Lois Wilbor

Lois Wilbor

1752 – 1844

Lois Wilbor, a Quaker, lived 92 years in the Wilbor House under the care of four of its patriarchs: her grandfather Dr. William, her father William, her brother Jonathan, and her nephew Clark. She and four of her sisters remained single all of their lives, an unusual occurrence that suggests the Wilbor sisters chose not to marry. Like many fathers at the time, William took special pains in his will to ensure his unmarried daughters would always have a room in the family homestead and that their male relatives would provide for them in a kind and respectful way.

Lois and her sisters, however, were not fully dependent on these men. Lois earned her own money by teaching at Peaked Top School. She also inherited valuables from her mother and sisters. As a single woman Lois had full control over her earnings and her property. She bought real estate, invested in securities, and opened a bank account in her own name, things she would not have been able to do if she were married. Lois bequeathed her accumulated wealth to her nephew to benefit the next generation of Wilbors.

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Outdoor exhibit panel from the 2020 special exhibition, The Little Compton Women’s History Project.

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