Wing, Marie Remington
Correspondence of Marie Remington Wing and Family, dated 1900-1972

92 letters, 278 manuscript pages, 58 envelopes, dated 1900-1972, with the bulk of the letters from the 1910s-1940s were written to Marie R. Wing and her family. There is also some minor ephemeral material.

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Marie Remington Wing (1885-1982) & Family


Francis Joseph Wing (1850-1918) was a United States federal judge. Born in North Bloomfield, Ohio, Wing was educated at Phillips Academy, and Harvard University. He read law with Caleb Blodgett at Boston, Judge Buckingham of Newark, and Edward O. Fitch of Ashtabula, Ohio. He was admitted to the bar in 1874 and was in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio from 1874 to 1899. He became an assistant United States Attorney of the Northern District of Ohio from 1880 to 1881. He was a judge on the Court of Common Pleas from 1899 to 1901. On January 21, 1901, Wing was nominated by President William McKinley to a new seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 23, 1901, and received his commission the same day. Wing served in that capacity until his resignation, on February 1, 1905. He then returned to private practice in Ohio until his death, in 1918, in Cleveland. Wing married Mary Brackett Remington (1854-1920) of Cleveland September 25, 1878. They had three daughters: Virginia Remington, Marie Remington, and Stephanie Remington.

Marie Remington Wing was a successful lawyer, feminist, and social reformer. She was born on 5 November 1885 in Cleveland to federal judge Francis J. Wing and Mary Brackett Remington. She prepared for college at Miss Mittleberger's School for Young Ladies, and attended Bryn Mawr College until her father's financial reverses forced her to return to Cleveland, where she began working with the YWCA as both industrial and financial secretary. She also served as its general secretary in New York and sat on the board of trustees.

The school that Marie attended, "Miss Mittleberger's School" (c1877-1908), was one of Cleveland's most prominent schools for young women. The school had its beginnings in Miss Augusta Mittleberger's home, where she began conducting private classes for young women. With the death of her father in 1877, Miss Mittleberger moved to larger quarters. In 1881 she was offered a house owned by John D. Rockefeller for her school. Miss Mittleberger's school achieved a national reputation and boarded students enrolled from other areas of Ohio and nearby states, including the daughters of presidents Hayes and Garfield.

Marie R. Wing came from a distinguished Cleveland family, from which she drew her enthusiasm and her sense of social commitment. George Clary Wing (1848-1929), Marie's uncle, was an author and Harvard-educated attorney who worked in several United States government departments before returning to Cleveland in 1884 to join his brother's law practice. This brother was Francis Joseph Wing (1850-1918), Marie's father and a judge in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He later became a judge in the United States District Court for Northern Ohio, but resigned in 1905.

Marie's older sister, Virginia Remington Wing (1881-1951), was, like Marie, a social activist. She began her career with the Red Cross, serving in both Washington and St. Louis. In 1923, she came to Cleveland in order to take a position as the executive secretary of both the Cleveland Anti-Tuberculosis League and of the Cleveland Health Council's Health Education Department. In 1929 and 1933 she added to her responsibilities the secretary-ships of the Brush Foundation and the Sight Saving Council.

Marie Wing's niece Stephanie Ralph (1914-1969) was a school psychologist whose research was published in nationally-prominent journals, and whose husband Paul Ralph was even better known in the academic world. In 1948, he won an award for his photographs of microscopic organisms.

In 1922 Marie R. Wing left the YWCA and enrolled in the Cleveland Law School, which her father had helped found. She was one of the first two females elected to Cleveland's City Council and served for 2 terms (1923, 1925), having previously sat on the charter review instituting the city manager system in Cleveland. While a member of council, Wing worked to establish a women's bureau in the police department. She was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1926. Wing served on the executive board of the Cleveland Federation of Women's Clubs, and as executive secretary of the Consumers League of Ohio where she worked to pass legislation protecting women and children in industry and providing a minimum wage. In 1934 Wing was appointed to the Women's Advisory Committee of the Cleveland Regional Labor Board, heading a special works program committee appointed by the Cuyahoga County Relief Commission. She was the first regional attorney for the Cleveland Social Security office from 1937-53, afterwards opening a private law practice.

