Clara Louise Maass (1876-1901) Jersey gem: Hailed from East Orange Nurse Clara Louise Maass volunteered to participate in an immunization experiment against yellow fever in Cuba. The first time Maass was bitten by an infectious mosquito, she contracted a mild case of the disease which caused doctors to believe that she was immune. The second bite, […]

Wynona Lipman (1923-1999) Jersey gem: Lived in Newark A former Essex County Freeholder, Wynona Lipman became the first African American woman in the New Jersey Senate when she was elected in 1971. She served nine terms representing the 29th Legislative District and her impressive 27 years of service established Lipman as the Senate’s longest-serving member at the […]

Jarena Lee (b. 1783) Jersey gem: Preached throughout the state Jarena Lee was the first known female preacher of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC). Lee experienced a dramatic conversion experience that was not atypical during the early 19th-Century American Revivalism period. Thousands were converted in an atmosphere of emotionalism and these intense experiences were often […]

Marie Hilson Katzenbach (1882-1970) Jersey gem: Born and raised in Trenton Marie Hilson Katzenbach worked throughout her career to improve education in New Jersey. She was one of the first two women to be appointed to the State Board of Education, and eventually rose through the ranks to become its first female president. During her […]

Paula Kassell (1917-2012) Jersey gem: Founded New Jersey-based newspaper Paula Kassell founded and edited New Directions for Women in New Jersey, the first feminist publication in the state and the country. In 1972, the publication took on the form of a mimeographed newsletter but quickly became a tabloid-size quarterly newspaper. At a time when women’s […]

Cordelia Greene Johnson (1887-1957) Jersey Gem: Resided in Jersey City Cordelia Greene Johnson founded the Modern Beautician Association and served as its president until her death in 1957. In this professional role, Madame Johnson (as she was affectionately called) became an outspoken advocate for the local beautician community. Johnson lobbied for better training, safer products […]

After a brief hiatus, Jersey Girl Greats is back! We’ll be featuring one Jersey Girl Great each week beginning on Wednesday. Hope you all enjoyed the Jersey Girls of March. There are plenty more to come! Thanks for your support, Maeve

Helen Stevenson Meyner (1928-1977) Jersey gem: Devoted career to state politics New Jersey Representative Helen Stevenson Meyner was a founder of the Congresswomen’s Caucus. The organization of female representatives was designed to focus on federal legislation of particular concern to women. At the start of her career, Meyner wrote a twice-weekly column for the Newark Star-Ledger and […]

Mildred Barry Hughes (1902-1995) Jersey gem: Born in Elizabeth Democrat Mildred Barry Hughes was the first woman to be elected to the New Jersey Senate. When she won the seat in 1965, Hughes was the first Democrat from Union County to be elected to the Senate in 75 years. She was also elected to the Assembly […]

Anne Marguerite Henriette de Marigny Hyde de Neuville (1771-1849) Jersey gem: Settled in New Brunswick French Baroness Anne Marguerite Henriette de Marigny Hyde de Neuville secured the safe passage of her Royalist husband to America. After the French Revolution, the Baroness traveled alone across Europe to intercede with Napoleon on her husband’s behalf. In order for […]