Mary Emery | Isabella F. Hopkins | Mrs. Carrie Conklin Sater | Dr. Ann Becker
Lucia Eckstein Hermanies | Mrs. Marie Hawk Jordan | Nancy Ford Cones

Mariemont's First Council Woman

(1891-1850)

Born in Carlisle, Kentucky, Ann was the oldest of five children. Although an outstanding elementary school student, she left school at the age of 13 to help support her family. She first became interested in social work at age 18 while working at the Anna Louise Inn, a residence for working women. Her next employment was an as a dental assistant at Cincinnati’s first free children’s dental clinic. Earning $6.00 a week.
           At age 25 she passed an examination for a high school equivalency diploma and was encouraged to go to dental school. She was one of three women in a class of 47 at Western Reserve University in Cleveland and was honored by being named speaker at her graduating class dinner. Ann was placed second out of 160 dentists who took the state board examinations that year.
           At the age of 28 in 1919, Ann was offered a good job in the dental office of the Dean of the Dental Department at Western Reserve. However, fragile health forced her return to Cincinnati and she took a part time job as Supervisor of the Dental Clinics. She married dentist Dr. Carl Becker in 1922 and they opened their first dental practice together. When their son, Robert A. Becker, was born in 1925, they moved to Mariemont where they were among the first residents on Chestnut Street. Soon after Ann opened her Mariemont dental office in the Ripley Apartments in the Old town Center.
           Her foremost concern was the welfare of children and as Chairman of the Child Welfare for the Federation of Mother’s Clubs in Cincinnati, she helped found the Summer Round Up, a medical-dental checkup for pre-kindergartners and introduced this program to Dale Park School. In the early 1930’s she was the Health Director of the Ohio Congress of P.T.A. She was President of the Cincinnati Council of P.T.A. in 1936-38. She also found time to serve as President of the Mariemont P.T.A. and was active in the League of Women Voters. As her dental practice grew, she moved offices to the Mariemont Inn and then in 1933 to the little cottage at the rear of the Becker residence on Fieldhouse way, where her son Robert Becker continued to practice until 1996.
           She had established a formidable reputation and at age 50 she was elected to the first Village Council in 1941. Ann was an advocate for citizen’s rights and adequate pay for police, fire and maintenance department personnel. She tackled the tough task of establishing building codes. Although she and Mayor Boyd Jordan had a great mutual respect for each other, there was undoubtedly much friction between them, although this was confined to council matters. She was so highly regarded by Council that when, due to ill health in 1949, she offered her resignation, it was refused. Council stated they would rather have a sick Ann Becker than anyone else! However, during the next year health deteriorated and she died on April 14th, 1950.
            The park bounded by the block of Chestnut, Beech, Murray and Oak is dedicated as the Ann Buntin Becker Park, appropriated because of her lifelong devotion to the welfare of children. An issue of the Cincinnati Parent Teacher News called her a “crusader” and stated “Her strength of character is much admired and envied.”

1941 Mariemont Council

 

Created by Sam Amis and Michael Donovan
Mariemont City Schools | 2002
Last Updated: 12/27/05