August 29, 2007

Mary Amaryllis

I received a request for some more information on my great-grandmother Mary Amaryllis Hammer from someone who is doing architectural tours of Chicago. Basically I told her that there is a biography of Mrs. Hammer on the web. It is transcribed from HISTORY OF OHIO, The American Historical Society, Inc., 1925, Volume V, page 421-422.

Among the organizations that she belonged to were the Mothers' Relief Association, the Illinois Colony Club, the Dames of the Loyal Legion of Illinois, Poetry Lovers of America, the Andoka Philanthropic Club, Illinois Woman's Press Association, the Woman's Athletic Club, the Chicago Woman's Club, the Colonial Coverlet Guild of America, and the Chicago Society of Ohio Women.

When she met Judge D. Harry Hammer, she was a young widow working as a correspondent for the Athens Messenger. She was well-read, auburn-haired, and a graceful dancer. She and the judge married in June 1874.

She was outspoken and campaigned against the killing of aigrettes (egrets) for their plumes, used in hats, so not all her energy was devoted to socializing and shopping, although even her children seemed to remember her as a socialite. After Judge Hammer died in 1904, she spent less time on social events and became involved in political issues, supporting women's suffrage and women's rights. On one occasion she was entertained by Mrs. Harding at the White House.

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