Women Boss City on Leap Year Day

by Laurel | February 29th, 2012

29 February 1940

“Mayor” Jeanne McBride Gives Orders to “Secretary” Toepfert — Two Babies Arrive in Holyoke

A new and probably discordant note was detected in the local observance of Leap Year day today which, if allowed to go on, may assume alarming proportions. The legend that “maydens” might bespeak for themselves men they might like has been distorted in such a manner that the women are now allowed to run things, openly, for at least one day.

Mrs. Jeanne C. McBride, secretary to Mayor Toepfert, took over the mayor’s desk and duties this morning and during the work day conducted all interviews, with the mayor acting as secretary in the outer office. She was the recipient of many floral pieces, but despite much urging declined to appoint Alderman Frank O’Connell to Inspector of Cellars.

The alderman later intimated that when he lived beside Mrs. McBride many years ago a sled had disappeared from his cellar and he always had an urge to inspect the McBride Cellar.

Miss Mary Adele Allen of 141 Lincoln street, author of a book of reminiscences, “Around a Village Green,” had the satisfaction on her “18th birthday” today of learning that her book had gone into its second printing. Miss Allen, retired head of the classical department of the Holyoke High School, is 76. Today she recounted the pleasure she experienced recently, almost in the form of a birthday present, honorary membership in the Eugene Field society as an appreciation of the worth of her book.

More notable events of the day included arrival of two babies at the House of Providence Hospital. Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Koehler’s baby boy was born at 12:01 this morning, being the first Leap Year baby of 1940. Mrs. Koehler also had the distinction of having the first New Year’s baby of 1936, The second every-fourth-year birthday baby was a son born to Mr. and Mrs. Leo Rebaud of 531 South Summer Street later in the morning.

Dr. O. W. Genest reports having brought into the world today two Leap Year youngsters, both girls. One was born to Mr. and Mrs. Edgard Bertrand of 8 West Street, Chicopee Falls, this morning at 5 and one to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kapinos of 152 Poindexter Street, Willimansett, at 10:20 tonight.

From The Springfield Republican.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Suggested Holyoke Books

Mountain Park -- The Holyoke destination we all loved.

Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College, Postcard History by Donna Albino. Many Holyoke women have attended Mount Holyoke. Author also maintains an amazing MHC website based upon her personal collection.

Holyoke - Chicopee, A Perspective

Holyoke-Chicopee: A Perspective, by Ella Merkel DiCarlo. DiCarlo, a former Transcript columnist offers a fascinating compilation of her essays. Published in 1982, this out-of-print book is worth looking for in the aftermarket.


Holyoke, by Craig Della Penna. The first Holyoke book in the Arcadia series, published in 1997.

Belle Skinner Collection

Belle Skinner Collection, by Ruth Isabel Skinner. Published in 1933, this book is long out of print but copies are still available in the aftermarket.

Mitch Epstein: Family Business

Mitch Epstein: Family Business Published in 2003, available in the aftermarket. Epstein's furniture.