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Look family


Biographical Note

Susan Howes Look, daughter of Samuel and Polly Loomis Look, was born in Conway, Massachusetts on October 27, 1817. Soon after, the Looks moved to the Oneida Lake area of New York; to nearby Herkimer County a few years later; then to Utica. Around age 17, Susan Look enrolled in the Utica Female Seminary; following graduation, she served on the school's faculty for several years. She married Benjamin Avery in 1844, and the couple moved in 1848 to Louisivlle, Kentucky, where Avery established the Avery Plow Works. The Averys had six children: Lydia, Samuel, Gertrude, George, Helen, and William.

In 1858, the Averys, together with Susan's sister and brother-in-law, Julia and Albert Capwell, purchased "Hillside," a Wyoming, New York estate, for use as a summer residence. The house also became the permanent home of the sisters' parents, Samuel and Polly Loomis Look, who moved there from Virginia. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the Looks were joined in Wyoming by their son, Nathan Loomis Look, and his two daughters. Nathan Look later returned to Virginia and died in Smyth County in 1907.

The Averys remained in Louisville. Following the 1885 death of her husband, Susan Look Avery sold "Hillside" to her daughter, Lydia Avery Coonley. Around this same time, Avery became an outspoken advocate of reformist causes, including women's suffrage, temperance, the free coinage of silver, and anti-imperialism. She was well acquainted with other public figures and reformers of the day, including Susan B. Anthony and Booker T. Washington. Avery was a charter member of Wyoming, New York's Warsaw Equality Club, a women's suffrage organization. The club was renamed in her honor as the Susan Look Avery Club in 1901. Susan Look Avery died on February 1, 1915.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Look Family Papers

Identifier: Ms-1976-003

This collection contains the papers of the Look family of Wyoming, New York and Marion, Virginia, including correspondence of women's suffragist Susan Look Avery and other family members; cartes-de-visite of Avery and daughter Lydia Avery Coonley; photographs of "Hillside," the Avery family home in Wyoming, New York; and a brochure of the Susan Look Avery Club of Wyoming, New York.

Dates: 1875 - 1907