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Bertha Honoré

22 May 1849–5 May 1918

Born 22 May 1849 in Louisville, Jefferson Co., Kentucky.[1] Daughter of Henry Hamilton Honoré and Eliza Jane Carr.[2] Family moved to Chicago, 1855.[3] Married Potter Palmer, 28 July 1870, in Chicago; two children.[4] Member of the Chicago Society for Decorative Arts, 1878–1884, and the Chicago Fortnightly and Friday Literacy Clubs, 1888–1901.[5] Belonged to the Chicago Woman’s Club, which worked for reform, philanthropy, and education for women, 1888–1894.[6] Patron of the Woman’s Trade Union League and Woman’s Temperance Union, in Chicago.[7] Served as president of the Board of Lady Managers at the Chicago World’s Fair, 1891–1894.[8] Addressed the Illinois House of Representatives and successfully attained appropriation to benefit the Elgin Insane Hospital and Northern Normal University, for support for the impoverished, and for the legalization of both parties of enslaved marriages, May 1891.[9] Delivered the opening and closing addresses at the Congress of Women in Chicago and met with EBW, May 1893.[10] Communicated with EBW about Utah’s silk industry, 1893–1894.[11] Appointed by President William McKinley as the only female member of the U.S. National Commission to the Paris Exposition, 1900; declined the award of the French Legion of Honor, 1900.[12] Moved to London and completed a tour of Europe, 1903–1905.[13] Moved to Sarasota, Sarasota Co., Florida, and created community art competitions, 1910.[14] Died 5 May 1918 in Osprey, Manatee Co., Florida; buried in Chicago.[15]

 

[1] “Florida Death Certificates,” Florida Office of Vital Records, file no. 5210/30177 (1918), Bertha Honore Palmer; from Florida Department of Health, Vital Statistics, Jacksonville, FL. 1850 U.S. Census, Louisville District 2, Jefferson Co., KY, Bertha Honore. The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography Being the History of the United States (New York: James T. White, 1904), 12:543. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 30 June 2020), Bertha Honore (935D-116). 

[2] The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography Being the History of the United States (New York: James T. White, 1904), 12:543. “Kentucky, County Marriage Records, 1783–1965,” database and images, Ancestry.com (https://ancestry.com, accessed 8 Aug. 2018), H. H. Honore and Eliza Jane Carr; from Marriage Records, Kentucky Marriages, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond, KY.

[3] The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography Being the History of the United States (New York: James T. White, 1904), 12:543. 1855–6 The Chicago Directory and Business Advertiser (Chicago: Robert Fergus, 1855), 57.

[4] “Palmer-Honore,” Chicago Tribune, 29 July 1870, 4. 1900 U.S. Census, Chicago, Cook Co., IL, ED 661, p. 1, Bertha 1. “Personal,” Dodgeville (WI) Chronicle, 5 Aug. 1870, 1.

[5] Hope I. Black, “Mounted on a Pedestal: Bertha Honoré Palmer” (Graduate Thesis and Dissertations, University of South Florida, 2007), 56, 58.

[6] Ishbel Ross, Silhouette in Diamonds: The Life of Mrs. Potter Palmer (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960), 45–46. “Woman’s Kingdom,” Daily Inter-Ocean (Chicago), 26 Dec. 1891, 11.

[7] Ishbel Ross, Silhouette in Diamonds: The Life of Mrs. Potter Palmer (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960), 47. Hope I. Black, “Mounted on a Pedestal: Bertha Honoré Palmer” (Graduate Thesis and Dissertations, University of South Florida, 2007), 57.

[8] Addresses and Reports of Mrs. Potter Palmer, President of the Board of Lady Managers, World’s Columbian Commission (Chicago: Rand, McNally, 1894), 3. “Energetic Phoebe Couzins,” Boston Herald, 6 May 1891. “The Woman’s Club,” Sunday Herald (Salt Lake City), 25 Feb. 1894, 6.

[9] “Legislative Proceedings: The Senate,” Daily Illinois State Register (Springfield, IL), 6 May 1891, 1.

[10] Mary Kavanaugh Oldham Eagle, ed., The Congress of Women Held in the Woman’s Building, World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, U. S. A., 1893 (Chicago: Monarch Book, 1894), 25, 820. EBW, Diary, 22 and 27 May 1893.

[11] EBW, Diary, 17 Apr. 1893; 8 Dec. 1893; 7 Feb. 1894.  

[12] Hope I. Black, “Mounted on a Pedestal: Bertha Honoré Palmer” (Graduate Thesis and Dissertations, University of South Florida, 2007), 70. “Mrs. Potter Palmer,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 11, no. 2 (July 1918): 257. “Personals,” Irish World (New York), 21 Feb. 1900, 5.

[13] Hope I. Black, “Mounted on a Pedestal: Bertha Honoré Palmer” (Graduate Thesis and Dissertations, University of South Florida, 2007), 74, 78.

[14] “Mrs. Potter Palmer, of Florida’s Leading Developers, Passes Away,” Tampa (FL) Morning Tribune, 7 May 1918, 2. Ishbel Ross, Silhouette in Diamonds: The Life of Mrs. Potter Palmer (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960), 222–223, 225, 241. “Mrs. Potter Palmer,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 11, no. 2 (July 1918): 258.

[15] “Florida Death Certificates,” Florida Office of Vital Records, file no. 5210/30177 (1918), Bertha Honore Palmer; from Florida Department of Health, Vital Statistics, Jacksonville, FL. “Bertha Honoré Palmer,” Graceland Cemetery, Chicago, Cook Co., IL; Find a Grave, posted 19 Sept. 1999, memorial no. 6424 (http://findagrave.com, accessed 8 Aug. 2018).