First female legislator’s Asheville home protected

Photo of Lillian Exum Clement courtesy of the North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Public Library, Asheville.

The local historic home of Lillian Exum Clement Stafford, the first woman elected to the North Carolina General Assembly, is now protected by a preservation easement. Here’s the press release from the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County:

The historic Lillian Exum Clement house at 34 Hollywood Street will be forever protected by a donation of a preservation easement to the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County.  Wingate Anders of Greensboro, NC, owner of the historic house and widower of Lillian’s only daughter, made the donation of the easement to ensure the protection and preservation of this noteworthy historic site.

“We feel this house represents history important to Asheville, Buncombe County and the state,” said Anders.  “It was the home of Lillian Exum Clement Stafford, a female lawyer with an independent law practice at a time when few women held any significant type of job outside of the home.”

The house, located in the Chestnut Hill National Register Historic District, was built in 1914 by George Clement, Lillian’s father.  Lillian is noted for being the first woman elected to the North Carolina General Assembly and the first woman to serve in any state legislature in the Southern United States.

The protection offered by the Preservation Society will include permanent prevention of demolition and architectural review of any future rehabilitation, ensuring that the historic and architectural context of the house will continue to remain intact for future generations.

“Lillian Exum Clement’s legacy is that of major advances in the cause of female representation as legal professionals and policy makers as elected officials at the State level,” said Jack Thomson, Executive Director of the Preservation Society.  “The work of our Preservation Easements program is designed to protect the historic built environment of our community, the historic houses and neighborhoods that depict the important people and events of our past,” he said.

“Our Easements are deigned to work with private property owners who desire the story and integrity of their historic place to be protected.  As the private, non-profit preservation leader for our community, the Preservation Society has used this tool to protect the 1890 Gudger House in Montford, the 1898 Manor on Charlotte Street and the 1846 Reynolds Mansion in Woodfin, among many others,” Thomson said.

Learn more about Clement on the North Carolina History Project website.


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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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