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Sylvia Ann Howland

Once described as the wealthiest woman in New Bedford, philanthropist Sylvia Ann Howland (1806-1865) provided a legacy that benefited not only family members, caretakers, and charitable organizations, but also the residents of New Bedford through trusts to support education and business.
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Phebe Hart Mendall

Wedding cakes became the specialty of baker Phebe Hart Mendall (1801-1887), widowed at age 35 when husband Elihu Mendall was lost at sea.
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Mary Rotch

A leading intellectual and deep religious thinker, Mary Rotch (1777-1848) remained true to her belief in the Light Within.

Mary J. “Polly” Johnson

Confectioner and abolitionist Polly Johnson (1784-1871) specialized in sweets and provided safe lodging to freedom seekers in New Bedford along the Underground Railroad.

Mary Elizabeth Hartley

A U.S. military veteran with overseas tours during three wars, Lieutenant Colonel Mary Elizabeth Hartley (1920-1999) served in the Army Nurse Corps for 25 years, from 1942 to 1967.

Martha Bush Gray

Known as the “Mother of the 54th,” Martha Bush Gray was an African American Civil War nurse who served the troops of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments in the South.
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