Catherine Anselm “Kate” Gleason, like her good friend Lillian Moller Gilbreth, was an engineer and businesswoman long before those career choices were considered appropriate for a woman to pursue. Her father left Ireland in 1848, three years after the potato famine, married and had a son and then lost his wife and one-year old daughter to tuberculosis. The family had been living in Chicago, but William returned to Rochester following his wife and daughter’s death to work at a machine shop and study mathematics at night school. He married Ellen McDermott, also an Irish immigrant, at the age of twenty-seven. Kate was born on November 25, 1865 in Rochester.
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