Celebrating Women’s History Month – Mrs. Henrietta Grigg Lewis

In celebration of Women’s History Month and the 150th anniversary of the Lockport Ladies Relief Society (founders of Wyndham Lawn) we are excited to share the impact of two women, Mrs. Henrietta Grigg Lewis and Mrs. Ella Daniels Hodge.

Mrs. Henrietta Grigg Lewis

Mrs. Henrietta Grigg Lewis was born in 1906 in Lockport, NY and attended the prestigious Ogontz School for Young Ladies in Pennsylvania. Shortly before her high school graduation, Mrs. Lewis lost her mother. She spent some time traveling with her father, and then married her husband, a widower, Curt, in 1936, she became a step-mother to his only son.

At the age of 28, Mrs. Lewis joined her soon-to-be mother-in-law, Mrs. Clara Bowlen Lewis on the Wyndham Lawn Home for Children Board of Directresses after the resignation of a member on June 6, 1934. It was one of the first boards Mrs. Lewis joined and she remained a director until her retirement in 1982 when she moved onto the Wyndham Associate Board. In addition to Wyndham Lawn, Mrs. Lewis was a great supporter of the Presbyterian Home, her church, the YWCA, and the Kenan Center. She enjoyed golf, but often told her fellow golfers that she played for enjoyment and not to win. Being an avid gardener, Mrs. Lewis spent her later years at the Presbyterian Home, walking around the facilities caring for the flowers and plants. More than anything, Mrs. Lewis loved music and theatre, having played many lead roles in her school’s dramatic club plays. It is perhaps, this love that led to her donate funds to establish a youth choir at her church, purchase a piano for the Lockport Country Club, and regularly donate performance tickets to the Junior League’s plays to the youth at Wyndham Lawn.

Always active in the community, humble and modest by nature, Mrs. Lewis made incredible contributions, both financially and with her time, and always provided help when she saw a need. She gave anonymously and generously as she believed her inherited money should benefit the community in which it had been made. Her lifelong commitment to the Lockport Community was further evidenced when she gifted her fortune to the local Foundation that carries her name and honors her philanthropic mission, so that her gifting would continue making an impact for many years to come.

Our organization would not be what it is today if it were not for the leadership, dedication, and support we received from Mrs. Lewis during her lifetime, and continue to receive from her legacy funds.

Be sure to check back later this month for the spotlight on Mrs. Ella Daniels Hodge and the founders of the Lockport Ladies Relief Society!