An Oral History of
103-Year-Old 20th Century Working Married Woman
103-year-old Tumwater Washington resident, Madeline Taylor, shared about her long life spent in the Greater Seattle area. From the early days of horse drawn carriages delivering milk in North Seattle, to being the first female employee at the Lake Washington Shipyard in Kirkland, to taking pioneering yachting adventures featured in film and National Geographic Magazine, Madeline has seen much of the world. She reflects on her inability to work at a public school when she married due to laws forbidding female school employees to be married, which led to her eventual elopement and then job change from Oak Lake School to the shipyard. During a time when working married women were still a novelty, Madeline also became the shipyard’s first pregnant worker, and then first working mother.
This oral history of Madeline Taylor was researched by her grand-daughter, Debi Taylor-Hough, and prepared as a final research project for Doing Community History (THIS 437) at the University of Washington Tacoma (Spring 2014), taught by Professor Michael K. Honey.