Kathryn Lawes: The Beloved Mother of Sing Sing Prison

Kathryn lawesKathryn Lawes, affectionately referred to as the “Mother of Sing Sing,” resided within the notorious prison’s facility along with her children. As the wife of the warden, she was deeply cherished by the inmates, who reverently addressed her as “Mother.”

Kathryn Stanley Lawes, earned her title of “Mother” due to her compassionate work with inmates at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York. She was married to Warden Lewis Lawes, who led the prison from 1920 to 1941 and implemented many progressive reforms. Kathryn’s role was unique for a warden’s wife. She was highly involved with the inmates, to the point of being beloved by them. She arranged for every man in the prison to receive a Christmas present, helped them write letters to their families, and even interceded on their behalf with the warden.

Kathryn was especially considerate of inmates on death row. She helped make their cells more comfortable, spent hours talking to them, and assisted their families. She often housed the families in her own home as the execution date approached, and arranged their final visits. Additionally, she ensured every prisoner received a decent burial if they had no immediate family.

Kathryn was born in Elmira, New York, in 1885. She married Lewis in 1905, and they started their family. Kathryn and Lewis lived within the prison facilities, first at Hart Island reformatory and then at Sing Sing, where she offered many inmates the first maternal attention they had ever experienced.

Kathryn’s death in 1937 at the age of 52 is shrouded in mystery as she fell off the Bear Mountain Bridge. She was conscious when discovered but succumbed to her injuries soon after arriving at Ossining Hospital.

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The fedora, often associated with mobsters, originally held significance as a representation of the Women’s Rights Movement. Initially, the fedora was designed as a hat for women and gained popularity through the influential actress Sarah Bernhardt, who was known for her cross-dressing roles. Making its debut in 1882 as women’s headwear, the fedora quickly became a fashion staple among women, particularly those advocating for women’s rights.

Bicycles: Catalyst for Women’s Liberation and Fashion Shift

Bicycles emerged as a key factor in the early women’s liberation movement, providing women with the opportunity to break free from their reliance on men for transportation. This sense of autonomy also played a part in the gradual shift away from corsets and long skirts during the early 20th century.

Ancient Greek Midwifery: Exclusively Women’s Domain

In ancient Greece, men were legally prohibited from becoming midwives, as the law mandated that only those who had experienced childbirth themselves could qualify for the profession. This requirement was based on the belief that firsthand knowledge of the birthing process was essential for providing the best care to expectant mothers. Additionally, women in ancient Greece often felt more comfortable receiving care from other women during childbirth due to cultural norms and the intimate nature of the process.