Elsie Bennett Wilson
Elsie Bennett was born in the 1890’s in Medina to THE Bennett family. You know the ones that Bennett Lumber was named after. Coming from a family of doers and achievers, Elsie did not let her gender hold her back in a day when women were considered “the weaker sex”. She attended Mather College in Cleveland. She actively campaigned for women’s right to vote, believing it was important to maintain her dignity and femininity while doing so. She was a popular speaker on the Suffragette circuit. After passage of the 19th Amendment, she joined the League of Women Voters and became active in the Republican Party. She served as a delegate to the 1932 Republican National Convention.
In 1925, she became a member of the board of trustees for the Franklin Sylvester Library and served until 1975. For those who aren’t “in the know”, the Franklin Sylvester Library is now known as the Medina Library. When the library expanded in 1975, the new addition was known as the Elsie Bennett Wilson Wing. Her portrait hung in that wing until the library underwent renovation and expansion in 2006.
She also was a member of the Ohio Library Trustees Association and served as the group’s president from 1939 to 1947. In 1947 she was appointed to the State Library Board and served on that board until 1968. She was the first Hall of Fame Trustee inductee honored by the Ohio Library Council in 1970 and she has been inducted into the Medina City Schools Hall of Fame. She passed away in 1975.