“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” — Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Strong courageous women are not looked down upon much today. However, in the past, well-behaved was the virtue that rose to the top of the pile. While I do not believe one excludes the other, not at all, sometimes these attributes are judged more in the eye of the beholder rather than the perspective of the woman.
Female peers with raised eyebrows may view certain behaviors beyond the social parameters of the day, while the woman herself is acting in accordance with her convictions. Men may observe the same behavior as threatening, amusing, or even attractive – to a point. Having navigated a career in a previously male-dominated world, I find the exploits of women of the past fascinating.
The Strong Courageous Women Of Maision Steinbuchel
Over the years, I have come to know a bit about the ladies who have shaped the history of our Historic Home, Maison Steinbuchel (1888). Not one of these women was a shrinking violet. Yes, they were aware of the societal norms of the day and were schooled in them. Yet, I see within those norms, women who rarely shrank back from speaking their minds and acting on their convictions.
The credit for this, I believe, rests with the matriarch of the clan: Marie Louise Hahn Stackman Steinbuchel. She was a small by stature French-German Alsacian lady. I wrote quite a lot about her in previous BLOGs, but I suspect much more could be written.
Julia and Johanna, the maiden aunts were Marie-Louise’s sisters-in-law by her second marriage to Herman Steinbuchel. When they married, the tantas came with the deal. Having immigrated with their father, Bernard Karl Steinbuchel, they endur
ed major changes. Leaving a place of relative luxury in Germany, upon arrival in Kansas they lived in a two-room homestead house in St Marks for the first several years.
Then there are her two daughters: Bertha Stackman Gouldner and Dorothy Elisabeth Steinbuchel Wilson Gouldner. Yes, they both eventually married brothers – at least for a time. Check out their previous BLOGs.
One cannot ignore the resistance fighter: Gabrielle or Aunt Gabby as the family calls her.
A sister-in-law to Bertha, she is still legendary in her family today. Married for a time to the only son of the then-Wichita Mayor, she eventually returned to France. When we talk with living descendants, they all have heard of Gabby’s adventures in the French Resistance.
Strong Courageous Women Continue Today
Today there continue some strong courageous women in the family. We stay in touch a bit via social media and have had the honor of hosting them in our home. The house where their family’s legacy resides.
It is satisfying to capture these stories and share them. Sources are a book, written by one of the daughters, internet research of newspapers and city records, some travel of our own, and, conversations with those who knew these ladies both family and friends. The effort to put it all together is well worth it!
Check out the Workbook I put together to help you get started on your story rescuing.