Elizebeth Smith Friedman and Her Friends #amazingsororitywomen

I have several dear friends who are proud Hillsdale College and Pi Beta Phi alumnae. They are over the moon about one of their own, Elizebeth Smith Friedman, who has recently been the subject of several books and magazine articles. One book makes no mention of her Pi Phi affiliation. The other one does. Her archives at the Marshall Foundation in Lexington, Virginia, contain photos including this one of a visit three of her Pi Phi sisters made to Riverbank, the estate of Col. Fabyan, where Friedman was working.

This page is from the 1922-23 yearbook of the Washington, D.C. Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi. On it are several outstanding women. Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, the wife of the then Vice-President, was a charter member of the chapter at the University of Vermont. Mrs. Eli A. Helmick, Elizabeth Clarke Helmick, another Hillsdale College Pi Phi, played an instrumental role in the early stages of the Pi Beta Phi Settlement School. She was an Army wife and she travelled around the world with her husband.

Anna Hazelton, a charter member of the DC Alpha Chapter at George Washington University, wrote Pi Phi’s Ritual. The Gaddis name excited me, but she doesn’t appear to be a direct descendant of the founder, Libbie Brook Gaddis. My guess she is related somehow. 

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In the yearbook, Friedman is a co-hostess of the first program of the year. Helmick was the hostess. The speaker was Helmick’s husband, the career Army man. He retired as a Major General and he was in command of Brest at the close of the War. When her husband was stationed in Springfield, Massachusetts, earlier in their marriage, Elizabeth Helmick was a member of the Springfield Alumnae Club. The club was started by Grace Goodhue Coolidge, so the meeting up in Washington years later must have been a fun reunion.

Mrs. Harvey W. Wiley was Anna Kelton Wiley, a suffragist who spent five days in jail for picketing the White House in 1917. She was Chairman of the National Woman’s Party (1930-1932, 1940-1942). From 1940-45,  she served as editor of Equal Rights, NWP’s publication. Her husband Harvey, a chemist, was known as the “Father of the Pure Food Act” for his leadership in the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. 

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The Helmicks retired to Hawaii.  The Helmicks and the Friedmans are buried in Arlington Cemetery. 

9048 - Hawaii

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