As we welcome the first week of December, we are featuring our next Greene County VIP – Louise Geiger Weiss.
Born of German immigrants in Xenia, Ohio, Louise Geiger completed her education through the eighth grade (See Fig. 1). This was common at the time considering only fifty-one percent of children ages five to nineteen attended school. Adolescents began their adult life much sooner. When Louise was eighteen, she married Paul Weiss in 1902 (See Fig. 2). The couple and their children, Kenneth, Mary, and Mabel, moved to 406 Phillips Street in the Village of Yellow Springs after Paul Weiss purchased a general store on Xenia Avenue in the Village (See Figs. 3 & 4). A year later, their fourth child, Esther was born.
Fig. 1 Federal Census Record of 1940, Greene County, Ohio (via Ancestry.com)
Fig. 2 Greene County Marriage Record, 1902 (Greene County Archives)
Fig. 3 406 Phillips Street in Yellow Springs (Greene County Auditor – Property Search)
Fig. 4 Photo of Paul Weiss’ General Store on Xenia Ave. in Yellow Springs (via FindaGrave.com)
As the family’s homemaker, Louise managed the home and children with care and pride. When the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, which granted American women the right to vote in 1920, Louise Geiger Weiss became the first woman to cast her vote in Yellow Springs (See Fig. 5). Just two years after this remarkable honor, tragedy struck when Louise and Paul’s son, Kenneth, died of injuries from a basketball game played at Antioch College (See Fig. 6) Courageously, Louise carried on and she, along with her daughters, became active members of the First Presbyterian Church in Yellow Springs. At the age of seventy-five in 1959, Louise died (See Figs. 7 & 8). She’s buried at Glen Forest Cemetery in Yellow Springs beside her husband and two of her children.
Fig. 5 Votes for Women poster (via Wikimedia Commons)
Fig. 6 Dayton Herald, February 13, 1922 (via Newspapers.com)
Fig. 7 Louise Geiger Weiss’ Application of Probate of Will (Greene County Archives)
Fig. 8 Louise Geiger Weiss’ Last Will & Testament (Greene County Archives)
Louise Geiger Weiss’ first vote is a symbol of progress, freedom, and equality.
Until Next Time!
Greene County Archives