Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920
Biography of Genieve Lamson, 1887-1966
By Sally Blanchard-O'Brien, Archivist, Vermont State Archives & Records Administration
Vermont Equal Suffrage Association: Orange County Chairman
Genieve Lamson was born April 29, 1887 in Randolph, Vermont to Whitcomb E. Lamson and Hannah Amelia Philbrick. She was the youngest of four children, and was very close to her next oldest sister, Gail. Together, they lived with their parents in the Lamson family home on Prospect Avenue, near what is now Gifford Memorial Hospital. Gail worked for their father in his prominent Randolph furniture store, but Genieve went on to further her education and become a teacher, following in her mother's footsteps. She taught at high schools in Massachusetts and New Jersey for several years, returning briefly to Vermont in the summer of 1915 before heading west to attend the University of Chicago.
In late summer 1917, Genieve and many members of her family were stricken with typhoid, and Genieve was the worst affected. It ultimately was traced to contaminated milk at the farm of her sister, Grace Lamson Brooks. Fortunately, all recovered, but soon after, her mother developed ovarian cancer, and Genieve remained at home while her mother battled her illness. Mrs. Lamson ultimately died from complications after surgery in September of 1918.
Genieve became involved with the women's suffrage cause in Vermont when she was home on holidays. She was the Orange County Chairman of the Vermont Equal Suffrage Association and gave a speech at the Orange County Suffrage Convention on July 1, 1919, appealing for a special session of the legislature to be held after harvesttime. In December of that same year, she held a meeting of the Suffrage Club at her father's home where they held elections for the coming year. While attending school in Chicago, she was able to attend the last convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association in March of 1920, and she reported on her experience to local Vermont newspapers.
Genieve earned a Bachelor of Science in 1920 and went on to earn a Master's Degree in 1922, with a thesis entitled "Geographic Influences in the Early History of Vermont." Genieve became the first woman to give an address to the Vermont Historical Society on January 16, 1923, on a topic related to her thesis. This address was entitled "A Geographic Interpretation of Early Political Views in Vermont" and was reproduced in The Proceedings of the Vermont Historical Society. She became a professor of geography at Vassar College from 1922 until her retirement in 1952, and a small collection of her papers remains in the college archives.
Following her retirement, Genieve returned to Randolph and served as the Vermont State President of the American Association of University Women, served on the Randolph Town History Committee, was a director of the Randolph Historical Society, and a trustee of the Vermont Historical Society. Genieve Lamson died on September 25, 1966 of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 79, in the hospital near her family home.
- State of Vermont. Vermont, Death Records, 1909-2008. Ancestry.com.
- State of Vermont. Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908. Ancestry.com.
- 1900 US Federal Census. Randolph, Orange, Vermont; Page: 3; Enumeration District: 0148; FHL microfilm: 1241692. Ancestry.com.
- 1910 US Federal Census. Randolph, Orange, Vermont; Roll: T624_1615; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0145; FHL microfilm: 1375628. Ancestry.com.
- 1920 US Federal Census. Randolph, Orange, Vermont; Roll: T625_1873; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 42. Ancestry.com.
- 1930 US Federal Census. Randolph, Orange, Vermont; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0012; FHL microfilm: 2342163. Ancestry.com.
- 1940 US Federal Census. Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, New York; Roll: m-t0627-02525; Page: 24B; Enumeration District: 14-93. Ancestry.com.
- "Randolph." Herald and News, July 8, 1915, pg. 9.
- "Four Typhoid Cases in One Family." Herald and News, August 30, 1917, pg. 1. Newspapers.com.
- "Typhoid Cases Number Nine." Bethel Courier, September 6, 1917, pg. 12. Newspapers.com.
- Randolph local news, Herald and News, July 26, 1917, pg. 12. Newspapers.com.
- "Mrs. W. E. Lamson Dies Following Operation." Burlington Free Press, September 21, 1918, pg. 14. Newspapers.com.
- "Orange County Suffrage Convention." Herald and News, July 3, 1919, pg. 1. Newspapers.com.
- Randolph local news, Barre Daily Times, December 6, 1919, pg. 6. Newspapers.com.
- Randolph local news, Bethel Courier, September 7, 1922, pg. 7. Newspapers.com.
- "Miss Genieve Lamson Addresses AAUW On the 'Educated Woman'." Burlington Free Press, October 23, 1958, pg. 3. Newspapers.com.
- "Vermont Historical Society Elects Rutland Man Head." Rutland Daily Herald, August 4, 1959, pg. 7.
- "Moffatt Renamed Town Manager. Burlington Free Press, April 12, 1966, pg. 3. Newspapers.com.
- "Miss Lamson, 79, Retired Professor, Dies in Randolph." Burlington Free Press, September 26, 1966, pg. 15. Newspapers.com.
- Guide to the Genieve Lamson Papers, ca. 1920-1944. Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries, Poughkeepsie, NY. Accessed online: https://specialcollections.vassar.edu/collections/manuscripts/findingaids/lamson_genieve.html
- "Public Exercises of the Vermont Historical Society, January 16, 1923." Proceedings of the Vermont Historical Society for the years 1921, 1922, 1923. Montpelier: Capital City Press, 1924. (pg. 45). Accessed online: https://books.google.com/books?id=z_wKAAAAIAAJ&pg=RA1-PA45&lpg=RA1-PA45&dq=%22genieve+lamson%22&source=bl&ots=REHPlmFHMy&sig=ACfU3U0eJYh7pPlWAlucxayQrksKvx3UWw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjTupuYwJ3pAhXsl3IEHU6-ApYQ6AEwEXoECAwQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22genieve%20lamson%22&f=false)