The stone house at 109 West Granby Road is where Helen Green lived all her life. Green was the first woman from Granby to represent the 7th District in the state legislature and she dedicated her life to public service and education.
Growing up in Granby, Green went to the one-room school house on Bushy Hill Road and then went to Simsbury High School. Her father would drive her to the train station for 7:30 a.m. and pick her up at 5 p.m. After she graduated from high school, Green and some friends went into Hartford to take two four-hour exams to obtain teaching certificates. Her first stint of teaching was in a one-room school house in Granby. During World War I, she taught at the Terry Plains School in Tarriffville. After the war, Green started teaching elementary school in East Hartford. However, she would take a year off in 1924 to pursue a political career.
Green was very involved in town life, participating in the Granby Civic Club, the Republican Women’s Club, South Congregational Church, and many Republican Caucuses in town. In 1920, when the Connecticut state legislature ratified the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote, Green registered to vote. Four years later, she received the Republican nomination to run for the 7th District. Following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather, both who served in the state legislature, Green won the election.
Helen Green was one of 11 women serving in the Connecticut State Legislature in 1925. Green had hoped to be on the agricultural or educational committee in the legislature; however, she was a freshman legislator and instead was assigned to the library committee and the committee on counties and county seats. She took a liking to the library committee perhaps because the state librarian, George Goddard, was from Granby. The two committees she served on did not have a clerk or secretary, so Green took notes and the minutes for these meetings for free. She did get paid $300 as a representative and received an allowance of five cents a mile for travel cost.
When Helen’s leave of absence was up, she went back to teaching elementary school in East Hartford. Later, she would serve as principal for over 20 years at the Woodward School in East Hartford. After retirement as principal, she started the Head Start program in East Hartford.
Throughout her career and retirement, Green remained very active in Granby affairs. She would also become a member of the Salmon Brook Historical Society, the Granby Cemetery Association, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Mark Twain House, and remained a member of OWLS—Organization of Women in Legislature.
Want to know more about Helen Green or her family? Join the Salmon Brook Historical Society by calling 860-653-9713 or visit salmonbrookhistoricalsociety.com