"If a woman can only succeed by emulating men, I think it is a great
loss and not a success. The aim is not only for a woman to succeed, but to keep her womanhood
and let her womanhood influence society."
... Suzanne Brogger, b. 1944
From "Women" by Naim Attallah
Alice Lakey (1857-1935)
Alice Lakey was born in Ohio on October 14, 1857 and grew up in Chicago. After living
in Europe for almost 10 years, Miss Lakey decided to make her home in Cranford, New
Jersey. Once there, she quickly became involved in many civic organizations and causes.
Her actions encouraged town fathers to pass numerous ordinances, including the placing of
trash receptacles throughout the town; collection of garbage and ashes; purchasing of snow
plows for the winter and watering carts for the summer; implementing Central Railroad
noise reduction; establishing the first grade school and the first fire department;
founding of a baby clinic, the first cleanup week, the Union County Vocational School,
senior citizen housing and a program to fight drug addiction; and censoring of public
In 1903, Miss Lakey became very involved with an act concerning the purity of food. She
and the act's sponsor met with President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905 about the Pure
Food and Drug Act, and were challenged by the President to obtain signed letters and to
present them before Congress. Once they had done this, he vowed he would help them to
pass the bill. Miss Lakey's efforts had a phenomenal effect; one million letters written
by American woman, requesting passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, were sent to
Washington. In 1906, the bill was enacted and Alice Lakey's name was inscribed in the
National Archives. She was also instrumental in securing the enactment of the Federal
weights and measures law. Because of these efforts, she was the first woman to be listed
in "Who's Who", and became the first Cranford woman to be named a member of the
National Academy of Social Sciences for her groundbreaking work in these areas.
reported by Lauren Kitzhoffer 1/1/98
Fannie Bates (1842-1918)
Fannie Bates was known as "the Mother of Cranford." A business woman and
civic activist, Mrs. Bates built Hampton Hall, Cranford's first fashionable residence
hotel after her husband's death in 1892. Later, she also owned and operated the Riverside.
In 1896 she founded the Cranford Village Improvement Association and was elected
president. In April 1914, Mrs. Bates was elected as a member of the Cranford Board of
Education. Fannie Bates was not only a wife, but a woman of her time who established
hotels, served her town, and supported woman's suffrage.
reported by Lisa Lavikoff