In 1956, Wing, unmarried and living with her longtime partner, retired to live in Mentor, Ohio, where she and her partner were involved in the founding of organizations such as the Community Action Program of Lake County, the Fine Arts Association, the Lake County Committee on Aging, and the Legal Services Association of Lake County.

Marie's partner, Dorothy Smith (1892-1976), was a prominent social worker born in Springfield, Missouri. She attended Vassar College, and entered social work upon her graduation in 1914, assuming a position with the YWCA in Pawtucket, R.I. Named general secretary of the Pawtucket YWCA in 1916; she established vocational programs in nursing and child care, placing her organization in the forefront of the local war effort. Smith came to Cleveland in 1921, a year later becoming general secretary of the Cleveland Young Women's Christian Association. Under her guidance, the YWCA built a new headquarters, established a program to aid senior citizens, added recreation programs, and strongly supported Prohibition. Smith resigned on the eve of the Depression to enter the insurance business for 13 years, while also acting as an advisor to many programs assisting people crippled by the Depression. World War II and the resulting shortage of skilled administrators brought her back to social work. In 1943 she became an adult worker at East End Neighborhood House becoming director in 1944, instituting volunteer programs allowing the settlement to cut its administrative costs by 40% and constructing a new recreation building in 1947. Smith resigned in 1955 but continued serving as an advisor for 10 more years. During this period she also became active with the Mentor Community Fund, serving on its board of trustees from 1957-64. Smith spent her last 10 years in quiet retirement in Mentor with her longtime partner Marie R. Wing.

Marie Remington Wing out lived her partner Dorothy who died in 1976. Marie died on 27 December 1982 and was buried in her family's plot at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.

Besides the Wing family related material, this collection also includes a group of 13 letters (44 mss pp.) dated 1929-1930.  A couple of them have envelopes and they are addressed to one William Lysiak, of Cleveland, Ohio, He is an immigrant from Poland whose native language is Ukrainian. He came to America about the year 1913. He was born about 1897 and worked as a laborer. The letters are all written in what appears to be Ukrainian and are written by various individuals from Akron and Cleveland, Ohio; Montreal, Canada, Port Jervis, NY; Detroit, MI; and elsewhere. We have not been able to establish a relationship of these letters to the Remington/Wing family material, but we leave them with the collection, since they came with the collection, it is possible they may relate in some way to Wing’s reform and social work, but our Ukrainian is non-existent.


33 letters written by Virginia F. Kennedy, to her Aunt Marie R. Wing, dated 1940-1949.

16 miscellaneous incoming letters to Marie R. Wing, dated 1900-1964, with bulk being from 1932-1964.

4 letters written by Marie R. Wing, written to her mother (3) and sister Virginia (1), dated 1906-1919.

10 letters written by Francis J. Wing, father of Marie R. Wing, to his wife, dated 1903-1917.

7 letters written by Mrs. Francis J. Wing, mother of Marie R. Wing, to her mother Mrs. S. G. Remington, dated 1917.

7 incoming letters to Mrs. Francis J. Wing, mother of Marie R. Wing, written by George C. Wing (3), and others, dated 1908-1914.

5 letters written by Virginia F. Kennedy to various individuals, dated 1931-1943.

10 letters written by various members of Wing family, or friends, to family & friends, dated 1913-1972, bulk being 1913-1917.


1 report card for Virginia Francis Kenney while she was attending Antioch College dated 1943.

2 greeting cards, with sizable amount of mss on them, dated 1975 & 1989, one is written to Marie R. Wing on her 90th birthday.

1 invitation for commencement exercises of Stephanie Wing Kennedy dated 1931.

7 used envelopes, likely can be matched to letters in this collection.