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Seneca County Museum to highlight trailblazing Cronise sisters in Museum Speaker Series




Seneca County Museum Director Theresa Sullivan. (Contributed Photo)

Tiffin, Ohio — The Seneca County Museum is set to commence its third year of the Museum Speaker Series on Thursday, April 27 at 7:00 p.m. The free event, with donations welcome, will feature Museum Director Theresa Sullivan presenting “Let’s Celebrate the Cronise Sisters!”

Doors to the museum located at 28 Clay St. will open at 6:30 p.m.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Nettie and Florence Cronise’s groundbreaking achievement of becoming the first and second female attorneys in the State of Ohio. Notably, this milestone was achieved nearly 50 years before women were nationally given the right to vote. 2023 also marks the 180th anniversary of Nettie’s birth and the 100th anniversary of her passing, making it a fitting time to learn more about these trailblazing sisters.

In 1873, Nettie Cronise applied to the district court on April 4 to become the first woman admitted to the Ohio Bar, despite Ohio laws not providing for the admission of women attorneys at the time. Despite facing opposition, leading local attorneys, including William Harvey Gibson and George Seney, supported her application. Six months later, Florence, Nettie’s younger sister, was admitted, and together, the sisters opened the first female-owned law practice in Ohio, N. & F. Cronise.

Sullivan’s program promises to shine more light on the fascinating lives of these two women, who defied societal norms and paved the way for generations of women lawyers to come.

For further details, please contact the Seneca County Museum at (419) 447-5955, or visit their website at

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