By Jayne Crowther
Instructor, University of Delaware
Miss Geraldine Edith Sheehan was born September 14, either 1881 or 1882 in Detroit, Michigan. Her parents were Thomas Pike Sheehan and Josephine Stackpole Sheehan. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1905 with an A.B. Degree and later attended Columbia University and Middlebury College where she studied Spanish.
Upon graduation, Sheehan taught high school in Detroit’s Webster, Cass and Northwestern High Schools. She retired from teaching in 1942 after thirty-six years of service.
Although she was not an original member of the Michigan Branch of the Congressional Union, Sheehan was part of the Michigan delegation that picketed the White House in April, 1917.
While there is little information on her interest in women’s rights, she was quite an avid traveler, applying for a passport in March of 1922 and traveling to Europe several times, quite literally up until World War Two, arriving from Rotterdam on August 28, 1939.
Sheehan was a member of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church and died December 7, 1966. She was survived by her sister, Mrs. Louis J. Fasquelle, with whom she had lived since 1940.
Detroit Free Press, December 8. 1966; 1900 U.S. Federal Manuscript Census, Detroit, Ward 6, Wayne, Michigan; Middlebury College Bulletin: The Catalogue 1919-1920 (Ann Arbor, 1920), p. 140. Proceedings of the Board of Education of the City of Detroit for the Year 1910-1911, Detroit, 1911, p. 320; Lucia Voorhees Grimes, compiler, “A History of the Suffrage Movement as Related to Michigan and Detroit,” Lucia Voorhees Grimes Papers, Box 3, Folder 2, Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. U.S.Passport Applications, 1795-1925.