Chelmsford's Women in History
Susan M. Emerson, 1856-1941
Susan M. Emerson taught at Centre School from 1879 to 1882, and 1888–1896. In the link below, you can see her surrounded here by her high school class around 1892. These were the students involved in the planting of the purple beech tree on Center Common. https://chelmhist.org/virtual_exhibit/vex24/E9AD01E4-9649-4030-A020-476833853263.htm
Eleanor Parkhurst, 1909 - 2000
Eleanor was selected in 1966 by an appointed town committee to write an update to Rev. Wilson Waters 1917 History of Chelmsford Massachusetts, but stopped work about 1976 due to her commitments as editor of the Chelmsford Newsweekly. As the editor of the Chelmsford Newsweekly for more that a decade and then as a writer for the Chelmsford Independent, Eleanor's name became synonymous with journalism in the community. Her lively editorial comments and coverage of local politics and history has influenced a generation of readers. Proceeds from the books, Looking Back with Eleanor Parkhurst, by Judy Buswick and History of Chelmsford 1910-1970, by Eleanor Parkhurst & Fred Merriam go to the Chelmsford Historical Society.
Elizabeth “Betty” McCarthy, 1924 - 2009
Betty spent a lifetime imparting her passion for history, current events, and social justice to all who knew her. She was born in 1924 in Providence, RI. and received her Bachelor's Degree from Manhattanville College and a Master's Degree from Brown University in American Civilization. For over 35 years, she served as a trustee of the Chelmsford Public Library. She worked tirelessly for decades to bring about the major renovations that were completed in 2000. She received the Outstanding Trustee Award from the Massachusetts Library Trustees Association Board of Directors in 2006. In addition to her years of dedicated service to the library, she worked on numerous political campaigns, led architectural history walking tours for Boston By Foot, acted as a town meeting representative, cooked meals at the House of Hope shelter in Lowell, worked with hospice care, volunteered at the Garrison House, and interviewed students for the Town of Chelmsford Scholarship program. She was also involved in the Voice of the Faithful, the Chelmsford Committee Against Racism, and the arms control movement. The Town of Chelmsford honored her as Grand Marshal of the Fourth of July parade in 2008, and presented the key to the town to her.
Florence (Torry) Gullion, 1927 - 2010
Torry Gullion believed community service was paramount to keeping Chelmsford with the reputation of a rural community and the perfect place to raise a family. She worked in the Town Clerk’s office throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, as well as serving on the Town’s Historical Commission and Conservation Commission. In the 1980s she became a director for the Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust. A popular trail system in Chelmsford is named after Torry and her husband, Bruce. The Bruce and Torry Gullion Lime Quarry Reservation on Littleton Road is dedicated to them for their dedication to the open spaces in Chelmsford.