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Old Chester, PA: Biographical Sketches

Martha Elizabeth Taylor Ives


Photograph courtesy of


Martha Elizabeth Taylor Ives

(A biographical sketch by her grandson, Paul Lane Ives, Jr., plives@juno.com)

My paternal grandmother was Martha Elizabeth Ives who was very well known in Chester under her business name, M.E. Ives, Realtor.   She was truly a remarkable woman.  Widowed at an early age with two daughters and my young father, she studied real estate and was able to support her family in the early 1920's, putting my father [Paul Lane Ives] and his two sisters through college and my father through law school.

With support from her brother, J.C.Taylor, she established a successful real estate business in Chester and her signs were a common sight in all parts of the city.  In 1935, she was elected President of the Delaware County Board of Realtors, the first woman president of a real estate board in the United States.  She was the epitome of what we today would call the "modern woman".  She lived by herself in her own home, drove her own car until very late in life, and embraced all new conveniences like movie cameras and pressure cookers.

She was a wonderful grandmother and never missed an opportunity to visit with her family.  She was active in almost all Chester's women's professional and civic organizations during her lifetime.





If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about individuals in Chester, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com

2002 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 10/17/05