and was born at 516 Market St. Green spoke with ease and authority about the man who has been a popular topic in programs around town, including at the historical association's annual dinner meeting that was held in October.
As a child, Stanton studied Latin and Greek; he was a collector of insects, frogs and snakes; he started a lending library in his neighborhood; and he worked part time for a while on a farm. He entered college in 1831 but had to drop out for a lack of money. He married at 19 and returned to Steubenville, studied law, and eventually opened a law office in Cadiz. As a Harrison County prosecuting attorney, he made $200 a year.
Stanton was a well dressed, well groomed man who was easy to get along with, according to Green, except in the courtroom where he spoke fast, ridiculed witnesses, behaved rudely at times and was known to use extremes to persuade a jury.
As one of the lead attorneys on the defense team of Congressman Daniel Sickles, who stood accused of murdering his wife's lover, Stanton and his colleagues convinced the jury to acquit Sickles on the grounds of temporary insanity. It marked one of the earliest uses of such a plea.
Stanton was 30 when his wife died in 1844 and suffered such depression he didn't work for three years until he started a law practice in Pittsburgh. He would eventually remarry.
After the 1860 presidential election, Stanton gave up a lucrative law practice to become attorney general in the lame-duck presidential administration of James Buchanan and two years later became Lincoln's Secretary of War, a job that paid $8,000 a year and something his second wife was opposed to.
He once again gave up a prosperous law practice to enter public service. He proved to be a strong and effective cabinet officer, instituting practices to rid the War Department of waste and corruption. When Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney died in October 1864, Stanton wanted to be named as his replacement. Lincoln believed, though, that he was more important to the Union cause as Secretary of War, so the President appointed Chase, instead. Upon the assassination of Lincoln, Stanton uttered the memorable line, "Now he belongs to the ages."
Green said Stanton complemented Lincoln and vice versa.
In his last visit to Steubenville in 1868, Stanton had said he wanted to be buried in the family plot in Union Cemetery. He's not. He's in Washington, D.C., where he died on Christmas Eve in 1869, four days after he had been appointed and confirmed to sit on the Supreme Court.
Green is a very interesting presenter of all things Jefferson County, and the area is lucky to have such a resource with such a knowledge base.
In new business for the women's club, Shirley Mitchell, club treasurer, noted the club is chartering a bus on Sept. 30 to visit the Gold Star Mother's Pilgrimage at the Shrine in Mohican State Forest and urged members to make their reservations as soon as possible.
The club also voted to not have meetings during January and February, beginning with the 2012-13 club year.