Lucy B. (Jennings) Dickinson1888 - 1971
President of the American Federation of Women’s Clubs and participant in the establishment of the United Nations
Lucy Buffam Jennings was born on August 28, 1888 to Willard and Jane (Buffam) Jennings. After graduating from Brattleboro High School and Mt. Holyoke College, she took over her father’s lumber business from 1907 to 1909. Dickinson also succeeded her father as the Director for the Winchester National Bank in 1908. She is credited as being the first women Bank Director in New Hampshire. Dickinson married LaFell Dickinson in 1911 who was the President of the New England Box Company, a large woodenware manufacturing firm in Winchester.
Lucy Jennings Dickinson was a social and political advocate. In the early 1900s, as a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she participated in Americanization work in the region. Dickinson raised money to purchase copies of the US citizenship manual for Keene’s international residents who were enrolled in night school.
During the 1920s, Lucy Jennings Dickinson was the President of the Keene’s Women’s Club and also became President of the New Hampshire Federations of Women’s Clubs. By the mid-1940s, she became President of the national club, the American Federation of Women’s Clubs (President, 1944-1947). Dickinson was also active in the New Hampshire Parent Teacher Association (Vice President, 1920s) and the Children’s Aid and Protective Society (Director, 1920s).
While President of the NH Federation of Women’s Clubs, she used her time to support humanitarian causes around the world. Dickinson fought against world famine while a part of the Famine Emergency Committee, which also participated in the establishment of the United Nations. She was a proponent of international relations, serving as a consultant to the U.S. Delegation at the United Nations Conference in San Francisco, April-June 1945.
Through her work with the Federation Dickinson befriended First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, as well. In 1945, Dickinson hosted Mrs. Roosevelt in Keene. During her time in Keene, Mrs. Roosevelt visited Keene Teachers College and made a speech in front of the Keene Community Forum.
Lucy Jennings Dickinson was a woman who used her position in women’s organizations to stray from a traditional path and step into roles that, during her time, were normally for men. By doing this, Dickinson helped improve opportunities for women, while simultaneously helping introduce the Monadnock Region to the world.
Points of Interest
- Winchester National Bank where Lucy served as bank director - Google maps image of Michigan Street
- Approximate location of Lucy and LaFell Dickinson's home in Keene, NH - Google map- 60 Roxbury St, Keene
- Gravesite of Lucy J. Dickinson- Evergreen Cemetery, Winchester, NH- section X lot 4 - Find a Grave
- Google Books - a history of the NH Daughters of the American Revolution
- Historical Society of Cheshire County - We have a Lucy Dickinson College in our archives (MG19) as well as the NH Troubadour publication with an article on her.
- GFWC website - General Federation of Women’s Clubs Archives. CON 1944.10; CON 1945.11; CON 1946.06; CON 1947.06 (pages of vision/resolutions included); MAG 1944.09 (index of topics included); MAG 1945.09 (index incl); PRE 1944-1947 (scope and content related to her personal papers incl); PRO 1944-1947 (programs with Russian related topics); also Photographs (see her folder)
- Mt. Holyoke College Archives - Mt. Holyoke College Archives
- Women in Peace - Women in Peace website dedicated to highlighting peacemaking women around the world