About Annette Richards (1867–1956)
Annette Richards, Grand Rapids Press.
On September 2, 1902, Annette Richards ran an unsuccessful campaign in the Seventh Ward for a seat on the Grand Rapids Board of Education. She polled 247 votes, a respectable result but not enough to beat her opponent Joseph Albright’s 352 votes.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1867, Annette Richard graduated in 1888 from Olivet College with an AB degree. From 1891 to 1894, she taught science at Union High School in Grand Rapids, and in 1892 she secured a special fellowship at Leland Stanford University to study chemistry and advanced sea cultures.
Like so many women of her time, Richards was active in women’s clubs. In 1903, she was elected state treasurer of the Michigan Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and in 1910 she served as a delegate to the DAR Continental Congress in Washington. That same year she was elected secretary of the newly organized Grand Rapids Art Association, which later became the Grand Rapids Art Museum; in 1916 she became the organization’s treasurer, a position which she would hold until 1931. Her experience within the art association lent her credibility when, at the 1912 convention of the State Federation of Art, she spoke on municipal control of and support for art galleries and museums. In 1914, she attended the annual American Federation of Art convention in Chicago as a delegate. And in 1913, she was among the founding members of the Kent Garden Club, an organization that still meets today.
On April 18, 1956, at the age of eighty-nine, Annette Richards died at Blodgett Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids. She was memorialized for her scholarly accomplishments and her dedication to Grand Rapids civic and cultural affairs.