Home of Lucy Furman

Historical marker #870 in Henderson County commemorates the life of author and lecturer Lucy Furman.

Furman earned renown by writing about rural Kentucky. She was born in Henderson County on June 7, 1869. After her parents' death early in her life, she moved to Evansville, Indiana. She eventually returned to Kentucky to attend Sayre School in Lexington, graduating in 1885. Upon her graduation, she moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, before moving back to Evansville.

In 1894, "Century Magazine" published some of Furman's short stories. The magazine continued to print these stories, based on her observations of Henderson, in a series. Then in 1896, "Century" collected the short stories into a book titled, "Stories of a Sanctified Town."

Lucy traveled around for nearly a decade after the publication of her first book. After this time, she moved back to Kentucky to teach at the Hindman Settlement School. While teaching, she published several more stories in "Century" about rural Kentucky. These included "Hard-Hearted Barbary Allen" (1912), "Mothering on Perilous" (1913), "Sight to the Blind" (1914), and "The Quare Women" (1923). Her most recognizable works were published after she left teaching: "The Glass Widow" (1924) and "The Lonesome Road" (1927). For her work as a southern female writer, Lucy earned the George Fort Milton Award in 1932.

While known for her writing, Furman also was involved with the Anti-Steel Trap League of Washington, DC. She traveled the country lecturing on this subject. When she moved back to Kentucky in 1934, Lucy proposed an anti-steel trap bill to the General Assembly. The bill failed at first but eventually was passed and took effect in 1940.

In 1953, she retired and moved to Cranford, New Jersey. She died there on August 25, 1958.

Images

Lucy Furman

Lucy Furman

Lucy Furman is shown here protesting the use of the steel animal traps. Image in the public domain. View File Details Page

Lucy Furman and

Lucy Furman and

Lucy Furman, on left, and Linda Neville are shown in this 1937 photograph. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Hindman Settlement School

Hindman Settlement School

Lucy Furman worked at the Hindman Settlement School in Knott County for twenty years. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Sayre School

Sayre School

Lucy Furman graduated from Sayre School in Lexington in 1885. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Steel Trap

Steel Trap

Lucy Furman protested the use of steel animal traps similar to this one with the Anti-Steel Trap League. Picture courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Whitney Todd, “Home of Lucy Furman,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 26, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/399.

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