Wednesday, March 26

Maggie L. Walker and Thankful Thursday

March is Women's History Month in the US and I haven't posted one thing about women in history. Women's History Month is October in Canada and I guess it slipped my mind that it was this month in the US. So before the month is over and I've lost the opportunity, I'm going to tell you about a woman who became the first president in the US - of a bank that is.

Former slaves Elizabeth and William Mitchell welcomed a daughter into the world in 1867 and named her Maggie Lena. The Mitchell's worked for Elizabeth Van Lew, a Civil War spy and worked in her mansion in Richmond.

After a few years of working for Van Lew, William Mitchell took the position of Head Waiter at the Saint Charles Hotel. He soon moved his family to their own accommodations in a house in an alley. They had a home of their own.

William Mitchell was murdered and Elizabeth started a laundry business to support herself and her children. Maggie's job was to help care for her younger brother and to help her mother collect and deliver laundry for her clients.

Despite working hard to help her mother, Maggie was able to obtain an education in Richmond's public school system. She graduated in 1883 and began to teach school. After three years of teaching she gave up her position to marry Armstead Walker, who was a building contractor. Remember married women couldn't be school teacher's in that era. Between 1890 and 1897, the couple had three sons, one who died in infancy.

Maggie had been a member of the Independent Order of St. Lukes, an African American fraternal and cooperative insurance society since she was young. The Order had been established by former slave, Mary Prout in 1867. Maggie began working for the Order and in the headquarters moved to Richmond in 1889, Maggie was invited to become the executive secretary - a position she gladly accepted. In 1889, she became the Right Worthy Grand Secretary, which was the Order's highest position and one that she held for the rest of her life.

In 1901, Maggie told the members of the Order of St. Lukes that they needed a bank that was run by their members. She had a desire to turn nickels into dollars. In 1903, the St. Lukes Penny Savings Bank was founded and Maggie became the president.

Maggie L. Walker was the first woman to serve as president of a bank in the US. The bank bought up other African American banks after the crash of 1929. Today it is known as the Consolidated Bank and Trust Company and is the oldest surviving African American bank in America.

Today is Thankful Thursday. It is a day when we list the things we are thankful for. If you would like to participate, be sure to stop by Sting My Heart and pay Iris a visit. You can find out all the information there.

1. I am thankful for the energy that I've been blessed with the last couple of days. Though today it was less than yesterday, I was able to continue to deep cleaning of my kitchen.

2. Michelle is doing great. She has a lot more energy as well and I haven't had to go to help out yesterday or today. She was able to run her own errands.

3. For tea. I love to sit and sip a cup every so often throughout the day. This is my reward to myself for finishing a task. I find tea very refreshing.

4. For Mom, who still worries about her kids even though we are all over 50. Mom is a real go-getter, drives her own car and takes care of herself. She is 80 years young. I'm blessed to have her to talk to.

5. For grandsons who phone me and when I answer say, "Hi Grandma. Whatcha doing?" LOL I love it!

6. For my blood sugar levels being under control even though I cheated at Easter dinner.

7. For Meeko, who brings joy into my life.

8. For a hubby who doesn't mind lending a hand.

9. For having food on the table and a roof over our heads. Many don't enjoy such luxuries.

10. For friends, both online and off and especially for blogging friends who give love, support and encouragement. I have been truly blessed.

I have many other things for which to be thankful but this is my list for this week. Remember to always be grateful for the little things in life. Stop and smell a rose, pat a dog on the head and watch his tail wag or say something kind to a child. By doing so, you will bring many blessings into your own life. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. Mary,

    5. For grandsons who phone me and when I answer say, "Hi Grandma. Whatcha doing?" LOL I love it!

    A Rich blessing indeed. I can only pray for this in my future.

    Loved reading your TT list. Have a fantastic week.

  2. Wonderful Thankful list and tribute to Maggie! Have a bless Thankful Thursday!

  3. Oh, I'm so blessed to read you are feeling better. Can I use some of that energy?

    Happy TT to you!


  4. what a wonderful tribute! so lucky of you to be having your mom with you at that age! :)

    My Thankful Thursday post

  5. Such a great thankful list, really enjoyed it my dear friend. I love you.

  6. I also enjoy a good cup of tea (hot tea) or coffee. There's something relaxing about grabbing a cup of hot tea or coffee and sitting down to drink it. I'm not one to drink hot tea or coffee very fast. I like to sip it and enjoy it.

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

  7. We share a love for tea. My mom would always have a tea break and when we weren't feeling well, she'd fix us a cup of tea. Have a tea for me today, okay? Would that we could have a tea together though, huh?

  8. Great post! Very interesting about Maggie Walker. Loved your Thankful Thursday list. Yes we sure do have a lot to be thankful for!!! :o)

  9. Mary
    I just read your last two post and if you still have all that energy come and help me clean. heehee
    That was a very informative post thank you for educating us. Your list was wonderful. Peace

  10. I love the story about Maggie....I am a bit ashamed that I did not know any of that.. I am not much of a history buff but I need to be.. Thanks for sharing that... and I love how you include your dog Meeko in your thankful thursday list..... how wonderful to have a pet that is so close to your heart..... I have a lovebird by the name of Moses..... He has been my buddy for 8 years..... I fear the day I loose him..... so I so understand your love for Meeko..... have a blessed and ENERGY filled day...:)

  11. Hello Mary,
    Enjoyed your post and the comments that others have made.will
    check in each day,to see what is taking place in your life.Helen and
    I are doing well so far,I am choked
    up,with some sort of alergy {first
    time ever} Something in the air.
    Have a great day,
    God bless.

  12. I think it must be the kids and grandkids that make life worth living! So many blessings have I!!
    hugs, bj

  13. Lovely tribute. So glad someone has energy because I have none. Happy TT. :)

  14. You are richly blessed Mary. Very interesting post on Women in history. I love coming here I learn so very much.

    God bless.

  15. You definitely have LOTS to be thankful for! Have a blessed day!

    Kat @

  16. This IS one fantastic post today Mary. Just to think of all the women out there that helped make history in such a small way sometimes that it's phenomenal!! I loved this.

    And from your thankful list ...........#5!!! YES!!!!!

  17. Mary--that is a great list---and I especially loved the history lesson that came before the list of thankfuls! How neat! I love to learn new things!
    I was blessed to be able to read everything you shared! It was great!

  18. Maggie Walker was a very interesting lady. I love hearing success stories like these.
    I love it when any of my family calls so I can understand how special it os for you when your grandon calls.
    Kids these days are so wrapped up in their own affairs that it is rare that they have time for us.
    Yout Thankful Thursday list helpd me recall a few things I have been taking for granted. Time for me to give thanks.

  19. That was a wonderful post. I, too, love tea and you've made me remember that I need to take time for myself every once in awhile.

  20. Great list, Mary. I've tagged you.
    Mama Bear

  21. I am also thankful for my mom who lives a few blocks away and worries about me, more than she should!

    I need an infusion of some energy!

  22. Thank you for sharing your thankful thursday list. What tops my list is that I am Thankful that I have people and situations in my life to be thankful for.

    Have a Great weekend.

  23. Amen to that, Mary - the little blessings every single day add up over time :)
    That is so sweet that your grandsons calling you up to see what you are doing :)
    Sweet that your daughter is doing so well after her surgery.

    Thank you so much for sharing your grateful heart with us this past week.

    Blessings to you and yours.