Name: Isabella Curran
Date of Death / Location: Active in Chicago and surrounding suburbs at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Name: Emma Kennett
Date of Birth / Location: February 9, 1891 / Illinois
Date of Death / Location: June 13, 1985 / Santa Barbara, California
Date of Death / Location: Kennett Construction Company, 1923 - ca. 1952 Kennett Realty Company, ca. 1952 - 1960. Kennett designed all of her own buildings, assisted only by with local architects including Arthur C. Buckett and Herbert J. Richter to ensure the technical details were correct. As for a contractor, Kennett partnered with one of the first African American contractors in the city, Joseph Frederick Rousseau.
Name: Edith Rockefeller McCormick
Date of Birth / Location: 1872 / Cleveland, Ohio
Date of Death / Location: 1932 / Chicago, Illinois
Name: Elizabeth Wood
Date of Birth / Location: April 9, 1899 / Nara, Japan
Date of Death / Location: January 16, 1993 / Atlanta, Georgia
Education: Bachelor's Degree in Rhetoric, Illinois Wesleyan University, n.d. Master's Degree in Rhetoric, University of Michigan, n.d. University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, ca. 1932-1934.
Date of Death / Location: Chicago Housing Authority (Executive Director), 1937- 1954. As Executive Director, Elizabeth pushed an agenda to provide high-quality, low-to-mid rise, racially integrated housing of architectural excellence, which would be equally distributed throughout the city. She worked closely with the Chicago Park District to assure tenants had adequate recreation space and advocated for the construction of community and cultural facilities as part of the housing development.
Professional Organizations & Activities: Elizabeth taught English between 1928 and 1932 before moving to Chicago where she briefly worked for the Home Modernizing Bureau, a trade organization. She then worked as a caseworker for the United Charities (now Family Service Bureau) between ca. 1932-1934. In 1934, she was appointed the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Housing Council, and the following year as the Executive Director of the Illinois State Housing Board. Elizabeth would go on to work for the City Housing Authority and the Citizens Housing and Planning Council in New York City and serve as an advisor at the Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Johnson and Nixon Administrations from 1965-1972.
Name: Mary E. Willis
Date of Birth / Location: 1862 / Wisconsin
Date of Death / Location: 1938 / Chicago (or possibly suburbs)
Awards & Honors: All in all, at least what was so far able to be uncovered by digging through the annals of the Daily Tribune, Chicago’s “ancient” building permits, American Contractor, and the Economist, Mary Willis built more than 60 homes and buildings. The majority of them were in Portage Park, on the 4600 and 4700 blocks of N. Laramie; the 4600 block of N. LeClaire, the 5000 and 5100 block of W. Wilson Avenue; the 5000 and 5100 blocks of W. Windsor Avenue; and the 4600 block of N. Lawler Avenue.
Name: Anna Carmen Baird Walsh
Date of Birth / Location: 1872 / Quincy, Illinois
Date of Death / Location: August 17, 1936 / Chicago, Illinois
Professional Organizations & Activities: Member, National Women's Association of Commerce; Board member, Aviation Club of Chicago; Director, Woodlawn Trust and Savings Bank; Member, Men’s Association of Commerce
Name: Greta Lederer
Date of Birth / Location: c. 1912 / Michigan
Date of Death / Location: October 26, 1976 / Highland Park, Illinois