Blanchard, Emma Meinke, 1888
Emma personified, and perhaps embellished, the traditional woman’s role in the early decades of the twentieth century. Born Emma Meinke in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 1888, she finished a two-year course at Eastern Michigan College in 1909 and taught school in three different Michigan cities, including Albion.
After her marriage to Fred H. Blanchard in 1915, she moved to Albion and never worked outside the home again. Her husband was the assistant postmaster; her time was spent managing their house at 509 North Clinton, raising their two sons, and actively participating in women’s groups, church work, and volunteer efforts.
Much of Emma’s extensive social work was done in groups connected to the Albion Federation of Women’s Clubs. She was president of the group for two years, and was later president of the Past President’s Club. She was also active in the E.L.T. Club, the Albion Historical Society, the American Red Cross, Austin School Parent-Teacher Association, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
For many years she supervised the Christmas Basket program, which gathered and distributed not only food, but also handmade mittens, scarves, and hats, as well as toys which had been reconditioned by Albion firefighters. She also helped establish a local Goodwill store and coordinated its local truck pick-ups from Jackson for many years. In recognition of her many good works, the Boosters and Knockers Club named her “Citizen of the Year” on May 27, 1958, the first such award given by that club. Emma Blanchard died on March 3, 1975.
Source: Albion Public Library, Local History Room
From: Albion AAUW. Some Notable Women of the Albion Area. Albion, Michigan: American Association of University Women. 1998.