Book on women of Wellington coming in December, local blogger gets published

A local blogger’s research on Wellington women in the village’s early years is set to be published in book form this winter.

Nicole Hayes’ blog, “19th Century Wellington,” has been up and running for four years. During research in the past year, she came into contact with Stuart Bradley, a retired attorney and family genealogist in Virginia.

Bradley’s family was among the first settlers in Wellington in 1818 and intermarried with the Howks. In the 1830s, Henry Bradley wrote a diary about life as a child in the village.

Through his own research, Stuart self-published the diary with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, which Hayes contributed to.

The venture led to Bradley starting his own publishing firm. Now he wants to help Hayes put her work in print.

It will be titled “Fully Equal to the Situation: Nineteenth Century Women of Wellington, OH.”

“I wasn’t even trying to get it published,” she said. “This is just something I love doing. I told Stuart he inspired me. For a long time, I’d been thinking of publishing something in hard copy. Not everyone has a computer and people have told me they’d love to see my work in print. Publishing seemed so authoritative, though.”

The book’s title comes from an early female settler in Wellington who whose quote was published in 1896 in “A Memorial to the Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve.”

“Her life was extremely different here than what she experienced back home,” said Hayes. “She was out in the wilderness and doing everything she could to adapt. She was fully equal to the situation and prospered here in the village.”

To gauge interest in a print version of Hayes’ research, a Kickstarter was created with the goal of raising $1,000 in pre-orders.

That amount was surpassed in two days.

Those wishing to reserve their own copy can do so at through Sept. 16. This is a shortened version of the Kickstarter address.

The finished product is expected to ship in December, Hayes said.

“I was kind of surprised that people from all over have contributed, not just from Wellington,” she said. “One person commented that they didn’t even know anything about Wellington but it sounds interesting.”

Stories included in the book include those of Mary Hayes Houghton, who was co-editor of the Enterprise for 10 years. Her husband, John Houghton, purchased the paper in 1876. The couple operated out of a three-story building that was located on the lot now occupied by Farm & Home Hardware. The first floor was a pharmacy, the second housed the Enterprise, and the third was used as a masonic lodge for 50 years.

“John Houghton was also the village mayor at one point,” said Hayes. “He and Mary were both very busy citizens around town, very active in churches and social organizations. Mary was also an active journalist with many magazine and newspaper articles published. They were co-editors but she did the lion’s share of the work.”

Hayes said the couple were also instrumental in organizing Wellington’s first volunteer firefighters into a cohesive unit.

Harriet Warren specialized in treating women and children in Elyria after graduating from a homeopathic medical school in Cleveland. She moved her practice to Wellington roughly 10 years before passing away in a carriage accident while on her way to a house call in 1894.

“People always assume she was the only female doctor, or the first one, but that wasn’t the case,” Hayes said. “She was working at a medical dispensary in Elyria with six other women doctors. She studied her craft under Dr. James Rust, who practiced in Wellington.”

Hayes said a main point she hopes readers take away from her book is that more women held prominent community roles at the turn of the 20th century than what’s often believed.

“I’ve written over 150 posts on the blog and I wanted to pick out my favorites, the stories that really stuck with me,” she said. “Pretty much all of those were about women’s history. There’s going to be nine or 10 chapters, some focusing on one person and some on a couple of people.”

“When people ask about life in Wellington in the early days, the thing they’re most surprised about are the women doing things other than just being a wife or mother.”

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

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Mary Hayes Houghton, co-editor of the Enterprise from 1876 to 1885, is one of many women featured in an upcoming book by Wellington blogger Nicole Hayes. Hayes Houghton, co-editor of the Enterprise from 1876 to 1885, is one of many women featured in an upcoming book by Wellington blogger Nicole Hayes.

Courtesy photo

By Jonathan Delozier