The last will and testament of Gordon Battelle (and a hefty gift of more than $1 million) founded the Battelle Memorial Institute in the early 1920s. But without his mother, we might not be here to tell the tale.
Annie Norton Battelle saw great value in the company her son founded and she left the balance of the family’s fortune (about $2 million) to the organization when she died. That was crucial to its longevity.
Battelle opened its doors in October 1929 – right in the middle of the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression. Without Annie’s contribution, the company would have been in much more precarious position.
Annie was a woman ahead of her time, and we like to believe she helped instill some of the values our organization adheres to today.
She was a suffragette and was involved in several organizations throughout the Columbus, Ohio community including:
- First woman trustee of the Columbus Metropolitan Library
- Member of the Board of Directors of the Columbus Women's Club
- President of the Women's Republican Club of Ohio
- Member of the Executive Board of Children's Hospital
- Member of the Assay Commission of 1923
- Ohio Delegate at Large to the Republican National Convention of 1924
Annie also was a National Council Member of the National Women’s Party, and in 1920, she was among those who protested the Republican National Convention to include the endorsement of women’s suffrage before a nomination was made.
At Battelle, women have been an essential asset in our work to translate scientific discovery and technology advances into societal benefits. And we thank you, Annie, for leading the way.
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