Mary Perkins Raymond, 1871-1948

Mary Perkins Raymond continued the legacy of service to the Akron community that her mother, Mary Rawson Perkins and her paternal grandmother, Grace Tod Perkins began.

Born and raised in Akron, she married Charles Raymond, a vice-chairperson on the board of B.F. Goodrich, and raised four children. Following marriage, she soon learned that she was one of the last surviving Perkins. In order to keep the Perkins name alive in Akron, she identified herself by both her maiden and married names.

Although she was born into a family of community philanthropists, Perkins Raymond discovered her own unique passion for giving in the Mary Day Nursery. Along with her mother and father and the other members of the Kings Daughters of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Perkins Raymond established Akron’s first day care, which was named for her eldest daughter.

The Mary Day Nursery offered day care services to families with working parents. Many Akron women donated their time to care for community children. Perkins Raymond served as president of Mary Day Nursery for a total of six terms. She was also a member of the board of trustees.

Perkins Raymond and the other volunteers contributed much more than time spent caring for others’ children. They hosted events such as a charity ball and bazaar to raise funds for the operation of the nursery. The Mary Day Nursery eventually expanded to include a kindergarten and a ward for crippled children, which, in turn, expanded into Akron’s Children’s Hospital.

Photos courtesy of the Beacon Journal.

–Angela Abel