Monday, October 03, 2016
Lively Political Leader
At her death in 1982, The Ridgefield Press called Margaret McAulay McGlynn “one of Ridgefield’s most colorful and controversial 20th Century political leaders.”
The feisty Democrat was never afraid of a good fight, and got into many over the years of her service to her town and her party.
Agree with her positions or not, listening to her express them was a treat. A native of Scotland, she “spoke with a decided accent that was richly flavored with a delightful burr that was quite pleasing to the ear,” historian Richard E. Venus wrote.
Born in 1893, Maggie McGlynn came to America at the age of 16, and married plumber Thomas J. McGlynn four years later.
She was a Democrat, he was a Republican, but that didn’t keep the McGlynns apart — they marked their 69th wedding anniversary just three weeks before Margaret died in 1982.
She was a longtime chairman of the Democratic Town Committee, retiring in 1958. Two years later, she was elected to the Democratic State Central Committee and was active in the movement in 1960 to nominate John F. Kennedy for president.
In town, she had served on the Board of Education in the 1930s and 40s (after she left, her Republican husband was elected to the board).
Over the years, she also served as an assessor, the Democratic registrar of voters, and a member of the Park Commission. She was also active in St. Mary's and its Rosary Society.
She and her husband, who had lived on Catoonah Street across from the firehouse, sold their house in 1960 and moved to Florida. However, 10 years later both became ill there and they decided they wanted “to live and die in Ridgefield” so they returned to town and lived on High Ridge.
Among her four children was Richard T. McGlynn, the first chief of the modern fire department.
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