Prominent journalist Mary Louise Booth called Yaphank home

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YAPHANK -

It was a modest beginning in Yaphank for a woman who would go on to make an incredible mark on society.

Mary Louise Booth, one of the most prominent journalists of 19th century America, was born on Main Street in 1831. At that time, Yaphank was known as Millville.

She began reading the Bible at 5 and thrived in school.

Booth House curator Trish Foley says Booth was studying with the boys at an early age - learning business, astronomy and foreign languages as opposed to needlepoint and cooking.

“I think that helped her later on in her career,” says Foley.

It is a career that is chock-full of achievements. In 1855, she was elected secretary of the Women's Rights Convention. Susan B. Anthony was the treasurer. Together, they fought for women's rights, including the right to vote.

In 1857, she became one of the first female journalists for the New York Times. In 1859, she wrote the History of the City of New York.

“That really…put her on the map in the publishing world,” says Foley.

She was an abolitionist and wrote for the Union during the Civil War. Her efforts were recognized by President Abraham Lincoln.

Even while doing all of that, Booth remained the editor of Harper’s Bazaar for 22 years until she died suddenly from bronchitis at the age of 57. The magazine is still being published today.

Booth is said to have lived a very glamorous life. She owned two townhouses in Manhattan, a painting collection and had an extensive library. She loved entertaining and traveling.

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