FOND DU LAC – In September 1886, Kate Pier and her daughter Kate Hamilton Pier walked right into a classroom on the University of Wisconsin-Madison. For girls, being inside the area turned into a rarity. Men filled it, just like the sphere the women have been trying to input: law.

The Pier girls were now not the first to come to be lawyers in the state of Wisconsin. That changed into achieved 12 years earlier, through Lavinia Goodell of Janesville. Goodell paved the way for the girls, as she fought for the passage of a regulation making it illegal to discriminate on gender in regulation exercise, and became the primary woman to be admitted to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in step with the Wisconsin Women Making History.

Despite this, the feat of the Pier women — and people who observed — became no less groundbreaking.

In much less than a year, Pier and Hamilton Pier graduated from the 2-yr direction. By 1891, daughters Caroline and Harriet Hamilton Pier had additionally earned their stages, making the own family the primary 4 of eight women lawyers in Wisconsin, in keeping with USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin files.

From their posts, they took historical positions, recommended for ladies’ rights and encouraged the passage of laws — greater than 15 years before they’d have the right to vote at the rules.

Born in Vermont in 1845, Pier and her mother and father moved to Fond du Lac when she turned into eight years old, in line with USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin data.

At a younger age, Pier started getting to know the fine details of commercial enterprise lifestyles from her father, John Hamilton, as she observed him on his work as a actual estate agent, according to the Fond du Lac County Historical Society.

Her formal education got here from local Fond du Lac faculties, and in 1862, she graduated from high school, before quickly starting to train in the city of Empire, consistent with the e-book “A Woman of the Century: 1470 Biographical Sketches Accompanied via Portraits of Leading American Women in All Walks of Life” with the aid of Frances Elizabeth Willard and Mary Ashton Rice Livermore.

Four years after commencement, she married Colwert Kendall Pier. The first toddler born to white settlers in Fond du Lac’s records, Colwert Kendall Pier changed into the primary guy in the city to enlist within the Union Army during the Civil War. He also had a law diploma, incomes it prior to their marriage, according to the us TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin data.

By 1872, their household grew to include 3 daughters — Kate, Caroline and Harriet Hamilton Pier — and, after the demise of Pier’s father in 1871, her mother, Mary. With the passing, Pier took rate of her dad and mom’ estate ­— and her father’s business. Her ability attracted others to invite for her help of their personal subjects, in keeping with Willard and Livermore, and in operating on each real property and trendy affairs, she started to dabble inside the legal nation-states.

While Pier ran the enterprise, her daughters started their personal training. Kate Hamilton Pier started out on the metropolis’s German English Academy, before going into the general public colleges, wherein Caroline and Harriet Hamilton Pier, too, had been educated, in keeping with Willard and Livermore.

Mother and daughters visit law school
With Kate Hamilton Pier’s commencement from excessive college in 1886, talks of going off to law faculty got here into play. Her mom, although, was no longer going to permit her move by way of herself. As properly as trying to make certain her daughter turned into safe in Madison, Pier wanted her kids to start their personal commercial enterprise profession together with her supervision as “she had started out on my own and knew what pioneer enterprise undertakings meant for a lady,” in line with Willard and Livermore. In school, she also noticed an opportunity to similarly increase her own real property enterprise, said the Fond du Lac County Historical Society.

So, when Kate Hamilton Pier enrolled at University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Law School, Pier did the equal — including area of expertise to the already rare situation of a girl attending regulation college.











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