"G" is for Gridley, Mary Putnam (1850-1939)

May 30, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

"G" is for Gridley, Mary Putnam (1850-1939), Civic leader, businesswoman. Gridley moved to Greenville in the 1870s where her father was active in the development of cotton mills. Working as her father’s bookkeeper, she mastered the daily operations of management and administration. At his death she became the first woman in the state to become president of a textile mill. In 1889 Gridley was one of the co-founders of the Thursday Club, a study club for elite Greenville women. Under her direction, in 1898, it became one of the charter members of the South Carolina Federation of Women’s Clubs. In her role as clubwoman, civic leader and business executive, Mary Putnam Gridley represented the emergence of new interests in South Carolina women and their desire to participate in discourse and decision making on public issues.