I want to briefly mention one today, Henrietta (Hetty) Green (1834-1916).
Here's how Time magazine described Hetty, in an obituary of her son, Edward (Ned):
the penny-pinching "Witch of Wall Street" who used to shuttle between Brooklyn and Hoboken to avoid establishing residence and paying taxes while she was making millions in the stockmarket.When she died, Hetty's fortune was estimated at $20,000,000 to $100,000,000. In today's money that would be a astronomical figure (if you want to figure it out, click here.)
There are many stories about Hetty that are practically unbelievable, and yet...
1. Already a multi-millionaire, she contested her aunt's will in court (money was to have gone to charity). It was alleged, and experts testified, that Hetty had forged her aunt's signature on documents.
2. After suffering from a knee injury for two years, she finally took her son to a charity hospital. There, upon recognition, he was refused treatment without payment. Hetty left without having him treated. The result? Ned lost his leg.
3. She chose to live in boarding houses and use public transportation to save money.
4. She only owned one black skirt which she wore until it became tattered enough to require replacement, only then did she purchase another one. (There are also stories of her sitting around in her underwear while her one-and-only skirt was being cleaned.)
Here's quote from Hetty herself when she was questioned about why she needed a firearm, "Mostly to protect myself against lawyers. I'm not much afraid of burglars or highwaymen." Whether she said this in jest, or not, is another question.
On the basis of her wealth and her shrewdness in investing, Hetty was definitely "notable," but, should a woman like Hetty be included in a collection of "notable women" for children? What do you think?